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Cute Animals

11-Year-Old Boy Reunites Veteran with His Lost Support Dog



Quick Smiles:

  • David Barlet, a 55-year-old veteran with epilepsy, shares a special bond with Gunter, his German shorthaired pointer trained to alert him before a seizure starts.
  • Gunter went missing during a 4th of July celebration after being frightened by fireworks and bolting into the night, which led to a significant search effort from Barlet and the surrounding community.
  • After two days, an 11-year-old boy found Gunter entangled in a tree by his leash. The reunion between Barlet and Gunter was emotional, highlighting the irreplaceable bond between a man and his support dog.

With his black and white coat gleaming in the Ohio sun, Gunter the German Shorthaired Pointer is more than just a dog to veteran David Barlet.

He’s a lifeline.

Barlet, a 55-year-old veteran with epilepsy, was devastated when Gunter went missing during a 4th of July celebration.

Thankfully, this tale of loss has a tail-wagging ending, thanks to a young boy’s attentiveness and the power of community.

Gunter isn’t just any pet; he’s a highly trained seizure alert dog.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been closer with another animal in my life,” Barlet confessed to Cleveland’s WJW.

These specially trained dogs have the incredible ability to alert their owners before a seizure occurs, helping them move to a safer spot, thus avoiding potential harm.


The 4th of July weekend had started joyously for the Barlets, but soon turned into a nightmare.

Fireworks in the neighborhood frightened Gunter, who overpowered his handler and bolted into the night.

This left Barlet without his vital companion and the family devastated.

In the following days, the Barlets tirelessly searched for Gunter, placing posters everywhere and turning to social media for assistance.

The community rallied behind them, sharing the posters far and wide.

“We tried to hold it together around people, but in the evening time when it was just us, the house was so full of emotion,” Barlet admitted.


Two days later, a local 11-year-old boy heard whimpering from a nearby wooded area.

With his parents in tow, they investigated and found Gunter, whose leash had gotten tangled in a small tree.

The heroic boy and his parents had found the missing dog, who’d likely gone two days without food or water.

Reunited at last, Barlet and Gunter shared a heartfelt moment straight out of a Hollywood film.

“Someone that he didn’t even know was hurting and was in need, and so he did that,” Barlet said of the young boy.

“I tell you I can hardly see the kid without really getting emotional, he’s very, very special to us.”


With Gunter safe and sound and back where he belongs, the Barlets and the community couldn’t be happier.

It’s a story that goes beyond a missing dog, showcasing the power of compassion, community spirit, and a young boy’s kindness.

And for Barlet and Gunter, it’s a reminder that the bond between a man and his dog is irreplaceable and enduring.