DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – A Navy veteran in Derby says he and a service dog have a special bond that was evident the first time they met. Now, the Derby community is working to make sure that bond isn’t broken.
“Derby is very very supportive of her veterans,” explained Sharon Miklos, a Derby business owner.
That support has touched Matthew Loveless, a Navy veteran who served in Iraq.
Loveless is continuing to recover from an incident that changed his life forever. Matthew was shot five times in 2008 in California. Matt’s sister Alisha Loveless said he was shot by his ex-wife’s boyfriend.
One of those bullets struck his head, leaving him in a coma for over a month and paralyzing him from the waist down.
“He had to relearn everything so he still goes to speech therapy every couple weeks,” said Alisha. “He still has to work on talking but he’s doing amazing for what’s happened.”
Alisha is not only Matt’s sister, but also his caregiver.
“He’s still the same goofy Matt but it’s never going to be the same,” explained Alisha.
Matt has had a hard time adjusting to life since the shooting. That is, until he met Max, a 22-month-old German Shepard.
Max’s trainer, Daryn Kinsinger, is just one of the Derby community members helping to raise money for Matt to own Max for good.
“Daryn just brought the dog in,” explained Cindy Anderson, a Derby business owner. “He was so sweet and it was a good cause and we just wanted to give.”
So far the city of Derby has raised over $4,000 towards the cause.
“It’s a very worthwhile service in a very worthwhile cause that we all feel dearly about and that is our veterans,” added Miklos.
If you would like to give to the cause, click here.