MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The strength to overcome has united a Middle Tennessee Veteran and man’s best friend.
On Friday, Retired Army Sergeant Major, Chris Self, was surprised at Nashville International Airport with his dream dog.
The dog, Franky, is only 18-months-old and was once abused.
“We suspect that he was a bait dog and that somebody had deliberately dumped Franky, in that (where Franky was found) location for a specific reason” said Chuck Whitbeck
His journey to health was documented on social media by Dr. Jennifer Whitbeck and her husband, Chuck, from Sango Veterinary Hospital in Montgomery County.
The videos went viral, with thousands of people inquiring about Franky’s recovery.
Retired Sgt. Maj Self had been watching the videos from overseas while at his contracting job in Afghanistan.
“He was just heartbroken that someone could do that to a dog.” said Self’s wife, Dana
“He wanted to know the details everyday, ‘How’s he doing? How’s he doing?'”
Dana said her husband expressed interest in wanting to adopt the dog, but she told him, the dog had already been placed with another family.
“We wanted to surprise him with this.” said Dana.
That’s when Dana’s daughter contacted the nonprofit, Pets for Patriots, to coordinate a possible adoption for their family.
After a series of meetings, the adoption process was finalized and the surprise adoption was planned for June 14.
Dana said she finds a lot of commonalities between Franky’s journey and her husband’s,
“They’ve both overcame a lot so we thought it was just fitting to put them together.”
Self was a member of the Army Special Forces veteran. Colloquially known as, The Green Berets. In 2005, Self sustained gunshot wounds to both his legs. In 2006, he had to have his right leg amputated to return to active duty.
“Everyday Chris wakes up and puts one foot and a prosthetic down on the floor and knows that he’s going to fight for this country. No matter what it took. Even retired, he still works in Afghanistan.”
During Franky and Self’s first meeting, they playfully interacted and Self said he was proud to call the dog his own,
“He’s seems like a pretty tough dog. He needs a good home, and I knew if he came to our house it’d be a good home.” said Self