Video captures heartwarming reunion between veteran, stolen service dog

AURORA, Colo. – A Colorado veteran and his beloved service dog are back together again after a man allegedly took the dog as it was tied up outside of a restaurant.

“This dog is my life. He’s my soul," Navy veteran Levi Roybal told KDVR. “I’m never letting him out of my sight now.”

Just before 7 p.m. on Sunday, the dog was swiped from outside the Hibachi Grill on Mississippi and Sable. Roybal said he tethered Astro because he wanted the dog to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.

Roybal thought he might never see his furry companion again. He struggles with PTSD, depression, and anxiety from his time serving overseas. He bought the Shibu Inu he named Astro as a puppy six years ago to help him cope.

Surveillance video shows the little dog on the sidewalk. Then, a man takes him by the leash and casually walks off into the parking lot.

“My head is just spinning with anger, sadness – not understanding why,” Roybal said.

Although Roybal may never find out “why” someone did this, he received an unbelievable update on Monday night. The Hibachi Grill called him to say a man returned his K9 companion.

Employees at the Hibachi Grill told Roybal the man who dropped off the dog said he thought the dog was cold sitting outside of the restaurant. Aurora Police continue to investigate.

Roybal is not interested in pressing charges. He said he is just grateful to have his buddy back. “He’s best thing that could have ever happened to me. He’s the reason why I wake up," said Roybal.