KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A therapy dog disappeared Tuesday night from a home on Drury Avenue and was reported stolen.
The 7-year-old Sheltie named Bobby is a therapy dog for his owner, Jim Schope, and an emotional companion for hundreds of students and hospital/hospice patients each month.
Schope has a heart condition, and got Bobby to help monitor his blood pressure.
"The whining and crying indicated I was in trouble, and within the next half hour I was in heart failure in the emergency room. So he actually saved my life," Schope said.
Tuesday night Schope was back at North Kansas City Hospital, this time with heart trouble triggered by Bobby's disappearance.
"Went in the house, no dog. Went in the back, and there the door was wide open," Schope said.
Schope and Bobby visit with patients and students read to Bobby through the program, Pets For Life.
"I walk through a facility and the gals in a wheelchair just have their arms hanging out to pet him, and he just loves it, eats it all up. Of course they are going to get some kisses and licks but they love that too," he said.
Schope remembers a special bond between Bobby and a Stage 4 teenage cancer patient.
"Her daughter has something to live for and she gave all the credit to Bobby for her daughter's recovery," Schope said.
Schope asks anyone with information about Bobby's disappearance to contact Kansas City Police or return the dog to his home.
"If I'm going to lose him that's terrible on me, but I at least want him to be in a good home. Maybe he can't do the functions he's been doing, but I hope at least he lives a good life," he said.