Joseph and Lona Johnson

1 October survivors Joseph and Lona Johnson are seen here at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.



PAHRUMP (FOX5) -- After the Johnsons survived the mass shooting on OCt. 1, 2017, they got a comfort dog to help them heal.

But a neighbor shot and killed their Labradoodle outside of their home in Washington state right before the anniversary of the shooting.

Joseph and Lona Johnson spoke to FOX5 just after the incident. Shortly after we shared their story, a woman reached out, wanting to help.

Jeanette Forey raises doodles near Las Vegas in Pahrump. On Saturday, one of those puppies became the newest member of the Johnson family.

“We immediately just fell in love with him,” Lona Johnson said.

The Johnsons brought home their dog Jax after 1 October to help them deal with anxiety and PTSD. His name means peace. But before Jax turned one, a neighbor shot and killed the pup.

“That was really traumatic for us to go through, and running out and seeing him just brought back so much emotions,” Lona said. “It was really a scary event for us all over again.”

“I thought, this is heart wrenching,” Jeanette Forey said. “Living in Las Vegas, this is our community too.”

Before Saturday, Forey had never met the Johnsons. But she wanted to help.

“The power of a dog is far-reaching and a doodle helps us,” she said.

Forey owns 4E Kennels. She contacted the Johnsons. But they said they weren’t ready for a new dog so soon after Jax’s death.

Instead, the Johnsons came back to Vegas for the anniversary of 1 October to pay their respects.

“We’re not going to let what happened stop us from enjoying a place we love to visit,” Joe Johnson said.

Then they realized a new furry friend would help them continue to heal.

“Just seeing all of her puppies here, it was just so uplifting,” Lona said.

So five months later, Forey asked the Johnsons to come back to Las Vegas again. This time, so that she could give them a special gift.

“The Irish Doodle is a dog that attaches very deeply to their owners and is very aware of their owner’s emotions and feelings,” Forey said. “And I felt that was a fantastic fit.”

Forey let the Johnsons choose their pup. But they said this one, chose them.

“It was closure for us to get past that October 1st incident and find all the joy in the city and feel safe again,” Lona said.

“I’m just the avenue for our dogs to reach people, to help people, to save people,” Forey said.

The Johnsons are naming their new pup Bodie. He’s just eight weeks old. On Sunday, they will all fly back to Washington so that Bodie can meet the rest of his family.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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