June 5, 2014 7:52 p.m. PST: Actress Pauley Perrette informed Examiner that Arthur Renowitzky has been reunited with his beloved dog, Love. She didn't have full details but shared her excitement that Love was back with Arthur. "We got her," Perrette sent via text.
Perrette shared with Examiner around 5:15 p.m. EST that Renowitzky had received a call from someone stating they had purchased a dog matching Love's description in a Walmart parking lot. Renowitzky was on his way to meet with the man in the hopes that Love would be waiting for him.
NBC San Francisco reported that an Oakland resident Daymond Dixon purchased the dog for $375 on Wednesday night in a Walmart parking lot for his aunt, who had recently lost her dog after he had been run over by a car. How Dixon found out about the dog for sale or the circumstances surrounding the purchase are still unclear.
Whatever the circumstances, both Arthur and Pauley are thrilled that Love is back in the loving arms of his owner. A huge thanks to everyone who shared the story to help Arthur and Love find their way back to one another.
The service dog of a wheelchair-bound San Francisco man disappeared on Wednesday night, and he, along with actress Pauley Perrette, who plays forensic scientist Abby Sciuto on the hit CBS series "NCIS," are asking the public's help in locating the apricot-colored poodle named "Lovebug," or as friends know her, "Love."
Arthur Renowitzky and Perrette, who is offering a $5000 reward for Love's return, both spoke to Examiner on Thursday. They say there is no way Love simply ran away.
"That dog was abducted. It's as simple as that," Perrette tells Examiner. "Arthur and Love have stayed in my guest house, and Arthur has difficulty even getting Love to go into the tiny backyard to use the bathroom because she just doesn't want to leave him. She never would have gone on her own."
Renowitzky, who was paralyzed from the chest down six years ago after an armed gunman shot him as he left a San Francisco nightclub, agreed as he talked about how quickly Love disappeared. "I pulled up to the <San Leandro> marina where they have a workout course. I do my cardio there. I'm very active and play wheelchair basketball. I opened the door, assembled my wheelchair, and Love was right beside me as she always is."
Renowitzky says after pushing about 25 feet away from the car, he realized he had forgotten his backpack. "I looked down, and Love was beside me, following me. I went back, opened the passenger door, got my backpack, and when I looked back, Love was gone."
Terrified, he says he searched and yelled for Love, who he says always comes without fail when called, for more than an hour until dark. Although the area is filled with people walking their dogs, riding bikes and running, no one saw Love. "An ice cream vendor said he saw Love with me, but that was it," says Arthur. "No one saw anything else."
Perrette says Arthur and Love have always been close since the day he got her as a tiny puppy; however, since Arthur became paralyzed, she says Love has become obsessively protective of her owner.
"Arthur was in a coma for months. They never thought he would speak. They weren't even sure he would survive," shared Perrette. "Love was there when he woke up, and they've been inseparable ever since. That dog is everything to him, and I just can't believe someone would take her."
Arthur says Love is not only a service dog but his best friend. "She's been there with me through surgeries, rehab. She's been with me when I've been depressed. She goes with me to all my speaking engagements and to hospitals where we visit patients with spinal cord injuries. She's always in my lap. She's everything to me, and I just want her back."
Arthur founded the Life Goes On Project in 2007, the year he was paralyzed, and travels around the country speaking to others and encouraging them to remain positive and overcome any obstacles that keep them from happiness. His motto is "life goes on...keep it pushing." If anyone can speak to moving forward after obstacles, it's Renowitzky. One of those obstacles is how he and Perrette became friends.
A year ago, the actress saw a disturbing Los Angeles news story about Renowitzky. As Arthur and his friend Zyme were getting out of their car, a speeding charter bus ran over Arthur's wheelchair, also crushing he and Zyme against their car. Arthur says he jumped from his wheelchair as the bus came barreling towards them, or he might have been killed. Both men suffered minor injuries, but Renowitzky's wheelchair was destroyed. When Perrette saw the story, she knew she had to help.
"I have so many friends who are in wheelchairs. A friend from college has the same spinal cord injury that Arthur has. One of my dearest friends is a triple amputee. I know what that wheelchair means."
Perrette said she took to social media to find the young man. "I immediately got on Twitter and started searching, and sure enough, I found him. I messaged him and said, 'no worries, dude. I'll get you a new chair.'" True to her word, Perrette bought Arthur a new wheelchair, and the two became instant friends.
Perrette, a long-time and outspoken supporter of animal charities and pet rescue organizations, also became instant friends with Love, and she is devastated about her disappearance. The actress spent all night Wednesday Tweeting photos of Arthur and Love and asking for the public's help in finding her. "WHAT DO YOU WANT dognapper? #BringBackLove Name your price. @AR510 needs his service dog!"
"I'm offering $5000 for Love's safe return, no questions asked." says Perrette. "That dog is everything to Arthur. Please, please just give her back." Anyone with information on Love's whereabouts are asked to call (510)-712-8676. Arthur and Pauley are also asking readers to share this story on social media to get the word out about Love.