FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Prairie Grove Police Officer Tyler Franks was shot in the leg while on duty back in May. He suffered irreparable damage to his left leg and underwent a partial amputation.
Officer Franks said he’s been doing well on his road to recovery, spirits are high, and he’s been attending physical therapy.
“I’m glad to be home; I have a little more energy being home and being able to have a little more freedom,” said officer Franks.
To help him regain his freedom, the Franks added a family member; his name is Dale. He’s officer Franks’s new service dog, and he’s got some pretty cool tricks.
“He helps me stand up; he holds the doors open for me; he’s just man’s best friend,” said officer Franks.
Officer Franks’s Dad, Tim Franks, trains service dogs like Dale for a living. Franks said he’s been training Dale for several years already, so when Dale needed to step up for officer Franks, he was ready to roll.
“From immobility work to seizure response to autism, he’s the sort of dog whos loaded with a lot of different service dog tasks,” said Franks.
Even though Dale comes fully loaded, it will take some work to get Dale and officer Franks on the same page. Training that will allow them father-son time every Sunday, but the benefit of their time spent together will be unmeasurable.
“Tyler has a saying. It’s not that I can’t; it’s how I do it now. He uses this dog to motivate him, to give him a purpose, to get out of bed, and the majority of his independence,” said Franks.
Franks said even once officer Franks has his prosthetic on, Dale will continue to be by his side, supporting his balance and be his best buddy.