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Vietnam veteran with disability adopts dog with prosthetic leg

Posted at 6:35 PM, Mar 06, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. – A Vietnam veteran in Arizona and his new adopted dog have something in common – they both know what it’s like to live with a disability.

Late last year, Athena the dog was at Southern Oasis Labrador Rescue in Tuscon, Arizona, while the rehab team developed a prosthetic leg for her, which gained attention in the media.

When her story caught the eyes of veteran David Powell and his wife Margaret, they fell in love.

According to Ann Herrington with, David and Margaret lost their dog a few years ago and were looking for a new one to adopt in November of last year.

"When she became available for adoption, they did just that. Upon becoming a family, the three of them formed an immediate symbiotic bond," the website's press release said.

David, who is disabled due to Agent Orange exposure during his deployment, donates his time to helping other veterans. Now that he has Athena, he shares the story of how they met at national engagements.

Margaret, who works with therapy dogs, has big plans for Athena. She is in the process of taking her through obedience school and therapy dog training.

“Athena brings joy to people she meets. There’s something innate in her, bringing happiness to people when they are down,” Margaret told The Tucson Dog magazine.

David and Athena will share their full story at the upcoming WOOFstock & Adopt-a-thon at Reid Park Sunday, March 4, at 1:30 p.m. Other dogs will also be on-site to adopt. To learn more, visit

Editor’s note: This story originally stated that David Powell also had a prosthetic leg, when he does not. A press release from provided the inaccurate information.