Guide dog returned to blind man after backyard theft

HARVEY, Ill. (WLS) -- Thanks to an outpouring of support, Lucca, a stolen guide dog, was returned to his rightful owner Saturday morning.

Kevin Coachmen, who is blind, said one of the teens who took Lucca, had a "fit of consciousness" after seeing the story on ABC 7, and did the right thing.

Lucca, a specially-trained German Shepherd, went missing Tuesday from the backyard of Coachman's home.

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The duo had spent the day running errands and then walked home from the train station.

"I got him home and I took him straight to the backyard while I went in to feed him and get him water, and when I came back out my dog was gone," said Coachman.

Lucca is barely a year and a half old, and about 60 lbs. Coachman has had him only three months after they were paired together by an organization that helps the visually impaired.

The 58-year-old began losing his sight in 2001, after he was shot multiple times during a carjacking. Long-term damage caused him to go completely blind four years ago.

Since then, the master mechanic who once played semi-pro football has founded a not-for-profit for the homeless after being without housing himself.

He said after spending pretty much every day, all day, with Lucca, it hasn't been the same without his best friend to guide him.

"It's like walking in a dark room and you don't know what you can trip over or who's in that room. Or anything like that. It's always scary," he said.
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