Sarena Moore, who was killed at Umpqua Community College, had two best friends — her fiancé, Travis Dow, and her service dog, Bullet.
The dog was trained to be by her side at all times and helped her with everything, Dow told CNN. Sarena was wheelchair-bound due to severe back pain and reported to have suffered from sciatica.
Dow and Moore got the dog only seven months ago, and Sarena trained him herself. In that short time, the dog had become a constant companion, KOMO added.
“He was her world. He was not only her dog, (he was) her best friend besides me.”
Moore, 44, was going to Umpqua in Roseburg, Oregon, to earn a business degree and her dream was to one day open a horse ranch for handicapped kids. On that fateful day, October 1, she was one of the shooter’s first targets.
And Bullet was laying on the floor by Moore’s side, as he always was.
When the shooter burst into her classroom, the pooch remained calm. The shooter ordered the class to the ground and everyone, including Sarena, obeyed. But then the shooter demanded that she get back into her wheelchair. She did.
And then he shot Sarena.
Bullet stayed with her, Dow said, right until she drew her last breath.
“That’s what he is trained to do. He’s trained to stay right next to her no matter what.”
As Travis mourned his fiancée, killed with 9 others that day, he began to wonder what had happened to her companion and feared the worst — that he, too, had been killed by the gunman as he lay obediently by her side.
But the next day the police arrived, and they had with them a very familiar face and a wagging tail — Bullet. The two now live together, without Moore, in their small apartment and since the shooting, Dow said he hasn’t been the same dog.
“He’s been acting really droopy. He goes to her door and lays down,” he said. “Because he’s used to going in the room and sleeping in the room at night. He knows she ain’t coming home, ’cause he was there when the fatal day happened.”
Bullet is also keeping a piece of Sarena with him, her favorite hat, which was returned to Travis with her personal possessions. He immediately gave it to him, KOIN added.
“I got that back in her personal possessions. I gave it to him. He uses that, lays down on it and everything else. I’m not going to take that from him because it’s part of who she was. He walks around with that every now and then with that in his mouth.”
The service dog, who had given Moore so much love and comfort, is a symbol for Dow of her love for animals and her dream to help train them, horses included, to help people. He said Moore “wanted people to know there is better therapy out there than just dogs.”
Now, Bullet is giving Travis some much needed comfort, and he’s helping the dog make it through his grief in return. He said mourning Sarena and moving past the tragedy is “going to be hard,” but he and Bullet will “make it together.”
And having Bullet by his side, like he was for Moore that tragic day, makes Dow feel like she is still with him.
“It felt good to know he was still alive. He survived because it’s a piece of her. Bullet became a piece of Sarena. I was happy to get him back. I was ecstatic.”
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]