COEUR d'ALENE - Saturday morning at Kootenai Health, Jeffrey Groat received good news in the form of a surprise reunion with his four-legged companion.
A Coeur d'Alene resident was reading The Press and saw Saturday's article about Burke - a "teacup Great Dane" - who went missing after a drunk driver drove his truck into Groat's home on Hattie Avenue on Thursday night. The photo in the article matched that of a dog he had found limping near Kootenai Health on the night of the accident.
"He's (Burke) been hanging out in the guy's living room," said Brandi Bieber, a family friend. "They picked him up Thursday night near the emergency room. We think maybe the dog followed the ambulance and sounds of the sirens."
Shortly after being notified that the resident had Burke, Bieber picked up the dog and friends and family began working on a surprise reunion.
"We kept it all very hush, hush," Bieber said. "A nurse told Jeff she was taking him outside to get some fresh air."
When Groat and the nurse arrived outside, Burke was eagerly waiting to see his owner.
"They were really excited to see each other," Bieber said. "Burke is younger and was really excited. We had to keep him from jumping on Jeff because he wanted to play."
Prior to the reunion, Groat, who was severely injured in the accident but is expected to be released from the hospital today, kept asking about Burke.
"It was a big, big stress for him," Bieber said. "The family is relieved. He is relieved."
The relief of finding Burke comes in the aftermath of an accident that left Groat, Sherri Bloom and a 10-year old girl seriously injured and their home damaged to the point it has been condemned.
In an effort to help Bloom and Groat with cover some of the expenses from the accident, Monica and Lang Sumner set up an account called "Bloom and Groat benefit account" through Sterling Savings Bank. Any donations to the family are appreciated and can be made at any branch of the bank.