MINDEN, LA (KSLA) - A final ride for a beloved pet and four-legged war veteran drew hundreds to the roadside Friday in Minden who wanted to pay their patriotic respects.
Minden Marine Lance Corporal Russ Moseley earned a Purple Heart after he lost his leg while serving in Afghanistan.
The loss was devastating. He experienced even more devastation when he was forced to say goodbye to his war partner, Sergeant Canvas, a nine-year-old black lab.
Canvas suffered a severe spinal cord condition after developing arthritis.
Moseley had the hard decision to make to end Canvas' suffering.
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders and several other motorcycle groups organized a "final ride" for Canvas.
They met just outside of Dixie Inn and traveled through downtown Minden to the Buffington Vet Clinic, where the Moseley family said goodbye to their beloved dog.
"It happened really fast," said Moseley. "She went from being very chipper and very happy to just being down all the time. One night we went to sleep and woke up and she could barely lift her rear end."
That was a far cry from the dog Moseley remembered while serving in Afghanistan. The pair served together during a tour in 2010.
"She took a lot of the stress away from being away from home and things like that. It was like having family there with you."
Canvas served multiple tours in Iraq and was trained to sniff up to 70 different bombs. It was that trained instinct that tried to save her master during a mission in 2010.
"As I was walking towards those stairs I saw her run out of the corner of my eye and give me a signal that there was a bomb there but by then it was too late. I already had my foot on an IED. She tried to save me."
Moseley lost his leg in the explosion. He lost another part of his life when he made his way down Main Street in Minden Friday morning.
Flags whipped in the wind, tears fell, and respect was displayed by bikers, veterans and strangers supporting the Moseley family as they said goodbye to their four-legged hero.