There’s nothing quite like a reunion between two war heroes after years apart — especially when one of them has two legs and the other has four.
Last week, two of these heart-warming events occurred between former U.S. Army specialists and their bomb-sniffing dogs. The two dogs, along with nine others in the Tactical Explosive Detection Dog (TEDD) program, had been bought by a private company and then left to languish at a boarding kennel for 17 months. Thanks to the efforts of Mission K9 Rescue and the United States War Dogs Association, nonprofit organizations dedicated to finding homes for retired military dogs, photos of the dogs posted on social media successfully helped track down their former handlers.
On Wednesday, after a four-year separation, Tyler Roberts was reunited with his former partner, Donna, a Belgian Malinois, in Thorton, Colo. Roberts is now Donna’s official dog dad, and he said her only assignment from now on is to chase tennis balls.
The next day in Boise, Idaho, Vance McFarland was reunited with his former partner, Ikar, a Czech Shepherd, after three years apart.
“Some times were good, some times were stressful. Having Ikar definitely made it a lot better,” McFarland told KTVB regarding their two-year-long tour of duty together in Afghanistan. “Having a dog with you on deployment is almost like having a little bit of home. Other soldiers were jealous — they always wanted to come up and pet Ikar. We made the best of it.”
McFarland, who’s now a full-time college student, was eager to have Ikar join his wife and two other dogs.
Ikar took a trip to the lake over the weekend, and that’s just the beginning. “He is going to live the rest of his retired life spoiled. Really spoiled,” McFarland told KTVB.
As McFarland waited for Ikar’s plane to land in Boise Thursday, he was concerned that his former partner wouldn’t remember him after so much time had passed.
As you can see from the video, McFarland had nothing to worry about.
Photo via YouTube