The connection between dogs and humans can be as strong as any between two people. That is especially true for service animals that work alongside people in high stress occupations like law enforcement and in the military.
We found a wonderful story of a man who served alongside a special dog on the front lines of Afghanistan but got separated after their tour of duty. What happens next will melt your heart.
Army Specialist Vance McFarland has spent the last three years trying to reconnect with a very special brother in arms.
While stationed in Afghanistan, McFarland and a dog named Ikar worked together as a team, locating and disabling roadside bombs.
Perhaps the most stressful job in the world, Mcfarland explains that “Some times were good, some times were stressful. Having Ikar definitely made it a lot better. Having a dog with you on deployment is almost like having a little bit of home.”
After their tour ended, Ikar was redeployed to a private contracting firm that said they had a need for his speciality. However, the job never came through, and Ikar spent seventeen months living in a kennel and doing nothing. Inactivity for an army dog used to working every day is just a bad idea.
Luckily, an organization called Mission K9 stepped in and began to look for a home for Ikar. They located Ikar’s old army buddy, McFarland, and flooded his Facebook page with messages about the dog’s whereabouts.
Of Course, when McFarland heard that Ikar had been abandoned and saved, he jumped at the change to adopt him. Of course, he was not sure what Ikar’s reaction would be after three years apart, but as you can see in the video, it all worked out in the end.
“He is going to live the rest of his retired life spoiled,” McFarland told KTVB. “Really spoiled.”
Ikar has joined McFarland and two other dogs in their happy home in Idaho.
Mission K9 is an organization dedicated to serving the dogs that have served our nation. According to their website, their mission is “To Rescue, Reunite, Re-Home, Rehabilitate and Repair any retired working dog that has served mankind in some capacity.”
The Texas based volunteer outfit, tracks down military, law enforcement, and other working dogs who have ended their service careers and tries to place them with loving homes.
They retrain them, provide veterinary care, rescue them from pounds, reunite them with their former partners, locate new homes for them, and provide them with a safe space to recuperate from such issues as post traumatic stress disorder, which can be just as devastating for canines as humans who have been in combat.
Mission K9 is headquartered in Houston Texas, with offices in San Antonio and Los Angeles California. They operate globally, bringing dogs home from wherever they may have been stationed, and they are a volunteer organization with 501c status.
Have you ever worked with a dog professionally? Would you ever think about providing a home for a dog that has seen combat? Share your ideas and stories with us here.