On that fateful day he had to choose a bomb sniffing dog to work with in Afghanistan, Marine Corporal Deano Miller had only one special canine in mind: a highly trained yellow Labrador named Thor. As standard practice during the selection process, each Marine was instructed to write the name of three dogs they feel they connected with best. Miller had initially tried working with three or four dogs, but none of them came close to the way Thor had listened to him – and was completely sure that he was the dog he needed to be paired with.
The duo ended up working together and were always at each other’s side for the seven months they were on tour in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. After the seven months was up, Miller was discharged and the canine ended up serving another four more tours. The Marine never forgot about his furry pal and wanted to be sure Thor was going to be able to live the lush, luxurious life that he deserved after he retired from duty. He decided to adopt his old comrade, which was a long, arduous process. It took a ton of paperwork and three years of waiting for Miller to be able to adopt Thor, but thanks to assistance from the American Humane Association and the Mission K9 Rescue, it was possible. In fact, Thor and Miller were finally reunited in Seattle just last Thursday!
It turns out that Miller wasn’t the only one the dog emotionally touched. Mission K9 Rescue worker Kathileene Anderson served as a companion to take Thor on his flight from North Carolina. Because of his military history and status as a service dog, the loyal yellow Lab was able to ride in the cabin with Anderson for the during of the five-hour flight. When it was all over and done with, it was an emotional goodbye for Anderson, who teared up. As a first-timer in reuniting a military dog and service person, she was warned to bring tissue, but she didn’t realize it would hit her so hard.
“These military dogs sacrifice their lives and they just want to go home and be loved,” Anderson said. “I feel so honored to be able to do it.”
Photo Source: City Dog Magazine