It is an unfortunate reality that many veterans will return from service with wounds that aren’t always apparent. PTSD is a serious concern for servicemen and women, which is why our military is increasing the attention that is paid to soldiers once they return from service. While these problems may not be as readily apparent as some injuries, they are oftentimes just as deadly. One of the ways that the armed forces have started to combat this epidemic is the introduction of trained dogs into the lives of people who served in war. Dogs have a great amount of empathy and can form a bond with owners that helps to heal internal wounds. Taking care of a dog can also make for a great transition back to civilian life. By transitioning duties, soldiers become more accustomed to the day-to-day activities that are more commonplace.
Given how important these pets can be to their owners, it is clear that a tragedy had struck when veteran Jeff Horn lost his dog “Hades.” It was a simple case of miscommunication as the dog left the yard to play with another animal only to get lost and not return. Hades was a pit pull who had helped horn reacquaint with civilian life. It is clear that the young pup brought much purpose and comfort to Horn, who was completely heartbroken that the dog had left. This was made even worse by the fact that it was the middle of October and the surrounding area was facing increasingly hostile weather conditions. At this point it was a battle against the clock in order to get the young pup back before tragedy struck. It was a very delicate situation that required the entire community to come together. Luckily, many dog lovers tend to band together when one of their own goes missing.
They did have a few things going for them in the search. Hades was a pit bull, a breed that would not go unnoticed in many situations. He also possessed a unique pattern on his face. His fur was colored in a way that a white stripe went down the center of his forehead. It is both an adorable and practical feature that made him easier to spot out of a lineup. Just like that the search was on. Luckily, there were many people looking for the pup and signs did start to pop up. Though the leads never delivered like Horn had hoped. There would be spotty video footage of the dog here or there, but there was nothing concrete to show where Hades had gone. As the holiday season began to set in, there was a sinking feeling that the dog would not be found.
There was also hope that Hades may have been picked up by another person. The pup had a friendly demeanor and would get along with almost anyone. There was hope that a kind stranger had taken the young canine into their home as winter weather began to set in. As the coldest months began to start the nights would get harder and harder for Horn. As a result of psychological wounds on the battlefield, it was not always easy for him to get to sleep. He often relied on Hades to help him get “proper rest” saying, “My world is gone without him here. I need him.” When speaking of the comfort that Hades provides, “It’s like he knows. He knows when I’m going to go through something and he’s just there.” It’s clear that this dog is vitally important to Horn’s day-to-day routine, making the transition back to civilian life that much easier.
While the leads were turning up mostly empty, eventually there was something substantial. As it turned out, Hades had been picked up by a kind stranger. However, there was a problem. They had decided that they wanted to keep Hades for themselves. This is perfectly understandable given the cool demeanor of the pup. It’s not hard to imagine that someone else had fallen in love with Hades as well. This was a bit of an awkward situation given the strange circumstances. But after Horn made a heartfelt plea, it became clear that the owner should do the right thing and return the dog. It wasn’t too long before Hades was back in his owner’s hands, living the life that he had grown accustomed to. There was no doubt that Horn was happy to have the little pooch back. As Hades began to remember his old life, it was clear that he was happy to be home.
Hades and Horn are a perfect example of how strong of a bond that an owner and a pet can have. It is clear that Hades is enjoying his time back home. There have been many pictures posted of him snuggling comfortably in his favorite places. Horn recently posted some of the photos to Facebook and it is clear that the pup is quite content being back. He even fell asleep in the front seat of the car with a smile on his face. It’s hard to find a puppy more at ease than this one. It is fortunate that this story has a happy ending. There is nothing better than when a dog is reunited with a good owner.
It remains to be seen what life out of the service will bring for Horn, but it is clear that Hades will be by his side the entire time. Going through a situation like this has strengthened their bond and set a great example for pet owners all around the world. It is important to take good care of your pet because you never know when they might leave. It’s a lesson that we can all learn in the proper treatment of “animals.” Here’s to many more years of Hades and owner Jeff Horn living a long, happy, and healthy existence together.