Marine Adopts Military Dog He Served With After Years Of Separation

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A marine and a retired K9 sniffer dog prove that absence can only make the heart grow fonder. People at Midway Airport witnessed an emotional reunion between man and dog. After 3 years of working together, looking out for each other and taking care of each other, it can be said that they were quite attached.

Their reunion video is touching. The U.S. Marine dog with designation Atilla R7-89 arrives at the airport waiting for a very special person – Sgt. Jacob Varela, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), his old partner. Sgt. Varela shared with CBS: “I got stuck with him in 2014, I brought him from Lackland, he was a combat tracker. And we were together for 3 years. I got out and haven’t seen him since.”

As with any other dog owner, Varela and Atilla have formed a lasting relationship, only they have been forged through danger and a sense of responsibility. They were inseparable in service. He explained their dynamics to CBS: “We were together for everything. Wherever I went, he was with me.”

“When we were in the field, a month, a month and a half, I mean, he was with me. When I drank water, he drank, and when I ate, he ate. He becomes like your colleague,” marine said.

But their responsibilities eventually moved away from each other. The two haven’t seen each other since 2017. In the end, both simply served by command wherever the command led. So when the news reached Sgt. Varela about Atilla’s retirement, he took the opportunity to be reunited with his best buddy. Retired marine was trying to make sure that his best friend lives with him forever with the help of Mission K-9 rescue.

Kristen Maurer of Mission K-9 rescue explained to CBS about the bond these partners have: “These dogs serve with these people, they spend their 24/7 training time with them, putting their lives on the line.”

Hopeful his friend will still recognize him, Sgt. Varela was waiting for Southwest Airlines Flight 7 from Houston to land Midway. A high-pitched “Come here!” Come here!” echoed down the hallway as the retired marine ran towards his best friend with open arms. Tail wagging, and with excited tippy-tapping, Atilla ran towards her former owner, finally having someone he could call family and a place he could be. Varela felt reassured by the reunion, telling CBS: The way he reacted, the way he jumped, he knows who I am, so that’s good.”


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