CHICAGO, IL - Happy reunions take place at airports every day. Usually they involve people, not pets. But at O'Hare Wednesday afternoon, an Iraqi war veteran was re-united with the dog who served with him.
It was hard to tell who was more excited. Sergeant Jason Bos, or his Labrador Retriever, Cila. Bos and the explosive detection dog worked nearly 100 missions together in Iraq, as well as protecting President Obama. When Bos heard Cila was retiring, he hoped she could end up with him.
“A lot of these dogs aren't able to go back to their handler, and I'm one of the lucky ones,” Bos explains.
Bos had connected with Cila right from the start of K-9 training.
“No one could work with this dog, and yet, she listened to me,” he says. “I don't know why she listened to me. Maybe it's my inflection, maybe it's my personality.”
Cila had ended her career with another handler. Bos needed help paying for her trip home, Mission K-9 Rescue helped, along with the American Humane Association.
“He emailed me and he just said, ‘I don't know how I'm going to get the dog home. Can you help me get Cila home?” Mission K9 Rescue’s Kristen Maurer says of her conversation with Bos. “And just emailed him back, ‘absolutely.’”.
On average, military search dogs save about 150 to 200 lives during their service, making them truly a service member's best friend.