HERNDON, TEXAS — It’s been three years since Jason Livingston saw the dog who worked side by side with him in Iraq looking for bombs, WBRE reports.
Now, after all this time, he gets to take him home.
“I was always hoping someday to be able to be reunited with him,” Livingston said.
He waited with open arms as the eight-year-old Dutch German Shepherd greeted him with hugs and kisses.
Livingston worked as a Department of Army civilian police officer at Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, Texas. He then moved on to become a military working dog K9 handler, which is where the story of his relationship with the bomb-detecting dog begins.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, he’s been one of my favorite working dogs that I’ve had over the course of my K9 career,” Livingston said.
Starting in August 2014, the two worked together in Iraq, where they located explosives on vehicles, buildings and other items coming into the U.S. Embassy.
“It’s the best partner you can have. They’re trustworthy, loyal, you don’t have to second-guess if they’re going to do their job. When I had Blecky, worked with him, he always gave 100% every day. He always did what I asked him to do,” Livingston said.
Their reunion is all thanks to K9 Hero Haven, a local nonprofit organization out of Herndon, that the two are able to be together again. K9 Hero Haven adopts working service dogs like Blecky and helps to reunite them with their handlers.
“I just think it’s fantastic to be able to see these two back together again after three years of being apart. I mean, when they work like that overseas and then they have to separate, it’s just beautiful seeing them being able to come back together,” K9 Hero Haven co-founder Anne Gibbs said.
Now that Blecky is retired, he has a long life ahead of him, filled with play and love like many other dogs.
“It’s kind of like another family member, you know. You become very close. They depend on you. You depend on them, so having the opportunity to reunite with a lost family member is just special. I really can’t put it into words,” Livingston said.