A retired military dog and her former handler are together again after a year apart thanks to help from the country’s largest humane organization.
Bogi and U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Angela Cardone met in 2017 at the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan, where the five-year-old Belgian Malinois trained with Cardone in narcotics detection, safety sweeps, and vehicle searches, according to People.
However, the two were forced to part when Cardone was reassigned to Hawaii and for months she worried she would never see her beloved canine again.
“It kind of felt like a piece of me was missing,” Cardone said.
When Cardone learned in June that Bogi would be medically retired due to a neck injury, she knew she wanted to adopt her, so she called on American Humane for assistance.
“To ensure that all our heroes come home, American Humane is working to bring back retired military dogs and reunite them with their former handlers,” the organization’s website read.
The group helped Cardone adopt Bogi and the two were finally together again this week after the dog traveled from Japan to Hawaii.
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“The first few moments of seeing Bogi … it was indescribable. I never thought that this day would actually come so it’s just a really heartwarming type of feeling,” Cardone said of their reunion.
Once they exchanged hugs and toys, the pair took a walk on the beach.
“It feels wonderful. Like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest,” the sergeant explained. “I’ve been thinking about this pretty much since the day I left her.”
In a statement, Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, said the organization “is honored to bring Bogi home to reunite with her best friend, Sgt. Angela Cardone. We are thrilled to give Bogi the dignified, comfortable retirement she deserves.
“Sgt. Cardone and Bogi made so many sacrifices in service to our country. Bringing them back together is the least we can do in return,” Ganzert concluded.