After Being Separated For Years, Air Force Sergeant Has Touching Reunion With His Retired Military K9

Air Force Sergeant Mike Alcala has touching reunion with his former bomb-sniffing dog, John, for the holidays and are about to spend a lifetime together after the latter’s retirement.

American Humane, along with Puppie Love, an organization that donates to help dog gets adopted, surprised the 10-year-old German Shepherd and Alcala with a pre-holiday reunion on December 22  in San Antonio, Texas.

Puppie Love revealed that American Humane reached out to them to ask if they’d be interested to bring Military Working Dog (MWD) John home for his retirement and for the holidays.

They wrote, “Of course, we said yes! We’ve donated $7,000 to help cover expenses, as AH facilitated the reunion of retired MWD John to his handler.”

“We’re thrilled to play a small part in his journey to a well-deserved retirement,” Puppie Love continued.

In John’s 8-year career as an Explosive Detection Dog, John had worked with a total of seven handlers.

Among those seven, Alcala was the retired military K9’s longest handler, after working together for three years, from September 2018 to September 2021 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

However, they had to be separated when Alcala was assigned to another base. Talking to TODAY, Alcala said leaving John was rough.

“It was definitely hard. Think about your dog at home if you have one. Imagine just walking out the door and just leaving them to someone else. It’s very sad, but you know they’re going to be in good hands,” Alcala said.

Alcala reveals to TODAY that he made a promise to come back for John when the time comes.

“I told them when I was leaving there, I said, ‘I am coming back for this dog,’” Alcala said.

And that moment came just in time for the most magical time of the year (aka Christmas!) when John officially retired on December 20, 2023.

According to New York Post, Alcala heard about John’s retirement and reached out to American Humane for help in transporting his best bud home so he could officially adopt him.

“I heard about American Humane through a buddy of mine, so I thought I would reach out and see what they could do for me and John,” Alcala said through an interview with American Humane.

Before catching his flight back to Texas, John was honored with a special retirement ceremony in Hawaii to celebrate his 8-long years of dedicated service.

The two had their much awaited reunion in the backyard of Alcala’s home, along with his wife and 10-month-old daughter.

Upon seeing John, Alcala playfully scratched his ears while saying, “I missed you bud. Welcome home buddy.”

 Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, told Fox News Digital, “We owe a debt of gratitude to all American veterans, including the retired military working dogs who serve our country.”

“Bringing John home for the holidays was the best gift we could give to these two military heroes,” Ganzert continued.






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