A military dog who formed an inseparable bond with one of his handlers while deployed to South Korea was adopted by the airman after a near-death experience. The couple had a joyful reunion in New Mexico after being apart for eight months.
On July 12, military working dog Akim tracked down senior aviator Jenna Canada in Albuquerque. Ever since they were matched in 2020, Jenna knew she would be the one to adopt him when he retired.
With support from the U.S. military and American Humane, America’s premier national humanitarian organization, the 10-year-old German Shepherd was successfully transported more than 6,000 miles from South Korea to New Mexico and in his open arms.
“I want him to experience the freedom of life,” Jenna said, according to an American Humane Press release. “I want him to go into a river and go swimming and live his best free life. He still deserves to see the world and have fun.
American Humane shared heartwarming photos from the reunion on Facebookcaptioned, “This morning in beautiful New Mexico sunshine, retired MWD Akim and Senior Airman Jenna were finally reunited.”
In a separate article they wrote“In the words of Luke Combs, favorite country artist of SrA Jenna and MWD Akim, ‘Maybe some things last forever after all.'”
A detection and patrol dog, Akim was paired with Jenna in 2020, and the two were later tasked with patrolling the airbase, searching for vehicles, and training with Air Force Special Forces. of the Republic of Korea. While serving together, Akim nearly lost his life to anaphylactic shock when he accidentally swallowed a bee and suffered an extreme allergic reaction.
Fortunately, Jenna was there to save him.
She lifted the 70-pound (31.7 kg) dog and rushed him to the airbase’s on-site vet, spending the next two days glued to his side as he slowly recovered. Akim lost his sight after being revived but was eventually able to resume his duties on base when part of his sight returned.
Throughout the ordeal, something that was neither lost nor compromised was the unbreakable bond between dog and handler.
“I don’t care about myself. I care about my dog. I just wanted to make sure he was as comfortable as possible. said Jenna. “No one will care about him as much as I do.”
Dog and handler were separated in November 2021 when Jenna was reassigned to Kirtland Air Force Base. But when it was confirmed that Jenna would be the one to care for Akim when he retired, American Humane got to work to facilitate their reunion.
Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane, said the organization is “thrilled” that Akim is getting the retirement he deserves with the human who loves him the most, adding, ” At American Humane, we honor the vital contributions of all veterans, including the four-legged military dogs who risk their lives to bravely serve our country.
As they do for all retired military working dogs on their list, American Humane also provides free lifetime veterinary care to ensure that Akim remains healthy and happy during his retirement.
Watch the adorable reunion:
(Courtesy of cruelty free american)
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