Dogs have long been called man’s best friend and, for U.S. Army Specialist Vance McFarland, this became true when he was deployed in Afghanistan.
During his time detecting explosive devices in the army, McFarland teamed up with a Czech Shepherd named Ikar. The two quickly became close friends and McFarland explained that having the dog with him reminded him of home.
While the two were close friends, they had to part ways when they arrived back at Ft. Bragg. After a quick photo shoot, they were separated. While Ikar was sent back to Afghanistan, it became apparent that there was no immediate need for his services.
Rather than put him back into action, this brave hero was forced to stay in an animal shelter for over a year. This is when Mission K9 Rescue stepped in to save the day reports USA Today.
Kristen Maurer, who works as president of the organization, was anxious to help set these dogs free and give them the retirement they deserved. Mission K9 Rescue got back in touch with Vance McFarland using Facebook to discover if he and Ikar had once worked side-by-side.
While McFarland had probably thought about his old buddy a lot over their three years of separation, he had no idea that Ikar had ended up in a shelter. It broke his heart and he agreed to open his home to his old friend. The rescue organization arranged to ship Ikar and several other army dogs back to the states.
Waiting on Ikar to arrive, McFarland began to grow nervous and worried that, while he thought a lot about his old K9 friend, Ikar might not remember him.
McFarland’s fears were shown to be pointless. As Ikar is led his direction, McFarland calls out his name and the dog’s ears immediately perk up. When he spots his old war buddy, Ikar jerks lose from the man that is leading him and runs full-force toward McFarland. The army veteran gets down on the floor and the two share a special moment together. Obviously, the three years apart didn’t break their special bond.
While McFarland and his wife already have two other dogs, they are now in the process of adopting Ikar and adding him to their family. We know that Ikar is going to receive lots of love and that the two combat buddies can enjoy long, happy lives together.