Military dogs provide an invaluable service, both to their country and to the human soldiers they work alongside. Military dogs and their handlers always have each other’s backs, and often form close bonds that can last a lifetime.
Now, one soldier has reunited with her former partner, giving the dog a happy retirement with someone who loves him.
According to a press release from American Humane, Senior Airmen Jenna was partnered with a Military Working Dog named Akim in 2020, and the two served in South Korea together.
Akim was trained in detection and patrol, and his duties included searching vehicles and patrolling the base, helping to keep Jenna and her fellow soldiers safe. The two formed a close bond.
They became even closer after one scary incident: Akim accidentally swallowed a bee and had a severe allergic reaction. Jenna rushed to save her partner’s life, carrying the 70-pound dog to the vet, and even slept with him overnight in his kennel to keep him company.
Akim lost his eyesight during the incident, although he later regained some of his sight and was able to return to duty. After that near-death experience, Akim and SrA Jenna were “inseparable,” and Jenna always carried an EpiPen to make sure Akim was safe.
“I don’t care about me. I care about my dog. I just wanted to make sure that he was as comfortable as he could possibly be,” she told American Humane. “No one is going to care as much about him as me.”
They became so close that Jenna knew she was meant to care for Akim forever, and planned to adopt him after his military service ended.
Finally, that day arrived. American Humane helped Jenna transport the newly-retired military dog from South Korea to Albuquerque, New Mexico, a 6,000-mile journey.
The two best friends have finally been reunited, giving Akim a loving home for his retirement.
“I want him to see everything,” Jenna said. “I want him to experience the freedom of life. I want him to go in a river and go swimming and just live his best free life. He still deserves to see the world and get to have some fun.”
“We at American Humane honor the lifesaving contributions of all veterans, including the four-legged military dogs who risk their lives to courageously serve our country,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “We are thrilled Akim will get the retirement he deserves, alongside the person who loves him most.”
We’re so glad that Akim and Jenna have reunited! Wishing this beautiful military dog a very happy and well-deserved retirement with his best friend!
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