Two Afghanistan War veterans have been reunited off the battlefield.
Angie McDonnell served in Afghanistan's Helmand province with a very special comrade. Vidar, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, served as a bomb-sniffing military canine at Camp Bastion where the two met and became "best friends," BBC reported.
After his second tour, Vidar began to suffer from vision problems and PTSD-like symptoms, which caused him to face retirement and, potentially, euthanasia. When McDonnell, who lives in Wales, found out, she wasted no time in tracking down and adopting the dog she had become so close with while serving, and who she also credits with having saved her life.
In 2012, Vidar found a large stash of firearms and grenades in time for experts to disable them before they caused any harm. They were believed to be intended for use on British troops, including McDonnell, by the Taliban, according to BBC.
"He’s just the perfect dog and I’m so happy I can repay him for saving my life while we served together," she told the outlet.
Vidar and McDonnell are not the first canine and human veteran pair to find companionship. David Sapyta, a Vietnam vet, and his dog, Lucy, a German shepherd who served in Afghanistan, have also found comfort in one another, CBS Chicago reported. Like McDonnell, Sapyta saved the former military dog from potentially being put down.
"I feel that, as a fellow veteran, that she should have a life after service, too," Sapyta told the outlet.
Some former military dogs rejoin the civilian population with careers in public safety, like Cezar, the German shepherd who is the first military dog to be adopted by the NYPD, ABC News reported. Cezar, along with his fellow veteran and handler, NYPD Transit Crime Unit Officer Juan Rodriguez, helps to keep New York City transit safe.
There are more than 2,500 military working dogs on duty worldwide, according to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and lots of these dogs need loving homes after they are done serving in the military.
For more information about adopting retired military dogs, click here.