SELINSGROVE, Pa. (WBRE/CNN) - A retired military dog will spend the rest of his life being spoiled after he was adopted by a military officer he served with in Iraq.
Jason Livingston and his best friend, a bomb detecting K9 named Blecky, hadn’t seen each other in three years until the nonprofit K9 Hero Haven helped reunite them Wednesday morning.
"I was always hoping some day to be able to be reunited with him,” Livingston said. "Without a shadow of a doubt, he’s been one of my favorite working dogs that I’ve had over the course of my K9 career.”
Livingston worked as a Department of Army civilian police officer at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. He then moved on to become a military working dog K9 handler, which is where he met Dutch shepherd Blecky.
Starting in August 2014, the two worked together in Iraq, where they located explosives on vehicles, buildings and other items coming into the U.S. Embassy.
"It’s the best partner you can have. They’re trustworthy, loyal. You don’t have to second guess if they’re going to do their job. When I had Blecky and worked with him, he always gave 100 percent every day. He always did what I asked him to do,” Livingston said.
Now that 8-year-old Blecky is retired, he has a long life filled with play and love ahead of him at Livingston’s Texas home.
"It’s kind of like another family member. You become very close. They depend on you, and you depend on them. So, having the opportunity to reunite with a lost family member is just special. I really can’t hardly put it into words,” Livingston said.
Livingston says he plans on spoiling Blecky. The next step is to get him used to his other dogs and horses.
K9 Hero Haven, out of Herndon, Pa., adopts working service dogs, like Blecky, and helps reunite them with their handlers. The organization has placed more than 230 dogs in homes since 2015.