- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent
Last week, Army Sgt. Jason Bos was reunited with his former bomb-sniffing partner, Cila, a chocolate Lab. According to the Chicago Tribune, the two were paired together for nearly five years, deploying to Iraq to search for IEDs and taking on other bomb-detection assignments from their home station of Fort Lee in Virginia. After hurting his back, however, Bos left the Army in 2012 and Cila, a young dog of only five years, continued her military career and was partnered with another handler.
But last month, he saw a post on Facebook with the news that Cila was set to retire; after getting in touch with his former kennel master at Fort Lee, arrangements were made. And then on April 30, Bos was in Chicago’s O’Hare airport waiting for his former partner to arrive so he could bring her home for good.
Before getting to the airport, Bos (as he told the Tribune) was worried that Cila might not recognize him after being apart for two years: "‘I hope she remembers my voice," he said [a] day earlier from his home near Grand Rapids."
But as you can see, he didn’t have to worry:
After receiving numerous emails this week from WDotW readers (including T.R. and my sister) with a link to Bos and Cila’s reunion clip, it felt like time to collect these captured moments for your viewing pleasure in one post. Now, while these are not handlers being reunited with their former MWD partners, the homecoming emotion is certainly one in the same:
Dog Chuck moves like the wind…
Some high-pitched happiness after returning from Afghanistan:
Anne howls with joy:
German shepherd fetches ball, finds his owner home again:
Anticipation… (Note how these two dogs watch that front door…)
And, not to play favorites, but this one is mine:
Rebecca Frankel is senior editor, special projects at Foreign Policy. Her forthcoming book War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love comes out on Oct. 14 from Palgrave Macmillan.