‘Best partner you can have’: Military officer adopts retired K-9 he served with in Iraq

National News

HERNDON, Pa. (WBRE) — A Department of Army civilian police officer could not keep the smile off his face Wednesday morning. It’s because he was able to reunite with his partner in crime after being apart from one another for several years.

It’s been three years since these best friends have seen each other, but it seems like they picked up right where they left off at. Jason Livingston tells Eyewitness News the special bond between him and his dog Blecky is one that means the world to him. It’s a wish come true.

“I was always hoping someday to be able to be reunited with him,” Livingston said.

Livingston waited with open arms as the adorable eight-year-old Dutch German Shepherd greeted him with hugs and kisses.

“Oh this is awesome,” Livingston said.

Livingston worked as a Department of Army civilian police officer at Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, Texas. He then moved on to become a military working dog K9 handler, which is where the story of his relationship with the bomb-detecting dog begins.

“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 said.

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, worked with him, he always gave 100 percent every day. He always did what I asked him to do,” Livingston said.

Their reunion is all thanks to K9 Hero Haven, a local nonprofit organization out of Herndon, that the two are able to be together again. K9 Hero Haven adopts working service dogs like Blecky and helps to reunite them with their handlers.

“I just think it’s fantastic to be able to see these two back together again after three years of being apart. I mean, when they work like that overseas and then they have to separate, it’s just beautiful seeing them being able to come back together,” K9 Hero Haven co-founder Anne Gibbs said.

Now that Blecky is retired, he has a long life ahead of him, filled with play and love like many other dogs.

“It’s kind of like another family member, you know. You become very close. They depend on you. You depend on them, so having the opportunity to reunite with a lost family member is just special. I really can’t put it into words,” Livingston said.

Jason tells Eyewitness News the next steps moving forward include just spoiling Blecky and getting him accustomed to his other dogs and his horse back at home in Texas.

K9 Hero Haven has placed more than 230 dogs in homes since 2015.

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