The American Humane Association and Mission K9 Rescue Come Together to Reunite a Retired Marine and His Dog

When choosing the bomb sniffing dog he would work with in Afghanistan, Marine Corporal Deano Miller had no idea he would also be making a friend for life.

As part of the selection process, each Marine was directed to write down the names of three dogs they felt they had a connection with–however Miller only wrote down one, Thor. Miller says he initially tried to work with three or four dogs but felt like Thor, a highly trained yellow Lab, was the only dog that would listen to him.

From that point on, Thor and Miller were constant companions on their seven-month tour in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. After Miller was discharged, Thor served on four more tours, but Miller never forgot about his loyal comrade. He wanted to be sure Thor lived the spoiled life he deserved after the dog’s retirement from duty, so Miller began the long process of adoption.

After a lot of paperwork, three years of waiting, and help from the American Humane Association and Mission K9 Rescue, Thor and Miller were reunited in Seattle last Thursday.

Kathileene Anderson from Mission K9 Rescue accompanied Thor on his flight from North Carolina. Because of his military history and service dog status, he was allowed to ride in the airplane cabin with her. She said he peacefully slept on the floor and they made friends over the five-hour flight.

When it was time to say goodbye to Thor, Kathileene teared up. She said this was her first time being involved in reuniting a retired military dog with a service person. Although she was warned to bring tissue, she had no idea it would hit her so hard. She says, “These military dogs sacrifice their lives and they just want to go home and be loved. I feel so honored to be able to do it.”

For more on Thor and Deano, be sure to check out the Bark of the Town section in the next issue of CityDog Magazine. Subscribe here.

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