By: Bridget Demouy/Liftable It is always a special day when an adopted dog finds it forever home. Both dog and human are thrilled to have found each other, but most often it is just the start of getting to know one another.
For an Ohio man who recently adopted an older dog, it was a different story. Rather than needing to build a bond from scratch, these two were picking up where they left off years before.
Adam Wylie served as a U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant in South Korea. It was there that he built a meaningful connection with another member of the military, Emra: a Belgian Malinois with large, pointy ears; black fur around her eyes and along her cheeks; and a strong, fit body.
Wylie had been deployed just 25 days after his daughter Chloe was born. As is the case for many serving in the military, the timing was tough for him and his family, but he had to go.
Luckily for Wylie, he was a handler for Emra. The pair worked together for two years on tasks including patrol duties and safety sweeps.
Wylie told Fox News that “she meant the world to me.” When Wylie returned to the U.S. in 2014, he had to say goodbye to Emra, but their connection was never broken.
By the time Emra was 9, it was finally time for her to retire. Wylie and his family decided to adopt her.
The American Humane Association, Crown Media Family Networks, and donors helped pay for her move, and in April, the two were reunited. It had been three years since they had been together, and though Wylie saw her as a family, he feared that she might not remember him.
That fear was unfounded. Emra looked at Wylie, nuzzled him, and licked his face. The muscular and tattooed military man cried.
Adam hadn’t seen this retired military dog since they served together in the Air Force. She recognized him instantly.
Posted by WFAA-TV on Wednesday, May 24, 2017
A video of the reunion was shared on Facebook and has now been seen by more than 12 million people. Many of them are crying, too, touched by the heartfelt connection.
“Greatest story ever,” one man commented. “Thank you, both for serving. Now have a great life together.” Another wrote, “Bless our four-legged heroes.”
Emra will now live with Wylie and his family on a 50-acre farm outside of Cincinnati. “We are inseparable now,” Wylie told Fox News, “just like we were for our two years serving together.”
And it looks as though he is not the only one excited to have her. Wylie recently posted a photo of his daughter Chloe hugging Emra as she laid on the floor with a smile on her face — just the kind of relaxed retirement this hard-working dog deserves.