US Army Specialist Vance McFarland was deployed in Afghanistan with a Tactical Explosive Detection Dog (TEDD) named Ikar. Together the two would go around and look for roadside bombs and IEDs. They made sure that their unit was safe and each other too. And for Vance, Ikar was more than just a partner.
Vance said that being deployed can get very stressful. Having Ikar around made everything better, though. With the dog around, he felt like having a little piece of home around him. He also said that the other soldiers got a bit jealous that he had a dig with him all the time. They would come around and ply with Ikar whenever they could.
But their partnership came to an end. Both of them came home after their tour but were soon separated after they arrived. Vance went home to his family while the dog went back to the TEDD program. And soon, Ikaw was back on the plane for another tour in Afghanistan.
Ikar was to retire from military service after his second tour. A private company lined up a job for Ikar and other TEDD canines when they got back. The dogs were placed in a temporary shelter and were supposed to stay there for only a temporary period. But the private contractor didn’t bother with them anymore.
The dog’s where supposed to stay in the kennel for only a month or so. But they ended up staying for almost a year and a half. With maintenance bills rising, the kennel’s owner started looking for help. Soon, the dogs were turned over to the United States War Dogs Association of Burlington, N.J. and the Mission K9 Rescue of Houston, Texas.
The two rescue groups began a search for the dog’s previous handlers. And with Ikar’s case, they were able to get in touch with Vance. When the former handler learned that his partner was looking for a forever home, he jumped at the chance.
Vance loved dogs, and he had already formed a bind with Ikar. He wanted to give the dog a happy and loving home now that he is retired. Vance said that he is going to make sure that Ikar will live his retirement years as a spoiled dog.
Source: USA TODAY via Youtube