Talk about a reunion to remember.
U.S. Army Specialist Vance McFarland has been reunited with his beloved 5-year-old Czech Shepard Ikar, with whom he served in Afghanistan in 2012.
"We went to Afghanistan and found roadside bombs, IEDs," McFarland told HumanKind of the sweet pooch, who was trained as a Tactical Explosive Detection Dog. "Having with a dog with you on deployment is almost like having a little bit of home."
The two were separated when McFarland returned home in September 2012 after Ikar was sent to live with another handler. "When we walked off the planes at Fort Brag, I had Ikar long enough to take a picture before they took him away from me and sent him back to…Afghanistan," he recalled.
According to HumanKind, when Ikar returned home, a private contracting company said they had work for him, but he was instead placed in a kennel for 17 months.
With the help of MissionK9 rescue, McFarland and Ikar were reunited over the weekend for the first time in three years. A small crowd even gathered at Boise Airport, many carrying signs to mark the joyous moment.
"I got Facebook stalked to be honest with you. I woke up one morning and I had all kinds of messages on Facebook…that's when I heard that he had been abandoned and saved and that I get the chance to adopt him now," McFarland shared.
Ikar now resides with McFarland, his wife and their two other dogs—and it's safe to say he's living the good life.
"We're going to the lake this weekend so he'll have a blast," McFarland said, adding, "He's going to live the rest of his retired life spoiled, really spoiled."
Press play to watch their heartwarming reunion!