It was a sad parting when Sgt. Jason Bos left Fort Lee in Virginia nearly two years ago and had to say goodbye to MWD Cila M389, the bomb-sniffing chocolate Lab he called Cici.
Over nearly five years, Bos and Cila — MWD stands for Military Working Dog, and M389 is the identification number tattooed in her ear — had forged a bond as they searched for roadside bombs and hidden weapons caches in Iraq, and screened sites for presidential visits across the U.S. Their partnership ended when a back injury forced Bos to leave the Army in 2012.
Cila was just 5 years old, and still had time to serve as a military dog. While Bos headed home to Michigan, Cila remained on active duty.
Bos, 33, did not know if he’d ever reunite with Cila. But a month ago, he saw on Facebook that Cila was due to be retired. He was thrilled when the kennel master at his former base contacted him to see if he wanted to adopt her.
“I said ‘Yes. What do I have to do?’” Bos said.
After filling out the paperwork, Bos contacted American Humane Association and Mission K9 Rescue for help with the expense of bringing Cila from Germany
On Wednesday, after a nine hour flight, Cila stepped out of a travel carrier at O’Hare International Airport, where a somewhat nervous Bos was waiting.
“I hope she remembers my voice,” he said day earlier from his home near Grand Rapids.
Did she ever. See it for yourself below. Kleenex optional.