After spending much of his life sniffing out bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, Freddy the military dog has retired and will stay with one of his former handlers in Norfolk, Virginia.
The German Shepherd last saw his handler, Petty Officer 1st Class Chad Perez, more than a year ago when both were stationed on a U.S. military base in Naples, Italy. When Perez was reassigned to Norfolk, Freddy was left behind on the base, according to the Virginian Pilot.
With the help of the American Humane Association, Freddy was able to make the trip back to the United States to Perez. Perez has agreed to care for the 10-year-old war dog, who has several injuries due to his combat service with the military.
“I just look at him as truly a best friend. That dog works for you and you work for that dog,” Perez told 13 News Now.
Because Freddy has extensive medical issues, the American Humane Association will provide Freddy with lifetime veterinary care. Those issues include hip injuries and a problem with his pancreas.
“American Humane Association is proud to provide Freddy with lifetime veterinary care to ensure he receives the extensive medical care he needs and the comfort he deserves,” Jason Haag, the American Humane Association’s National Director of Military Affairs, told the Virginian Pilot.
“They are their best friends — a lifeline,” Haag said of Freddy and Perez. “They are just like a brother in arms, so to be able to bring them home and reunite with them is something that you can’t put a price on,” he said.
“I’m pretty excited that he’s gonna be able to sleep on the couch from now on,” Perez told 13 News Now.