Nothing is more heartwarming than seeing a devoted pet reunited with his human. Our pets love us and miss us when we’re gone, and when they see us again, their absolute joy is all the proof we need of that.
Those in the military are often separated from their families — including their pets — for months or even years at a time. These families often endure their separation with stoicism. But when they’re reunited? It’s special.
Take a look at these videos, and I’ll bet you’ll agree.
1. JD, Jersey and Alisa
Alisa Sieber-Johnson, president and co-founder of Dogs on Deployment, is an aviator in the Marine Corps. She was deployed and separated from her husband, Shawn, and their dogs, JD and Jersey, for a long time. Take a look at the joy on all 4 faces in this reunion video. Talk about the feels!
2. Emma and Jess
This video, aired by The Queen Latifah Show, features soldier Jess Jempson and her dog, Emma.
Jempson was deployed to Afghanistan for more than a year. Shortly before she left, she discovered Dogs on Deployment. With their help, she found a foster mom for Emma. The foster was committed to helping Jempson maintain contact with Emma while she was overseas, even setting up a Facebook page that Jempson could check regularly for photos and videos.
If this video doesn’t bring on the tears…well, don’t worry. I cried for you.
3. Simba and Paul
In this reunion, it’s hard to tell who is more excited: Simba, the dog, or Sgt. Paul DiPaolo, the dad! DiPaolo had been deployed overseas in Afghanistan for 7 months, and Simba was waiting by the door every day until his dad came home.
When wife April DiPaolo returned home after picking up her husband, she sneaked in through the back to catch this adorable homecoming video.
4. Ranger and His Military Dad
German Shepherd Ranger was playing with his favorite toy, “green monster,” one afternoon when he received the surprise of his life. Although one man threw the toy for Ranger to fetch, when Ranger returned, he was stunned to find his military dad waiting for him.
Ranger is so happy to see his human that he can’t stop talking — and I can’t stop crying. What a great surprise.
5. Tucker, Abby and Their Soldier Dad
This video reunites a returning solider with his beautiful miniature schnauzers, Tucker and Abby. The soldier and his wife planned to have the schnauzers first smell their dad’s scent on his duffel bag, and then the returning hero would come through the front door. But according to the video’s uploader, Tucker got too excited and found dad first!
Their reactions are utterly priceless.
6. Ikar and Vance
Pets aren’t always the ones we leave behind. In many cases, soldiers and dogs bond overseas while working together under harsh conditions. The unfortunate part comes when there is a severing of that bond because of injury or reassignment.
In this video, we see exactly that: Army Spc. Vance McFarland and his tactical explosive detection dog, Ikar, worked together in Afghanistan for about 8 months finding roadside bombs. But “when we walked off the plane at Fort Bragg, I had Ikar long enough for them to take a picture before they took him away from me and sent him back to go back through the TED program and then back to Afghanistan,” Vance says in the video.
Happily, with the help of Mission K-9 Rescue, Ikar and Vance were reunited 3 years after that parting on the tarmac.
Many military members face the real dilemma of how to safely home their pets while they’re away. Not all of us citizens can be soldiers, but we can help support them by giving their pets a loving home while they’re deployed.
If helping a military member in this way is something you’re interested in, check out organizations like Dogs on Deployment. You’ll be giving back to people who are ready to give their all.