Sgt. Jason Bos and his bomb-sniffing dog served in the Army together for years, first training together at a military kennel and then heading overseas for several deployments. The Lab’s official military title was MWD Cila M389, but Bos called her Cici. They’d share hotels together when on duty, checking presidential-visit sites for explosives.

“They tell you not to get too attached, that they’re not a pet, they’re a tool to help keep people safe,” Bos told the Chicago Tribune. “But it’s hard.”

In 2012, a back injury forced Bos to leave the Army. Cila, then 5 years old, still had a few years left. 

In late March, Bos, who is currently taking business classes back home in Michigan, saw on Facebook that Cila was leaving active duty. Even better: He had the opportunity to adopt her. 

“I was a little emotional about it because I didn’t know if I was ever going to see her again,” said Bos, 33. So when I got the news she was going to retire out, [and] if I wanted her … of course I wanted her.” 

“I said, ‘Yes. What do I have to do?’”

The Tribune’s video shows Bos looking a little anxious at O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday. He admitted earlier that he was worried Cila, finally on the ground after a nine-hour flight, wouldn’t recognize his voice. But he had no reason to be.

H/T Chicago Tribune