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happy endings

After searching for years, veteran is reunited with his bomb-sniffing dog

After four years of searching, a U.S. Army Specialist has been reunited with the partner he spent every day with in Afghanistan: Donna, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois.

Donna is a retired Tactical Explosive Detective Dog (TEDD), and Tyler Roberts was her handler while deployed in Southern Afghanistan in 2011. Together, they uncovered hundreds of pounds of ammonium nitrate, and formed a close bond. Roberts came home in September of that year, he told USA Today, and he "tried to follow her career so that I could adopt her after she retired, but I could never get a straight answer as to her whereabouts."

It turns out Donna and 10 other TEDDs were adopted by an unlicensed private contracting company, then dumped at Mt. Hope Kennels in Richmond, Virginia. The dogs remained there for 15 months, before being turned over to United War Dogs Association and Mission K9 Rescue, a group with the goal of reuniting handlers and soldiers with their dogs. Through those organizations, Roberts was finally able to find Donna, and they were reunited Wednesday night. "I owe her my life," Roberts said, "and I intend to spoil her for the remainder of hers."