Military service dog, handler reunited after 3 years apart

A military service dog and her handler have been reunited three years after forming a bond while serving in Afghanistan.

Patrick Sullivan, 29, told ABC News 4 he first met Callie, a trained Improvised Explosive Detection service dog, during a nine-month deployment in 2012.

The bond between the two grew as they worked to detect explosives during their mission in Afghanistan. When Sullivan's deployment ended, he said he never forgot about his canine companion.

“Saying goodbye to her the first time when I didn’t think I’d ever see her again was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” told ABC News 4.

Three years later, one of his friends came across a picture of Callie on the Mission K9 Rescue Facebook page, which said she was one of 12 so-called "war dogs" abandoned by a government contractor.

“My buddy messaged me on Facebook and says hey I think I’ve found your dog,” he said. “I’m at Bagram Airfield and I’m calling my parents and I’m like, hey, listen, I found Callie, I don’t care what you have to do, just make sure you go get her.”

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Sullivan told ABC News 4 his parents fostered Callie until he finished active duty.

“She saved my life and she helped save the lives of other soldiers,” he told the television station. “So, the ability to provide her a home and comfortability after she was finished working was the best thing I could do for her.”

Read more from ABC News 4.