Army specialist John Nyerghes once trusted his K-9 partner, Ranger, with his life. While the two were deployed in Afghanistan in 2011, Ranger would scan for explosives so that other soldiers could pass through, sometimes coming dangerously close to gunfire.
Now, Nyerghes has a different type of assignment for Ranger: “He deserves to be a dog for awhile,” he says.
Nyerghes and Ranger were reunited in Cleveland this week, WPXI reports (scroll down for video), after two years of separation. And they weren't easy years for Ranger, either. He was one of the 12 military dogs that were abandoned at Mt. Hope Kennels in Virginia after the Department of Defense sold them to a contractor. The kennel owner, Greg Meredith, rehabilitated the dogs, including Ranger, who had to have surgery to remove a piece of shrapnel from his tail.
Since the contractors were unable to get new assignments for the dogs, a nonprofit, Mission K9 Rescue and the U.S. War Dog Association, stepped in. (Read that whole story here.) Together, they found the handlers of the dogs and have been reuniting them one by one.
Nyerghes was devastated when he was separated from Ranger. “You're best friends with somebody and then he just gets taken away,” he told WPXI.
But now Ranger will be retiring in style.
“He was a teammate. He saved a lot of guys... I just wanted to give him back a good home.”
See the moment the pair are reunited here: