It’s a classic case of a rescue dog rescuing his rescuer.
But Sgt. Erin Guthrie wasn’t sure if she would see her dog Meeka again after she came home from serving 8 months on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo with the Oregon Army National Guard.
But thanks to Paws of War, a Long Island, NY based nonprofit, they are together again.
Guthrie met Meeka when he was a stray dog.
Meeka, is short for Mikeshia.
It means friendship or brotherhood in Albanian, which is one of the main reasons why Guthrie says she joined the Army. It’s also what she found with Meeka.
She had her eye on Meeka for months when she was deployed and kept seeing the pup on the streets.
“I was nervous because it was a stray dog approaching me, but I could just tell by the way that he was coming toward me, his mannerisms, he just, he wanted a friend and he didn’t have a pack, he didn’t have anyone he was with,” Guthrie explains.
“I was honored that he would come up to me and I just felt an instant connection with him.”
The two of them became very good friends, bringing much joy to each other.
“Having him nearby brought brightness to a pretty hard situation,” said Guthrie
But Guthrie was eventually sent home and had to leave Meeka behind.
She tried, but Meeka couldn’t be replaced.
“I actually started looking for a dog when I was in quarantine on my way home, and I looked for a few days and I was like, ‘I just want that dog,’” said Guthrie.
Paws of War, which reunites soldiers with dogs they bonded with when they were deployed overseas, ended up raising about $6,00o to reunite Meek back with Guthrie in the U.S.
“There’s a lot of obstacles, there’s a lot of paperwork, there’s quarantine process that goes into this, but we feel it’s all worth it and, with all the bad going on in the world, this is something we can give back to do a little good,” said Paws of War co-founder Robert Misseri.
The organization has reunited more than 100 animals with their soldiers since 2013.
Paws for War also trains, rescues, and places shelter dogs to serve veterans and first responders that suffer from the traumatic effects of war, such as PTSD and injuries. These dogs provide their owners with crucial support services that bring them independence as well as companionship.
A video of Guthrie and Meeka’s reunion proves that her fears were unfounded.
Meeka’s tail starts to wag fast and spin around once he sees Guthrie.
“Hi, it’s a lot isn’t it,” Guthrie says to Meeka. “Hi.”
You know how they say dogs are like their owners?
Well, Meeka and Guthrie basically had the same exact reaction to seeing each other.
They were both clearly excited and emotional but their calm, collected, and disciplined demeanor didn’t turn the reunion into an all-out tear fest.
But you might have one when you watch this video.
“I’m just one sergeant and he’s just one stray dog and so many people have devoted their time, come together, devoted their lives [to making this happen],” Guthrie told Newsday. “I’m filled with gratitude.”
Watch this touching reunion in the video below.
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— Jenna DeAngelis (@jennamdeangelis) October 7, 2020