Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach, while serving in Afghanistan, made a promise to Casey, the explosive-detecting yellow Lab who worked alongside him.
“I promised her if we made it out of alive, I’d do whatever it took to find her,” Gundlach said.
Gundlach, after completing his military service and enrolling at the University of Wisconsin, managed to find out that Casey had finished her military service and been sent to work for the state of the Iowa, detecting explosives.
Knowing it was probably just the first round of a long bureaucratic battle, Gundlach wrote to State Fire Marshal Director Ray Reynolds, explaining the connection he felt with the four-year-old dog who’d been both lifesaver and companion. Gundlach wears a tattoo on his right forearm depicting Casey with angel wings and a halo.
But, as reported by the Associated Press, things happened quickly.
“He’s been putting a case together for the last two months, sending me pictures,” Reynolds said. “ … It just tugged on your heart.”
Reynolds got in touch with the Iowa Elk’s Association, and it agreed to donate $8,500 to buy another dog for the fire marshal’s office.
Then, he got in touch with Gundlach, telling him that he needed to come to the state Capitol in Des Moines on Friday to plead his case before a “bureaucratic oversight committee.”
Gundlach, 25, showed up with his parents.
Reynolds told Gundlach the meeting had been delayed, but invited he and his parents to attend an Armed Services Day celebration in the rotunda.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers, military personnel and civilians were already there, and knew — unlike Gundlach — what was about to happen.
That’s when Casey appeared.
A ceremony was held in which Gov. Terry Branstad officially retired Casey from active duty, thanking her for “a job well done.”
Casey was given to Gundlach, who put his head in his hands and cried.
“It was a total surprise,” he said. “I owe her. I’ll just try to give her the best life I can.” During the 150 missions they performed together, Gundlach said Casey never missed an explosive. He credits her for making it back home safely. “I wouldn’t be here … any kids I ever had wouldn’t exist if Casey hadn’t been here,” he said.
His father, Glen Gundlach, seemed just as surprised.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “The state of Iowa, I love ‘em.”
(Photos: Charlie Neibergall / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, armed services day, bureaucracy, capitol, casey, des moines, detecting, dog, dogs, explosives, fire, government, iowa, marine, marshal, military, pets, ray reynolds, reunion, reunited, ross gundlach, state
But the odd part of this story came at the nine-day mark, when Lacy’s owner, Jamie Brill, who’d been searching for days with her boyfriend, spotted her dog in a field, through a pair of binoculars.
Lacy was standing next to two adult whitetail does and two fawns.
“Mark handed me the binoculars and said, ‘Do you believe this?’ I looked, and Lacy was licking the head of one of the fawns,” Brill told Lansing State Journal columnist John Schneider.
When Brill tried calling Lacy from afar, she didn’t budge, remaining instead with the deer.
Brill, stationed with the U.S. Navy in Grand Rapids, rolled her Mini Cooper on Interstate 96 on Aug. 11. Her two dogs – Lacy and Koko – were in the car. Brill was taken to the hospital. Koko was taken to a veterinarian, and Lacy ran off.
Two days after Lacy was spotted hobnobbing with the deer, Schneider, the newspaper columnist, got a call from a man who had spotted Lacy — whose disappearance by then had become a big story.
Schneider called Brill in Grand Rapids, and she called a Lansing veterinarian who had been involved in the search and agreed to check out the sighting.
Veterinarian Leslie Ortlieb drove to the vacant house and on its porch saw Lacy, who was described as being a skittish sort even before the accident.
But Ortlieb apparently said the right words: “Do you want to go see Koko?”
The Great Dane walked up to her and got into her car.
Lacy was emaciated and had a small cut on her leg, but otherwise appeared in good health.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, columnist, deer, dogs, found, great dane, jamie brill, john schneider, lacy, lansing state journal, lost, michigan, pets, returned, reunited, search
The dog, who turns 3 on Tuesday, was inside Lorimer’s SUV when it was stolen at a gas station April 10, according to the East Valley Tribune.
After searching for the dog for a week, Lorimer received a call Monday from a construction worker who found Max in Mesa on his way to work.
The worker, Rolando Artalejo, took the dog home to his wife and daughter who had seen earlier reports about the missing dog and were able to get in touch with Lorimer.
“As soon as they called, I was there in about two minutes,” Lorimer said. “I didn’t know who was happier – him seeing me or me seeing him. He jumped up on me and knocked my glasses off. That little booger was so tickled to see me, he couldn’t stop licking me.”
Lorimer, 72, a U.S. Navy Veteran and retired plumber who has congestive heart failure, believes Max was trying to make his way back home when he was found, just a few blocks from where he lives.
Lorimer, a week earlier, had left his car running outside a gas station and stepped inside for coffee. When he came back out, his car and dog were gone.
When Lorimer recovered the vehicle later that day, Max was not inside. One of the car thieves called him and told him where he could find his car, which had run out of gas, but they said they had let the dog out of the car at an apartment complex.
“I told them I didn’t give a damn about my car. I just wanted my dog back,” Lorimer said. “I can replace my car, but not my dog. I was devastated.”
Once back home, Max went to his favorite resting spot, under the coffee table.
“I’ve had him since he was three and a half months old,” Lorimer said. “I didn’t think I was going to find him. He means more to me than my own life.”
(Photo by Tim Hacker / East Valley Tribune)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, bill lorimer, car, dog, dogs, found, lost, max, mesa, miniature, missing, pets, phoenix, recovered, reunited, rolando artalejo, schnauzer, stolen, suv, veteran
That dog we showed you Saturday — the one who was rescued from atop the rubble of a home after being swept more than a mile out to sea by the tsunami in Japan?
Today she was reunited with her owner.
The reunion took place at an animal shelter in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, where the dog, named Ban, was returned to an overjoyed owner, three weeks after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan.
Ban, a two-year-old mixed breed, was plucked off the wreckage of a house drifting in the sea Friday by a Japanese helicopter rescue crew. You can see that video here. Apparently, she spent more than three weeks adrift.
Thousands of people and countless pets are still missing three weeks after the disaster, which left more than 12,000 people dead.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ban, coast guard, disaster, drifting, earthquake, helicopter, japan, japanese, mixed breed, miyagi prefecture, owner, rescue, rescued, reunion, reunited, sea, swept away, tsunami, video
Terisa Acevedo initially thought that Lola had somehow escaped the blaze and was wandering her neighborhood in Hyde Park. She posted fliers and walked the neighborhood, but, as weeks passed, her hope dwindled.
On Monday, nearly 30 days after the fire, Acevedo, a 24-year-old EMT and Northeastern University student, returned to the house and heard a scratching noise at the front door.
She yelled out her pet’s name and, as neighbors joined in, ripped off the plywood that had been placed over the home’s entrance.
“It was a miracle,” Acevedo told the Boston Globe, hugging her dog at the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, where Lola is being treated.
(Photo: By Brian Adams / MSPCA-Angell)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angell memorial hospital, animal, boston, dachschund, dog, dogs, fire, found, house, hyde park, lola, long haired, pets, reunion, reunited, survived, survives, survivor, terisa acevedo