They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but sometimes you just have to see it to believe it.
When Army Lt. Charles Smith was called into active duty and deployed three months ago, he first worried about what would happen to his dog, Peanut. But lucky for the both of them, the Arizona Humane Society paired with PetSmart and launched Project Active Duty earlier this year, lending them a helping hand during this tough time.
Project Active Duty finds foster homes and care for the pets of military members while they are serving overseas, and they took in Peanut for Smith for the past three months. The duo was reunited for the first time last weekend, reported Arizona's 3TV. And the endless belly rubs prove just how happy the two of them were to have this program help them through their time apart.
While every military homecoming story has a knack for warming our hearts, there's something particularly moving about those between a serviceman and his furry canine companion.
Earlier this year, Army Sgt. Jason Bos, an Iraq veteran, was reunited with Cila, his military working dog that sniffed for bombs and other hidden weapons by his side for five years. After Bos was forced to return home due to a back injury, he thought he would never see his co-worker and friend again. But in May -- two years later -- they met again at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, where the crowd could sense the unconditional love between them.
While they may be brought together out of duty, military members and service dogs experience a bond that goes much deeper than that. U.S. Marine Corps veteran Lance Cpl. Jeffrey DeYoung, for example, credits his IED-sniffing partner Cena as the reason he was able to return home safely and have his two daughters. After spending years apart, Cena retired due to a hip injury and DeYoung was able to adopt him in June as a part of his family.