CHICAGO (WBBM) — An Iraq veteran and his retired bomb-sniffing military dog have been reunited after a two-year separation.
It was like they never parted. Within minutes of the time Cila first sniffed at former Army Sgt. Jason Bos, the 60-pound chocolate lab jumped in his arms, licked him and stood between his legs – a sign that the dog considers Bos her protector.
Cila and Bos were partners for four years and worked more than 100 missions together. Because military dogs and their handlers work with many military units, Bos said he bonded only with Cila while stationed overseas. She would sniff for IEDs and other explosives, both to clear the way for military units and in advance of VIP visits.
A bad back forced his retirement in 2012 and Cila went on to a new handler, but Bos stayed in touch with him. When Cila was retired, the new handler contacted him, and he indicated that he wanted to adopt his old sidekick. The military dog training center at Lackland Air Force Base quickly approved the reunion. But Bos is now a "poor college student," and had to find a way to bring Cila home from Germany. The military won't pay such costs, because retired military dogs are considered surplus equipment, but the group Mission K9 Rescue did with a $1,500 grant from the American Humane Association.
In the military, Cila had to stay each night in a concrete kennel; handlers were not allowed to take their dogs home. Now, Bos says, Cila can go to a newly-built dog house if she wants, but he wants her under the same roof as "a couch potato."
"She's the star," Bos said. "It's her time."