BOISE — Tuesday marked a special homecoming and reunion in Boise for two members of the United States military.
As a part of the reunion, two close friends became family.
Almost a year after saying goodbye to his military working dog, Air Force Technical Sergeant Dustin Cain is now finally back together with his old pal, an eight-year-old German shepherd named Bakk.
"I thought I was going to be able to sneak him home in a week or two, but obviously that's not the process, this whole year I've been anxious and waiting for his return," Cain said.
Cain and Bakk were paired together while serving in South Korea. There, the duo formed a special relationship full of memories, some as simple as a night on patrol.
"It's raining it's kind of miserable for me, but here's Bakk sitting out in the dark," Cain said. "I got a really cool picture, it's black and white, and he is just staring off listening and waiting for anything that might come my way."
In January, Cain thought he was saying goodbye to Bakk for the final time, but right when Cain was leaving South Korea, Bakk suffered an injury in training.
"At that point, they reached out to the Air Force Base where they would conduct surgeries and they said the dog is 7 almost 8 years old, he already has a previous injury, he's not a candidate for surgery, he is a candidate for adoption," Cain said.
After a year of hard work, American Humane and Cain were able to arrange the adoption of the newly retired dog.
From there, Bakk was cleared to travel all the way from South Korea to his new home in Boise. Cain says he couldn't be happier to introduce his wife and kids to their new family member.
"They've actually never met Bakk, they have only seen him through video screens, done some video calls while we were over there, sent pictures," Cain said. "And my wife, she automatically said let's bring him home before he was even adoptable, so this is a big moment."
After a career serving the United States, Bakk will now get to explore Idaho and once again play with his old friend.
"He has kind of been stuck doing the same thing, seeing the same scenery, so I'm hoping to get him out to do some mountain hikes," Cain said. "It just dumped a whole bunch of snow, but he likes the snow, we will get out and do stuff like that."