When Marine Jared Heine was in Afghanistan, he had one best friend: Spike, the bomb-sniffing dog.
Heine and Spike patrolled together, sniffing out bombs to keep Heine and the rest of his unit safe. Not only that, but the two stuck together like glue even off-duty.
“He did a great job at it,” Heine told CBS Evening News. “He was like my brother, my kid. He slept with me every day like we were inseparable.”
However, after Heine suffered traumatic brain injuries, he and Spike were separated. Heine was sent home to Louisiana.
Meanwhile, Spike became a member of the Capitol Police Patrol’s K-9 unit. He seems to have a knack for love, because his new handler, Officer Laura Taylor, fell for the pup immediately.
“It was pretty much love at first sight,” Taylor said to CBS.
However back in Louisiana, Heine was undergoing a struggle with PTSD. His mother Mary couldn’t stand by and watch her son suffer. She knew her son still constantly talked about Spike, so she went online and found the Military Working Dogs Facebook.
Through her efforts, Jared, Spike and Officer Taylor all met Wednesday at Capitol Hill, where Spike and Jared saw each other for the first time in three years.
As soon as she met Jared, Taylor knew she had a difficult decision to make. After seeing him and Spike together, she made a tough call: She gave the dog to Heine to take back with him to Louisiana.
“He is more important to me than anybody can know, but we have to do what is right for the whole situation,” said Taylor. “In my heart, I know it’s the right thing to do.”
Although Taylor will soon get a new dog to take on duty with her, she won’t ever forget Spike. As she entrusted Spike over to Heine, she asked for him to take good care of him because, “He means everything to me.”
“I promise I will,” Heine replied.
Watch the story of all three heroes, Heine and Spike’s reunion, and Taylor’s heartbreaking parting with Spike below!
What would you do in her shoes? Join the discussion by pressing the “Share” button.