On Saturday, two veterans who experienced combat together in Afghanistan were reunited after a three year separation. Julio Muños, of the Bronx, was reunited with his partner, a German Shepherd named Ben. Their reunion was delayed due to pentagon employees, and members of a contractor called K2 Solutions, releasing service dogs to civilians, rather than offering them to their handlers.
Luckily for Ben and Muños, Kim Scarborough was the lucky recipient of Ben after he was released from service. Much like the two soldiers in Afghanistan Scarborough took it upon herself to go above and beyond her call of duty. She found Muños’ name on Ben’s deployment papers and made a point of reaching out to the dog’s previous handler. While Scarborough had grown fond of Ben she understood that the bond formed between the two soldiers while overseas was unique and created a special kind of trust and understanding she could never hope to replicate. She told the New York Post:
“I didn’t go to war with him…It’s Different…If the handler wants Ben, it belongs to him. Period, the end.”
They quickly arranged a meet-up, but anxiety hung in the air. Muños worried that Ben, despite his intelligence, may not remember him while Scarborough worried that Ben would abandon her at first sight of her old owner. Both fears were dispelled and replaced with laughter shortly after commencing their meeting. Ben spent the first few moments of the reunion darting back and forth between Muños and Scarborough, before finally settling down among Muños’ children.
The meeting added clarity and closure to the ordeal for everyone involved. Muños was relieved to see his old partner didn’t forget him. Scarborough finally had answers to questions that had her perplexed from day one.
- Why did the Dog respond to German?
- He had been trained in Germany
- What caused his obsession with tennis balls?
- Muños trained Ben with them and used them as a reward.
- Why was Ben so good with children?
- He was a fighter, but always sweet, always comforting soldiers when they were stressed out overseas.
After seeing Ben interact with her old handler she didn’t have the heart to separate them for a second time. After a few moments of silence Scarborough uttered seven words that would change Ben’s life forever.
“I think he needs to take Ben home”
Would you have what it takes to return your new pet to its previous owner? Sound off in the comment section below!