The bond that forms between military working dogs and their handlers is often deep and lasting.
Yet, handlers and military working dogs frequently end their tours at different times, and it can be tough to find each other upon the pup’s retirement.
One woman, Molli Oliver, is helping veterans reunite with their service dogs by transporting them on her own dime. Oliver is a United Airlines flight attendant, and is passionate about supporting veterans and their dogs. Most recently, she worked with a pup named Taylor, who is also known as “Tay Tay” or “Princess Tay.”
Taylor served two tours in Afghanistan, and helped to alert her handler and other soldiers to the presence of explosives. Now, Oliver is helping reunite Taylor with her handler.
Taylor’s handler, Thomas Hansen, says that while in Afghanistan, Taylor alerted him to an improvised explosive device about an inch from his foot. Not only did she save his life, but according to NBC, she was “so effective at saving American lives that the Taliban had a bounty on her head.”
This video from NBC Nightly News shows the incredible reunion between Taylor and Hansen in Boise, Idaho.
Hansen told the Idaho Statesman,
“I’m just going to give her the best retirement I can, spoil her, and just do what I can to make the rest of her life happy and enjoyable. I want to take her everywhere I can with me.”
If you’re interested in supporting Oliver’s mission, she is close to finalizing 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for the work that she’s doing to reunite military working dogs and their handlers, and is accepting donations through her YouCaring site. Her organization will be called Molli’s United Military Service Dogs, or MUMS Dogs.
Header image: Thomas Hansen via Facebook