Marine, retired military dog reunited at Hobby Airport


by staff

Posted on June 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Updated Sunday, Jun 22 at 12:07 PM

HOUSTON – There was an emotional reunion Saturday at Hobby Airport that was long overdue between a veteran and a certain golden haired beauty.

Cpl. Joaquin Aranda was pacing at the baggage claim as he was waiting to be reunited with love Donna, who he credits with keeping him and his fellow Marines safe in Afghanistan during a seven-month deployment.

VIDEO: Watch their reunion here.

Aranda’s whole family, even extended family, was holding signs and flags ready to meet her.

“They were real excited to meet her, she was a big part of my life,” the Marine said.

Donna, a yellow Labrador, was a military dog who specialized in detecting explosives. She trained with Aranda in North Carolina, before partnering up with him overseas.

“We sent her out and she found a specific exact location so that way they didn’t have to go out there and risk their own legs, so that really helped them out, I know they appreciated it,” he said.

The Aranda and Donna were inseparable during their deployment.

“She would sleep on the floor right next to me…stay with me,” he said.

But while Aranda is still on active-duty, Donna is retiring from military service and will now be his permanent roommate.

Thanks to the American Humane Association and Mission K-9 Rescue, Aranda was able to adopt her.

“I just hoping she loves the ponds… woods… just let her have…A lazy life now that’s she’s out…lots of love,” he said.

And while it took a few minutes, Donna soon fell into line right by Aranda’s side once again.