Retired Army Staff Sergeant John Logie met his best friend, Balto, when he became a contractor for the American Special Forces in Afghanistan. His job, along with his trusty partner, was to sweep the roads and any other areas for explosives.
Balto, a German Shepherd, was not the first K9 assigned to the sergeant, but he was the last. Their partnership proved to be very effective and they were always called upon to secure an area for their unit. Through all those missions, the two forged an unbreakable bond.
And one fateful day, John and his dog had their last mission together.
John and Balto were out on a field doing their job when the dog suddenly became rigid and stuck his nose up in the air. He started sniffing then bolted to the side. They usually walk a path so that they can efficiently clear the area.
John followed his dog and in his hurry, did not notice a well-hidden secondary explosive device. He stepped on it and suddenly a loud boom filled the air.
The sergeant’s eardrum was shattered and shrapnel pierced his leg. John started screaming as smoke covered him. Members of his unit called for a medic and soon a helicopter arrived to take him to the infirmary.
He later discovered that if he continued on his path, he would’ve stepped on a primary explosive device. It would have been more deadly and his injuries would have been fatal.
He credits Balto for veering him from the path.
Because of his injuries, John had to go home. But his dog stayed to continue his service. He was sad to leave his dog behind, but he had no choice.
Four years after he left Afghanistan, John learned that his former partner was going to retire. He was happy because he knew that he was going to adopt the dog and they would be reunited again. Once Balto was back, they quickly made up for the time lost between them.
John took him on many adventures. They went to parks, went camping, climbed mountains, and did everything that they could possibly do.
For four years, the two spent every waking minute together. But as the dog grew older, he was becoming less active. Then one day, he just stopped moving. John took him to a vet and they told him that there was nothing they could do. The dog was paralyzed and it was irreversible. Their advice was to put him to sleep.
Although it was the last thing he ever wanted, he agreed. he didn’t want to prolong his dog’s suffering. Surrounded by family and friends, John tearfully said goodbye to the dog that once saved his life.
Source: FOX 13 News Utah via Youtube