A miracle happened two weeks ago at Flagler Humane Society. A Flagler Beach veteran that returned home from Afghanistan was reunited with his dog Bones that he had not seen for over a year.20141129_141258 (1)

It was a normal, quiet Saturday afternoon here at the shelter. A man was at the front desk asking to see Bones. “When I brought her out it was like something from a movie,” said Katie Share, Flagler Animals Services officer. “It was like everything was in slow motion as she went to jump on him.”

Bones’ story started out as one of heartbreak. John Russo was being deployed to Afghanistan and had to leave her behind with his girlfriend. He received Bones as a Christmas present in 2008. Russo and his girlfriend split up while he was away and unfortunately Bones was the one that suffered the most.

The girlfriend first took Bones to a local veterinarian to have her euthanized. The doctor would not perform the procedure because she was healthy and well behaved. She was then surrendered to Flagler Humane Society.

When she first arrived she was very depressed and had a large cyst on her face that needed to be removed. We were lucky enough to have a doctor agree to take care of it and she had an e-collar or cone on for several weeks after so she wouldn’t touch her stitches. She spent her time her in one of the administration offices and not a kennel so she could be monitored during her recovery.

“Bones was one of the most well behaved dogs we ever had at the shelter,” said MaryAnn Michaels, Animal Services dispatcher. “We never heard her bark, she was completely housebroken, would sit and shake on command and could even catch a Frisbee. We could all tell she had been loved and well cared.”

Russo had been back for about a year and had decided it was time for a new dog. “I had a feeling that day and I went on the website and there she was,” Russo said about Bones. He immediately came to Flagler Humane Society and said he wasn’t leaving with her.

“It was very heartwarming. When they brought her out to see him he just knelt to the floor and we were all tearing up,” said Katrina Geigley of FHS. “We’ve never seen this dog be so ecstatic to see someone. She ran and gave him this huge bear hug and was whining and jumping all around. If my job has ever been worth it, it was in that moment.”

Bones is now home with her owner and both are very happy. “It’s been insane, Russo said. “I come home every day from work and she somehow manages to get in my laundry basket and steal my shirts and every time I come home it’s like the first time she saw me again.”