The heartbreaking photo of a military service member hugging and saying his final goodbye to his canine companion has gone mega viral, giving evidence of the bond between a man and his dog, who both proudly served our country.
It was the hardest thing Air Force Staff Sgt. Kyle Smith had ever done in his life.
The Air Force paired bomb-sniffing dog Bodza with Staff Sgt. Kyle Smith, and the two served together for four deployments, providing security for visiting officials, according to WSOC Channel 9 News.
When Boodza was retired in 2014 Smith was allowed to take him home as a pet.
But during the last few months Boodza became ill and was suffering in pain. The only thing available to relieve his suffering was to put him down, but not before he was given a final meal — at McDonalds.
“He got a Big Mac. By the way, he didn’t leave a crumb,” Smith told WSOC via Skype.
Afterwards Smith stayed by Booza’s side as he was euthanized.
Clip via WSOC
“I hugged him and told him that I loved him a lot, ‘I’m gonna miss you,’” Smith said.
A fellow canine trainer could see what Smith was going through, so he draped an American flag over Booza’s body, and Smith gave his friend one last embrace.
“He was as much a part of the Air Force as me,” Smith said. “I couldn’t have done the mission I did without him there.”
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