Military Working Dog loses vision, finds new home

German Shepherd Asur is a distinguished United States veteran, a former Military Working Dog (MWD) who spent the better part of his life as a bomb-detection canine with the U.S. Marines. After serving his last year of duty in Afghanistan, it was time for Asur to return to the U.S.

Bonnie-Jill Laflin, founder and CEO of Hounds and Heroes, immediately wanted to adopt Asur.

But for Asur, retirement brought with it completely new challenges. Asur, a rough and tumble experienced MWD who’d seen his share of action overseas, now could not see anything at all. Veterinarians believe Asur’s eyes were damaged as a result of the chemicals the former MWD sniffed when detecting bombs, leaving the newly retired canine completely blind.

For Bonnie-Jill Laflin, finding a home for Asur was an undertaking very close to her heart. An advocate for U.S. military personnel and animal rights, sports broadcaster, and NBA scout, Bonnie-Jill is also the founder and CEO of national nonprofit organization Hounds and Heroes, a group dedicated to supporting troops and promoting pet adoptions. So when she heard Asur’s story, Bonnie-Jill knew instantly she wanted to adopt him.

According to the Laflins, Asur doesn’t let his disability get in his way. When he first arrived, the Laflin family says Asur had to re-learn how to do even the most basic tasks, everything from how to go on a walk or how to interact with other people and dogs.

But what a difference time has made for Asur — though he is blind, Asur can now navigate his home, play with toys, and even loves to greet visitors. While it takes the typical dog as much as 90 days to adjust to life in their new home, Asur has done so well that the retired MWD has settled in at the Laflins’ ranch in only four short weeks.

“It’s amazing how well he does,” Bonnie-Jill says. “They say that dogs transition better to being blind than a human does.”

Bonnie-Jill admits Asur has had quite a bit of adjusting to do in order to learn the ropes of his new civilian life as a regular pet dog. But Asur is actually starting to enjoy the more relaxing aspects of retirement, she says.

“You go from a military environment, in kennels and Humvees, he’s all over the place and now he’s turned into somewhat of a couch potato,” Bonnie-Jill jokes.

Bunnie and Ross Laflin, part of Asur’s new family, say they were absolutely thrilled to bring the decorated war hero into their home.

“I think he’s just something we needed to have in our lives,” the Laflins tell KOLO 8 News Now of Asur, “he just added to it.”

“He’s just sweet,” the Laflins add, “I think he’s taught us more patience and knowing what he’s been through makes us feel like we’re so lucky to have him.”

Source: KOLO 8 News Now