Vidar, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois and experienced bomb-detecting Military Working Dog in Afghanistan, was on post one April day in 2012 when he sniffed out a huge load of Taliban weapons, including guns and some volatile grenades.
Thanks to Vidar’s efforts, the cache was recovered in time and disabled. Without the work of this very special dog, it is likely that enemy forces would’ve used those weapons to kill the troops serving at the Camp Bastion military base.
One of those soldiers, Army Medic Angie McDonnell of South Wales, believes Vidar saved her life that day.
“The dogs out there are heroes,” McDonnell tells Metro News. “I knew from the first moment I saw him that he was one in a million.”
After Vidar had completed his second tour of duty, his time on the battlefield started to catch up with him. The once able Malinois now suffered from vision problems and showed signs of severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). No longer able to perform his duties, Vidar was faced with two possibilities for his future: retirement or, more likely, euthanasia.
But McDonnell never forgot about Vidar. When she learned of Vidar’s health issues, knowing that the dog who saved her life might lose his own, McDonnell says she knew what she had to do.
“When I heard he had been retired after starting to get scared, I knew I had to track him down to help him,” she says.
McDonnell reached out and inquired about adopting Vidar.
“He saved my life so it’s only fair that I did what I could to save his,” she tells the BBC. “I would have done anything to make sure he had a loving home.”
Today, Vidar and McDonnell are loving life together in Barry, South Wales, where McDonnell is still helping people as a paramedic. While she was initially worried that Vidar would have a tough time acclimating to retired life in a home, McDonnell says that luckily hasn’t been the case at all.
“He’s just the perfect dog and I’m so happy I can repay him for saving my life while we served together,” McDonnell tells the Huffington Post.