When Joshua returned home from Afghanistan, the air force veteran suffered from terrible nightmares and other PTSD symptoms. After seven months of struggling, Josh needed a fresh start in California — but it would mean he’d have to leave his two beloved dogs in Louisiana while he got back on his feet. “Just going from a war zone to a civilian life and coming back, you feel totally isolated. You feel totally alone. You feel cut off from everything.” His dogs, however, were his salvation.
The separation was devastating for Joshua, but he knew it was for the best. “Every day I wake up without them snuggled up underneath my blankets is a strange day,” he said. “Every day I don’t have to walk a dog is a wrong day.”
Two months later, Josh was ready to take care of Panda and Momma again, but he needed help transferring them across the country. Enter an animal hero named Mariah, who volunteered to drive Joshua’s pups all the way from Louisiana to California. When Mariah picked the dogs up, it was clear the two months spent away from Dad were just as difficult for them as it was for him. Panda and Momma were barely eating. They were skinny and miserable.
In this video, Mariah arrives at local park in California and waits for Joshua to arrive. She isn’t sure how the meeting will go, and Joshua is worried that his dogs won’t remember him. But just wait until he gets out of his car…
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