Freddie, Dog that Served Four Tours, Laid to Rest

Ryan Anderson spent 365 days in Afghanistan with a Golden Retriever named Freddie by his side. The two shared a tight bond that continued for years after when Anderson adopted Freddie. At almost 14 years old it was finally time for Anderson to say goodbye to his friend on Wednesday afternoon.

Freddie served three tours of duty under the British army before serving his fourth tour with Anderson and the United States in Afghanistan in 2009. At the time Freddie was nine years old, considerably older than most of the other four-legged soldiers.

“He had a drive that would surpass the four and five year old dogs. He wouldn’t quit,” said Anderson.

Freddie protected hundreds of soldiers as a bomb-sniffing dog. His connection with Anderson was special though.

“Many times in Afghanistan, it was just me and him, sleeping on a cot. Him keeping me warm. We slept in the same sleeping bag a lot of times. He always had my back. He’s my best friend,” said Anderson.

Eventually arthritis forced Freddie to retire, and Anderson followed, adopting Freddie in 2010.

“I knew I was gonna take him home, no matter what I had to do,” said Anderson.

On Wednesday it was finally time for Anderson to say goodbye, though it wasn’t an easy decision for him.

“It’s a day I’ve known that has always been coming for a while. He’s been getting worse and worse. We went to the vet last week and I couldn’t do it. But I’m going back to the vet today. He’s in a lot of pain. I’m going to have him cremated, and get him a veteran’s urn,” said Anderson.

It was a difficult goodbye for Anderson and his family.

“He’ll never be replaced, I know that,” said Anderson.


  1. Anonymous says on  05/30/2013 at 9:46 am

    I’m so sorry you had to say goodbye. What an angel you will always have.

  2. Anonymous says on  05/30/2013 at 10:10 am

    I am so sorry. He knows you love him and he will now watch over you from above just like he watched over you and kept you safe by your side. A bond like that is not broken by death.

  3. Anonymous says on  05/30/2013 at 10:11 am

    So this is where we part, My Friend,
    and you’ll run on, around the bend,
    gone from sight, but not from mind,
    new pleasures there you’ll surely find.

    I will go on, I’ll find the strength,
    life measures quality, not its length.
    One long embrace before you leave,
    share one last look, before I grieve.

    There are others, that much is true,
    but they be they, and they aren’t you.
    And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
    will remember well all you’ve taught.

    Your place I’ll hold, you will be missed,
    the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.
    And as you journey to your final rest,
    take with you this…I loved you best.

  4. Anonymous says on  05/30/2013 at 10:12 am

    That poem was written by Jim Willis. Forgot to add when posted.

  5. My deepest sympathies and condolences. These are the stories and life moments that should be newsworthy tales for everyone to know. A phenomenal dog and wonderful owner.

  6. Anonymous says on  05/30/2013 at 10:53 am

    What heroes you are! He will always be with you in spirit, I’m a retriever owner you can never replace friends like them xx

  7. Lucy says on  05/30/2013 at 11:18 am

    Thank you both for your service in protecting USA. I am beside you grieving for your lost. My deepest sympathies and condolences. The pain will get easier but he will never be forgotten.

  8. jan says on  05/30/2013 at 3:35 pm

    so so sad what a relationship, how lucky were they xx

  9. Anonymous says on  05/30/2013 at 8:00 pm

    You and Freddie are both my heroes and thank you for your service.
    Saying goodbye is so painful especially for your dog who served you and his country so well. He’ll be in your heart forever. Rest in Peace Freddie – you did your job!

  10. Betsy says on  05/30/2013 at 8:55 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  11. Judy says on  05/30/2013 at 11:51 pm

    It is always difficult to loose a love companion, especially one as special as Freddie, but it is a gift of love to end suffering. I’ve had to make that decision and know the pain. I know I will see my loved ones again one day including my pets! I pray for Freddie and all dogs who have served like he did and all who love these four legged heroes.

  12. Judy says on  05/30/2013 at 11:55 pm

    Thank You, Freddie and your family for your service and sacrifice!

  13. laura W says on  05/31/2013 at 1:45 am

    You had an angel watching your back….and you were your angel’s angel when he needed you most. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. I thank you for my freedom.


  14. virginia says on  05/31/2013 at 7:35 am

    Thank you for your service Freddie. RIP.

  15. Reda says on  06/07/2013 at 9:19 pm

    I understand your sorrow and your loss, it is a pain like no other. You were chosen to be loved by him, a gift of love that in time will make you smile.

  16. Anonymous says on  06/12/2013 at 9:54 pm

    So sorry for your loss.

  17. donna74ph says on  06/13/2013 at 11:33 pm

    Condolences. I know the pain of losing a beloved pet. It is like losing a child. His owner may in the future have another but it is still not the same. All I can say is that death leaves a pain that no one can heal but love leaves a memory no one can steal.

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