The pair were separated only briefly, overnight, but to Marine veteran Chris Galliher, it likely seemed an eon since he’d seen Raider, the service dog who has been so indispensable in his transition back to civilian life.
Galliher served seven years in the Marines, and multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan. The pair were traveling through Utah, headed home to Washington after attending Marine promotion and retirement ceremonies at Camp Pendleton, when Raider slipped out the door of their motel room.
Heartbroken, the Marine searched throughout the night to no avail. And although he’d walked around the building of the nearby veterinary office next door numerous times, he didn’t think to knock on its door.
Raider hadn’t gotten very far; staffers there had picked him up pretty quickly.
Early the next day, employees at the Midvale office were able to reunite Galliher and his beloved German shepherd. The scene was touching and tearful.
“I got Raider when I felt like I felt like I was in a dark cave and there was no chance of seeing the light again and getting him was like having a little glint of hope,” he told Salt Lake City’s KSTU.
“Having him with me side-by-side makes me more confident, strong, and more like the sergeant in the Marines I once was.”