Afghanistan veteran reunited with bulldog four years after his ex gave her away

After returning from his deployment in Afghanistan, a solider was devastated to learn that his ex-girlfriend had given away his beloved bulldog. Four years later, the war veteran was reunited with his dog, despite seemingly impossible odds.

According to ABC News, John Russo was given his bulldog, Bones, as a Christmas present from his mother in 2008. Though after Russo joined the Army, Bones was left with Russo's girlfriend while he left for basic training. After the couple broke up in 2009, right before his deployment to Afghanistan, Russo was lead to believe his former flame would continue to care for Bones.

"We were broken up before I left, but she was taking care of her (Bones), so I thought," Russo told ABC News. "Then I got home and realized she had surrendered her."

Russo tried to contact his ex, but discovered that her phone number and address has since changed, leaving him unable to find out where his dog had been taken.

Meanwhile, the 5-year-old bulldog had been safely sheltered, and up for adoption, at the Flagler Humane Society in Palm Coast, Florida.

Russo's ex-girlfriend "actually went to a veterinarian to have her euthanized and the doctor wouldn't do it so he told her to surrender her here, so we took Bones in," Flagler Humane Society development coordinator Jeffrey Ritter told ABC News.

"She was really depressed when she got here. She actually lived in my office and not in the kennel and we took care of her and got her rehabilitated," Ritter said.

But Russo had not given up hope, even after years of separation from Bones. Last week, he made an unbelievable discovery while checking out the dog listings on various human society websites.

"I had a feeling that day and I went on the website and there she was," Russo said of Bones.

As soon as Russo spotted Bones on the shelter's website, he drove straight there, where customer service representative Katrina Geigley was working the desk.

"It was very heartwarming. When they brought her out to see him he just knelt to the floor and we were all just bawling our eyes out. We've never seen this dog be so ecstatic to see someone. She ran and gave him this huge bear hug and was whining and jumping all around. If my job has ever been worth it, it was in that moment," Geigley told ABC News.

"It was the most adorable thing I've ever seen a dog do," said Geigley. "She was like, 'This is my man. I am not leaving him.' It was really amazing. I've never seen anything like it. We did an adoption and he took her home. He said he wasn't leaving without her."

Since being reunited with Bones, Russo is finally settling into life, working to become a firefighter and coming home to his best friend.

"When she saw me she lost it and I knew right then and there she remembered me after four years of not seeing me," said Russo. "She jumped on me, licked my face and ran around in circles," he said. "It's been insane. I come home every day from work and she somehow manages to get in my laundry basket and steal my shirts and every time I come home it's like the first time she saw me again."
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