When Jared Heine returned from Afghanistan, it felt like a part of his life was missing. He missed Spike, his military black Labrador Retriever partner.
Spike and Heine trained together in North Carolina and served together in Afghanistan.
According to Heine, the Labrador saved his life and the lives of many other marines.
“We would clear the routes for the patrols every day, for the Marines,” Heine said. “We found a couple of IEDs, unfortunately we did have three of them go off on us.”
Spike returned from Afghanistan and went to work at the State Capitol in Richmond. He and his handler, Capitol Police Officer Laura Holmes, have been providing security in Capitol Square and other Richmond locations for the last two years.
Recently, Jared’s mother, Mary turned to social media to track Spike down.
“Jared’s been dealing with a lot lately, and speaks of Spike all the time and just hasn’t been himself,” Mary Heine told WDBJ7. “And I thought if anything could save him or make a difference in his life it would be to find Spike and reunite them.”
On Wednesday morning, Heine and his mother climbed the steps outside the State Capitol to reunite with Spike.
“He’s been through a lot same as me, so I’m just happy to be here with him again,” said Heine.
A Capitol Police honor guard greeted Heine, and a crowd that included state lawmakers cheered when Heine and Spike were reunited!
“After spending time with Jared and his mother last night I know this was a very important opportunity for him,” said Colonel Steve Pike, chief of the Capitol Police. “He served our country. He and Spike had gone through quite a bit in Afghanistan.”
Later that day, Pike said the Division of Capitol Police would retire Spike, and return him to Heine.
“I honestly believe Spike has one more mission to fulfill,” Pike told WDBJ7, “and that’s to be with his former Marine K-9 partner he served so proudly and honorably with in the United States Marine Corps.”
Happy and overwhelmed, Heine said it was hard to describe how it felt to be with Spike again.
“It’s like I’m back together,” Heine said, “a whole person.”