Family and friends gathered in San Tan Valley Saturday night for a retirement party. That might sound like a typical evening in the East Valley, but this wasn’t your average celebration.
"I wanna say thank you because you're helping me celebrate the love of my life tonight,” exclaimed Pat Farnsworth to the crowd.
With tears in her eyes and dust on her boots, Farnsworth recited a tale that she’s told many times in 10 years.
Farnsworth has spent much of her adult life training dogs. It took her to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. That’s where she first met Bbogie.
"I don't know what the connection is but I trust him with my life,” said Farnsworth.
A Belgian Malinois, Bbogie is obedient and intelligent. Because of those traits, he made the perfect candidate to become a special forces K9. He was eventually recruited by groups like the Green Berets.
"I cried because my ex-husband retired from special forces. I know what they go through,” said Farnsworth.
In the next 10 years, Pat couldn’t stop thinking of Bbogie. Meanwhile, Bbogie was on his way to completing five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of his missions are classified. Still, Pat was determined to find Bbogie.
"I would ask everybody did you ever hear of a dog named Bbogie at Fort Brag?" asked Pat.
It wasn’t until earlier this year the two would be reunited.
Boogie was finally done serving our country. Unfortunately, special forces dogs are usually only adopted out to their combat handlers. Pat had to go through rigorous background checks and interview before Bbogie could finally be hers.
Plus, time wasn’t on their side. Bbogie was set to be euthanized if he wasn’t adopted.
“It tugs at my heart and I get teary eyed a lot thinking about it,” said Pat’s friend Kelly Ristau.
It was Ristau who helped Farnsworth raised enough money to travel to North Carolina to complete the adoption. After a decade apart, Pat and Bbogie were finally reunited.
“He never stopped being my baby, he's going to be my baby and he's going to live the life of luxury,” exclaimed Farnsworth.
In front of family and friends, Bbogie was trotted out in a special vest with patches from each deployment and group that he’s served. An applause roared out among the crowd coupled with a few barks from his fellow K9s. Bbogie is finally free to retire a happy and healthy dog after a decade serving our country.