PLANO, Tx. -- For Jacqueline Konold this is a hard day. She has to say goodbye to Missy.
“It`s very difficult,” Konold says tearing up.
Missy, a German Shepherd, was picked up as a stray in Oklahoma. The shelter asked Plano Animal Services to take her in so she wouldn’t be euthanized.
That is how Missy found a new home in Texas.
“She was a little thin,” Konold explains. “She was heart worm positive. So it was a road to recovery and a real bonding experience for the both of us.”
Seven months ago, working as a part-time trainer, Jackie started rehab with Missy and the connection was immediate. That’s why Monday was pretty rough.
“It’s so difficult many of times I thought about calling Jeff Anderson and telling him I changed my mind,” Konold says crying and laughing at the same time.
Jeff Anderson, founder of Rebuilding Warriors, works with folks like Jackie to find the perfect K-9 partner for active duty soldiers and honorably discharged vets.
“Jackie found Missy,” Anderson explains. “And said hey, I thought we ought to give this dog a shot. She is sweet. She’s got great confidence and just something special about her.”
Anderson found Missy a home with Sergeant Michael Barker and his family. After eight years with the U.S. Army, Barker returned to civilian life, but he’s still working with amputees who were wounded in combat.
“After seeing so many, you know thousands and thousands of wounded soldiers day after day for nine years,” Barker said. “I think she’ll provide some emotional support for me too.”
Missy won’t just be bonding with Barker. She’ll also be going to work with him to provide support to soldiers scarred by war.
“You just build that bond that you see over a course of years trying to get people better,” Barker explains.
It was Missy’s new mission that convinced Jackie to let her go.
“Knowing the impact she has had on my life,” Konold said. “Someone else doesn`t have that and they need that.”