Veterans have endured more adversity than the majority of us, and returning home after service can be a difficult task. Tia Torres and Mariah Torres, hosts of the Animal Planet reality show “Pit Bulls and Parolees,” are well aware of this. That’s why, in a 2015 episode of the show, they attempted to reconnect a war veteran named Joshua with his two pets in Los Angeles.
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Many veterans rely on their dogs to help them reclaim their sense of normalcy. Dogs can be a wonderful source of emotional support. After returning from active duty in Afghanistan, Joshua, an Air Force veteran, was like most others.
As he recounts in the video, readjusting to civilian life was quite difficult for him. He was haunted by nightmares on a daily basis. He used isolation as a coping mechanism, and he also had other post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. He confesses that returning to regular life makes him feel utterly disconnected from being in a combat zone.
He claims to be alone and cut off from the rest of the world. Joshua, on the other hand, sought solace in his dogs. Momma and Panda, his two dogs, are constant friends who provide him with the constant support he craves and requires beyond all else.
When Joshua decided to make a move, he ran into a dilemma. He believed that making a shift would be extremely advantageous to him. He made the decision to relocate from Louisiana to California.
The sad thing is that Momma and Panda were unable to accompany him on his journey. Joshua was aware that he would have to deal with temporary separation and was prepared for it, but it still hurt, even if it was only for a short period.
He recalls waking up without them curled under the blankets next to him being an odd sensation. And he yearned for the daily ritual of walking them. He said, “Every day I wake up without kids nestled up beneath my blankets is a different day.” “It’s a bad day every time I don’t have to walk a dog.”
After two months apart, the three of them were finally reunited. Although it was time for Momma and Panda to move into their new house, Joshua was unable to do so without assistance. The show “Pit Bulls and Parolees” stepped in at this point. They were able to provide Joshua with just what he required.
Joshua’s story and needs were brought to Mariah Torres’ attention. She didn’t hesitate to offer to take his dogs home with her. She voiced her uncertainty about how the reunion would go, but stated her hope that it would be a good one.
Joshua was able to use speech to explain how much he missed his two puppies, but they were unable to do so.
Despite their inability to communicate, they made it clear that something was wrong. During the two months they were apart from Joshua, they ate very little and had lost a lot of weight. According to Mariah Torres, the dogs’ appetite had been influenced by the stress of being separated from their father.
The dogs, on the other hand, completely forgot about their dissatisfaction when they met Joshua.
“I was a little worried that they wouldn’t remember me,” Joshua admitted. “I’m sure everybody who has ever had to separate from their dog is scared of doing so. Momma and Panda, according to the veteran, are more than simply his pets; they are his family.
The move from a battle zone to normal life, according to Joshua, may be a profoundly solitary experience. “You’re completely alone. You feel cut off from the rest of the world,” he explained. He fought back tears as he said, “My dogs were the only “humans” who were there for me.”
Joshua stated that the first seven months following his relocation were particularly challenging for him. Things began to improve after he acquired Momma and Panda, but it took time. To cope with his post-traumatic stress disorder, Joshua admits to sleeping in a closet. He claimed that the closet’s diminutive size made him feel secure.
“You kind of feel like an idiot when you wake up. And you’re afraid,” he added. His two greatest buddies, on the other hand, never leave him alone. Joshua claims that he experiences nightmares about things he has seen and done while abroad, but that he wakes up knowing that Momma and Panda are there to help him forget about it.“And when you open the door, four small eyes stare at you. They are present because they are. And they don’t seem to mind.”
Thanks to Mariah Torres, they are now a happy family of three, and they are finally happy in their new home. The emotional reunion took Mariah Torres to tears, and she told Joshua that she had never seen the two canines act like that before. “You can’t break a person’s attachment with their dog,” she remarked. Despite the fact that the trek from Louisiana to California was long, she would make it 20 more times back to back if this was the outcome.
People who saw the video felt something tugging at their heartstrings. The video has received millions of views, thousands of likes, and over 100 comments on YouTube. “Seeing pets reunite with troops is the best thing,” one YouTube commentator commented. It always brings tears to my eyes.” Someone else recommended that Joshua register Momma and Panda as therapy dogs so that they would never have to be separated again. “I’m hoping he can get them certified as therapy animals so he can take them around and never be separated from them.”
Joshua expressed his joy at the return of Momma and Panda to his life. He stated, “I feel complete.” “I truly believe that. I’m starting to feel like a human again.”
What a wonderful story!