Soldier's Dog Makes It Home

By: Catherine Bilkey Email
By: Catherine Bilkey Email

A soldier in Afghanistan is happy to hear his dog is home safe and sound.

Staff Sergeant John Reyes' husky got loose earlier this week and was found Saturday morning after what his family believes could only be the dog's search for his owner.

Jasta is John's pride and joy. So much so that John’s wife Ashley calls the dog his kid. He was devastated to find out the dog had gone missing.

"They run together; they play together, do everything together,” Ashley said. “He's had him since he was a newborn baby, and they've been inseparable ever since."

When her two dogs got out, her female husky waited across the street--but Jasta ran off.

John's nephews looked for the dog, and Ashley broke the news to her husband.

"He flipped,” she said.

He started posting information about Jasta online and e-mailed 11 News with information about the dog.

Luckily, a stranger found him a few days later after seeing a post on Craigslist, which is good for the family and really good for John.

John and Ashley believe Jasta ran off to search for his "missing" owner. While this is the third deployment for the Purple Heart awardee, it's his first away from his 11-month-old pup.

"The first week that my husband was gone, [Jasta] cried and cried,” Ashley said. “I'll come in the garage door, and I'll say hi to him, and he'll sit by the garage door, expecting my husband to walk in."

Now that Jasta is home safe and sound, Ashley is trying to alleviate his loneliness for his owner. She allows Jasta to sleep on John's side of the bed--and when she and John get a chance to Skype, Jasta is by her side ready to jump in with a bark for his buddy.

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  • by John Location: Huskyville on Jul 27, 2011 at 08:27 AM
    Hello Reyes family !! So glad you got him back !! If I may, let me make a couple of suggestions. First, if he isn't already micro-chipped get it done. It's only about 30 dollars and if he gets out again, it may make a big difference in getting him back. His collar could come off or be taken off by someone. Second, Huskies are notorious escape artists (I have one) so I would take him on regular walks around the neighborhood to let my neighbors get to know him. That way, if he got out again, they'll know to hold him for you until you can get him. They have a tendency to run until they're lost and they don't have real good homing instincts. As you probably already know, they are high energy dogs that need exercise so make sure they get a walk daily. Thanks for serving and get home quick !!
  • by john reyes Location: afghanistan on Jul 27, 2011 at 01:51 AM
    my jasta i dog of mine. too bad these afghanistan computers dont allo me to view the video. i wana see it. anyways thanks to everyone
  • by Bonnie Location: Thaxton , Va. on Jul 25, 2011 at 09:00 AM
    I am Johns aunt in Va.Everyone has been so wonderful during this whole event. People there seem to be so nice and thoughtful in helping these kids find Jasta!! It's wonderful to see neighbors looking out for each other..Thank you so much! these kids amaze me at how they look out for each other...That's what you call real family!!!
  • by april hunter Location: ar on Jul 25, 2011 at 04:32 AM
    ash im so glad you found himm and that i got to see you lol hahah i havent seen you in years love ya sis and you tell john hes lucky lol
  • by Rain Location: Ft Carson on Jul 25, 2011 at 01:23 AM
    I have a suggestion. There is a wonderful dog park on Carson by Iron Horse Park. When my husband is deployed, I can take our dogs there and they get to play with some of the military guys and love it. It is not the same, obviously, but might help a bit.
    • reply
      by Be Safe on Jul 25, 2011 at 07:43 AM in reply to Rain
      @Rain, good call! Glad pup is home safe. I wish the same for the owner. Thank you for serving, sir! Sincere thanks and all good wishes to the decent folks who found and returned the dog. Always nice to read a good outcome, as they are rare these days. Chin up everybody, and have a good day!
  • by S Location: COS on Jul 24, 2011 at 05:20 PM
    Such a sweet story and wonderful ending! Our prayers to the family and for safe deployment. May you come home safely and soon to your precious family and Jasta!
  • by hey on Jul 24, 2011 at 01:16 PM
    i would like to see the reaction the dog has when he makes when the soldier makes a safe trip home.
  • by Alexis Location: Monument on Jul 24, 2011 at 12:46 PM
    Thank you for airing this story. It is wonderful to hear good news, especially when it involves a soldier!! I love happy endings.....
  • by Cristina Location: Colorado on Jul 24, 2011 at 12:29 PM
    I am so glad that my brother's beloved husky was found. I want to thank the nice couple who called my sister in law after they saw the ad on craigslist. I didn't even get their name. But we thank you so much for finding him and taking care of him for the few hours you had him till we came and got him. My brother was so upset and torn when he heard Jasta went missing. He did so much to find him, all while he's deployed in Afghanistan. We are all so happy to have Jasta back home where he belongs waiting for my brother's safe return. :)
  • by Anonymous on Jul 24, 2011 at 12:26 PM
    Finally, a news story that has a happy ending. And thank you for airing it, and to the amazing soldier for his service.
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