Galva, Illinois – Freddie, the 14 year old golden retriever who served four tours of duty oversees was laid to rest yesterday.
Freddie was a former show dog from England who served three tours of duty under the British Army before spending a year in Afghanistan with owner owner Ryan Anderson in 2009 with the U.S Army.
Freddie was a bomb sniffing dog who often went ahead of the soldiers to lead the way through the mine-infested streets. Freddie was one of the older K9 soldiers, but Anderson said you wouldn’t know it because he had so much drive.
There is currently no assistance for dogs released or retired from military service, financial or otherwise, and it is up to the dog’s owner to pay for any treatment or healthcare. Anderson says he is sure Freddie suffered from PTSD.
“He had nightmares, like normal soldiers,” Anderson said.
Anderson tells WQAD in an interview
“Many times in Afghanistan, it was just me and him, sleeping on a cot. Him keeping me warm. We slept in the same sleeping bag a lot of times. He’s always had my back, He’s my best friend, we toured together for 365 days,”
On Wednesday May 29, Ryan Anderson took Freddie to visit the vet one last time. He had his back till the end.
“It’s a day I’ve known that has always been coming for a while. He’s been getting worse and worse. We went to the vet last week and I couldn’t do it. But I’m going back to the vet today. He’s in a lot of pain. I’m going to have him cremated, and get him a veteran’s urn,”
Thank you Ryan Anderson and Freddie for your dedicated service.