Sargent Kyles Mills and his partner, a German Shepherd named Boza, met while serving in the US Air Force. Bodza has been working as a bomb detector since 2006, helping to save lives by sniffing bombs. Smith began working with Bodza by 2012, and the two soon formed a strong friendship.
“I loved working with him because he taught me so much. I was patient as a young handler and understood that this job wasn’t just about you.” Smith told. Over the years, the two performed many missions together, and when Boza retired, Sargent Smith decided to adopt him. “I took him home the same day,” he says.
“He was even more loyal at home,” Smith said. “He followed me everywhere. He layed his head on the bed next to me and said good night every night.”
Boza’s retirement was diagnosed in the summer of 2016 with degenerative myelopathy, an incurable disease of the spinal cord in dogs. It was a happy time until it was said this.
“His hind legs have lost function and can hardly stand up, let alone walk,” Smith said. “He couldn’t put a strain on his body and it was a hassle to use the toilet.” Smith faced a situation that pet owners never wanted to do-euthanize Boza. Kyle and nine of his colleagues took Boza to the Fort Bliss Veterinary Clinic in El Paso, Texas. They put him on a blanket and he died peacefully in the arms of his owner.
“I stopped the passage of Bodza,” Smith said. “It was a rush of so many things. Fortunately, his colleague was there to support him. “You made me sob like a baby,” Smith said. “They stroked me on my shoulder and let me know that everything was fine. My boss went right away, grabbed the flag, hung it on him, and gave me the last moment.
Boza Crossing the rainbow, he looked happy in his last moment. “When he fell asleep, he had a smile on his face,” Smith said.
“I will never forget how faithful he was,” Smith said. “He was selfless. More than anyone I’ve ever known. He did almost nothing and did a lot with a smile. I miss him every day.”
Thank you, Boza! rest in peace.