Army Veteran Adopts Belgian Malinois He Served With in Afghanistan

Joe Steenbeke Tess
In this undated photo Joe Steenbeke poses for a photo with Tess at their home in Culver, Ind. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP) -- The Associated Press

CULVER, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana veteran who recently adopted the bomb-sniffing dog he served with in Afghanistan says the retired canine is settling in to a pampered life.

Army veteran Joseph Steenbeke served nearly a year in Afghanistan with a Belgian Malinois named Tess, who rarely left his side. He got only minutes to say goodbye to his canine partner in February 2013.

Steenbeke spent years trying to adopt the now 11-year-old dog, who went on to serve with the Connecticut National Guard before her retirement last week.

Steenbeke and his wife returned home Saturday after picking Tess up in Connecticut. The playful canine is now getting used to her new home in northern Indiana.

With a laugh, Steenbeke tells the South Bend Tribune: "She's worked so hard her entire life, now she gets to sit back and have fun, and live like an eccentric billionaire."


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