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That was, until Tuesday.
The former teammates met with hugs and kisses at Chicago’s Midway Airport.
Varela had already retired from service, and recently the 8-year-old German shepherd trained tracker also finished her duty to the country, according to WGN.
Mission K-9 Rescue works to reconnect human handlers with their K-9 partners after the dogs are no longer on the job.
"These dogs serve with these guys. There's a bond that we can't understand," Kristen Maurer from the rescue told WGN.
Mission K-9 Rescue has reunited more than 275 teams and rescued 250 K-9s and still want to do more.
To help create more reunions between the working dogs and their human handlers, click here.