We all know that a dog is man’s best friend, and once you take home an adorable pup, you have a committed and devoted friend for life.
But for one Iraq War veteran, the love between him and his dog touched even the hardest of hearts. Read on to find out the true story of the strongest bond between a man and his dog—and how it played out after years of separation
Matthew Kropp from Shenandoah, Virginia, Having served in the U.S. military for many years, he is used to following orders and doing whatever his country needs from him on a daily basis.
In particular, Kropp served the U.S. efforts during the Iraq War and has remained there since 2014, where he protects American interests overseas with his work at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
But aside from his heroic efforts, it was the special bond that he formed during this time that saw Kropp hitting the headlines around the world
For Matthew Kropp, he was committed to doing whatever it took to keep his country safe and his loved ones proud with his brave and sometimes dangerous military duties.
Kropp’s best friend throughout his trying and testing military years overseas wasn’t a fellow soldier or one of his commanders—it was in fact a German Shepherd named Tina. Tina was a trained military working dog, and she assisted Kropp in his essential work protecting and guarding the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Together, they would keep an eye (or nose) out for any harmful or explosive materials trying to be smuggled in to the building.
Kropp and Tina became an established double act, working together for many years—but it wasn’t just the embassy that benefited from this special bond.Throughout Kropp’s time in the military, he always had his beloved dog Tina by his side. Of course, he also got on well with his fellow soldiers and the higher-ups in command, and regularly met new dignitaries or other important figures on their way in and out of the U.S. Embassy.
But it was his bond with German Shepherd Tina that would truly come to define these formative years of his life—and would prove to transcend all barriers of time and space.So much so that viewers around the world would one day be moved to tears by Kropp’s and Tina’s special bond.But in Kropp’s case, his bond with Tina actually was in fact a life-saving friendship in many ways over the years.
“Without her I wouldn’t be able to live,” he said, referring both to the safety she provided him and the emotional support too.Klopp is undoubtedly a true American hero thanks to the incredible work he did overseas, protecting peace in the region and therefore keeping the world safe and bringing honor to his family and his country.
He knew that he was able to get through these trying times thanks to his incredibly powerful and strengthening bond with his beloved dog Tina.
However, despite how much they loved and supported each other, something was about to happen that would see this man and his dog suddenly torn apart.Even though Tina had proved an invaluable source of support for Klopp during his military stationing in Iraq, the sad truth was that their incredible friendship was about to come to a sudden end.
Despite how important she was to Klopp and his inner strength and determination, the reality was that Tina was growing into an old, tired dog, and soon would not be fit for military service in the same way.
And so in 2017, Tina officially retired from the army, and was sent back to the U.S.
Kropp was devastated—how would he survive without her?Despite his heartbreak at losing his beloved military dog alongside his every pursuit during his time in Iraq, Matthew Kropp was a dedicated and committed serviceman. Though he missed Tina terribly, this sadness and loneliness didn’t stop Kropp continuing to serve out the rest of his time in Iraq, until his deployment there finally came to an end.
After many long years, Kropp finally returned home to the U.S., where he was joyfully reunited with his wife and children
Even though Kropp was delighted to be home and settling back in to civilian life in the U.S., he couldn’t help but keep thinking about his beloved dog Tina. He just kept dreaming about being reunited with her one day, and holding her fluffy self in his arms once again.
So Kropp began searching for where Tina might have been sent after her military service, to see if he could maybe track her down. He eventually found an organization called K9 Hero Haven, which provided placements andaoptions for retired military dogs.
Thanks to the amazing work of Anne Gibbs, she was able to locate Tina in her current home, and confirm that she was indeed safe and well. Much to Kropp’s delight, she was also able to set up a meeting between the two—something he had dreamed of since they were first separated.
Would Tina want to be reunited with him, or feel the same level of emotion about their bond? Would she even remember her former owner and want to be reunited with him at all?
Kropp’s mind was racing as he anxiously awaited the long dreamed-of reunion. Would it live up to his expectations?And it wasn’t just Kropp who was incredibly invested in the outcome of this upcoming reunion.
By this point, news and medaoutlets had got wind of the meaningful moment that was about to commence, and they also wanted to document the potentially moving and tearful reunion. As Kropp nervously awaited Tina’s arrival, he was also surrounded by cameras, reporters, and flashing lights.
“I’m hoping that she remembers me,” he said nervously to WNEP. “That’s what I’m really hoping for.”Only time would tell if these hopes would be met—or cruelly dashed.Even though Kropp was incredibly nervous about his long-awaited reunion with his beloved pup, when the moment came, he soon realized that he needn’t have worried.
Not only did Tina remember exactly who he was, but she was absolutely delighted to be reunited with her beloved and cherished owner. She bounded up to Kropp and leapt on him in delight—covering him in joyful face licks and kisses.
Kropp held back tears as he held his beloved dog once again, rubbing her belly as they delighted in the reunion.Kropp held back tears as he held his beloved dog once again, rubbing her belly as they delighted in the reunion.So did this long-hoped-for reunion live up to everything he had dreamed of?Kropp opened up in the video documenting the reunion about just how he truly felt about this special moment watched by so many people across the world.
Gibbs went on to reveal how beautiful and inspiring she finds it, every time she sees a former military dog taken home to a new loving family where they can live out the rest of their lives in joy and comfort.
But for Tina to be reunited with the very soldier she served with, is truly the icing on the cake for Gibbs in her important work.
“To be able to see them come home and spend all the rest of her life with his family, and being a dog and a family pet…It’s phenomenal,” she shared.The future looks bright for both Matthew Kropp and his beloved dog Tina. Not only did they both work so incredibly hard during their time in Iraq, they both made it possible by being there for each other and sharing love and support in even the most trying of times.
Now that Tina has retired, she truly deserves a life of rest, love and happiness—and what better place than the home of her most trusted and loved human?Both of them worked so hard that they truly deserve this happy endingThe strength of their bond shows just how truly kind and loving they both were—and this strength of character is an inspiration to us all.