Family of Fallen Marine Adopts His Beloved K-9 Partner

Dino at the memorial service for his fallen handler. (Photo: U.S. Marines/Navy Petty Officer 2nd-class Jonathan Chandler)

Dino at the memorial service for his fallen handler. (Photo: U.S. Marines/Navy Petty Officer 2nd-class Jonathan Chandler)

When a bomb-sniffing dog named Dino was retired by the United States Marine Corps, there was only one family who was meant to adopt him. Dino's handler, Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz, was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 when he was struck by an IED while helping a fellow soldier. Dino was with Diaz during the deployment but was not injured. Once the Marine Corps decided to retire him, Diaz's family knew that he was meant to spend the rest of his days with them.

The family took part in a ceremony with members of the Marine Corps and after a symbolic exchange of the leash, Dino was officially released from active duty and welcomed into his new family.

Dino had to be evaluated before being adopted out to ensure he did not suffer any emotional trauma from his time in service, and had the right temperament to be adopted into a civilian home. Dino passed the tests with flying colors, and was granted adoption after the Marine Corps received approval from the secretary of the Navy.

The Diaz family says that they can see Christopher's love and personality in Dino, and while the 6-year-old Belgian Malinois could never replace their son, he will be a reminder of their son's selflessness and valor.

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