Django finally set to fly to new SA home

2015-04-11 00:00

AFTER a 20-month separation, a ­Pietermaritzburg man and former U.S. military AMK9 will finally be ­reunited with his best friend — explosives sniffer dog Django.

Sheldon Holland was contracted to the U.S. Military in 2011 and flew out to meet his fluffy explosives sniffer partner in San Antonio, ­Texas.

Adamant he would not grow attached to his new partner, Holland was introduced to Django, an energetic German Shepherd who completely dissolved Holland’s resolve.

The pair bonded immediately and were completely inseparable until 20 months ago, a few days before ­Holland’s contract ended.

Holland was taken to hospital for a minor injury and, on his release, discovered that Django had already been “returned” to the U.S. Military.

“The day I left for South Africa, I already started planning how I would get him home.

“I promised him a home in South Africa and that I would take him running along the beach. I am so excited that he is finally coming home,” he said.

Holland started a Facebook page soon after he left Django behind in Afghanistan called “The Django Homecoming Cause”, and started raising money to bring his best friend home.

“When I left, I thought of him every day. I worried about who was looking after him and if they were giving him enough attention.

“The response to my cause was overwhelming and I am so grateful to everyone who helped with­ donations to get him home.”

Holland found out three weeks ago that Django would be coming home when he discovered that his girlfriend had paid the outstanding amount to adopt Django and bring him to South Africa.

Holland said Django had completed blood tests and he would start booking flight tickets next week.

“I’m hoping he will remember me, but I am not expecting too much from him. I’m just happy that I’ll have him home with me.”

With toys and a comfortable bed already waiting for Django, Holland said he cannot wait to be reunited with his best friend.

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