After losing his leg in a grisly ambush during a 2004 deployment to Afghanistan, former Marine Dan Lasko returned to the United States carrying quite a bit of extra baggage — most notably, a severe and life-altering case of PTSD. Lasko not only struggled to adjust to his new physical disability, but also dealt with crippling anxiety and traumatic flashbacks on a daily basis. In an effort to cope with his new reality, Lasko eventually reached out to VetDogs (an organization that matches wounded warriors with service dogs) and was paired with a lab named Wally. The rest, as they say, is history.
Wally and Lasko began doing everything together, from daily tasks like grocery shopping to training for triathlons. With his family's support and Wally's unconditional love, Lasko is now a successful athlete and a college student. And though Dan's bond with Wally is something extra special, the Lasko family also welcomed another furry member, Maggie, into their ranks. Maggie, a rescue dog in need, has quickly become one of the pack just like Wally did all those years ago.
Watch Dan and Wally's full story above just in time for Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and don't forget to grab some tissues — it's an emotional journey sure to bring you to tears.