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Sheldon Holland has spent nearly $8,000 and two years trying to be reunited with his hero
Every 10 minutes for the past three days, war dog Django has picked up his tennis ball, nudged his owner, Sheldon Holland, awake and demanded to play.
But Holland does not mind. After all, it did take him 21 months to adopt the 7-year-old German shepherd from Afghanistan and bring him "home" to South Africa.

The pair met while Holland, from Pietermaritzburg, was a handler contracted to the US army in Kandahar.

Django, an explosives-sniffer dog, was assigned to him.

From the first time the dog planted slobbery kisses on him, Holland and his four-legged companion became best friends. But in November 2011, the two were separated when Holland's mission ended and, shortly thereafter, US troops started withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Worried about what would happen to his beloved dog, he began making plans to adopt him and bring him to South Africa.

Almost two years later the pair reunited last week and are best mates yet again.

"It's been an emotional few days," said Holland yesterday. "He follows me around and doesn't let me out of his sight. Maybe he thinks he'll be left again."

One of Django's first stops - after the drive from Johannesburg - was on the sands of the KZN south coast.

"I promised him I would take him to the beach, so we did that," Holland said.


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My wife and I once baby-sat a service dog who belonged to a friend with MS. The dog wasnt content playing fetch or roll-over. He wanted to open doors and pick money up from the floor. Suffice to say I put him to good use fetching me beer and Chee-tohs on a Saturday night. As long as he was happy.
 
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