INDIANAPOLIS — For nine months, U.S. Marine Corporal Nicholas Rice served his country in Japan alongside Fredy, a Military Working Dog.
Together, Rice and the German Shepherd, affectionately known as "Fredy Spaghetti," responded to explosive threats, maintained security and did plane, boat and car searches.
"Fredy and I were paired together because we acted the same. We are both very easy going and happy-go-lucky. We both like to go with the flow, and this helped us quickly bond," Rice said.
The duo would sometimes work 14 hour days side by side. While Fredy was very energetic and independent, at the end of the day he just wanted to be by his human.
"I was about to finish a shift one night when Fredy came and laid down next to me, and I realized he was just as tired as I was. It made me want to be his buddy for life," Rice said.
When Rice switched roles, Fredy got a new handler but the two still saw each other every day until Rice left Japan in February.
On Thursday, for the first time in seven months, the duo were reunited with the help of American Humane, a nonprofit that helps reunite Military Working Dogs with their partners.
"I'm kinda speechless just because I've never had a reunion with one of my best friends before. It's a good feeling though," Rice told WRTV. "You can tell by his personality that he's just happy."
Fredy is being medically retired due to hip dysplasia.
Rice has big plans for Fredy as they start their new chapter in Illinois — including traveling, doing outdoor activities and lots of car rides so Fredy can stick his head out the window.