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Mother adopts stray dog in memory of deceased son who'd rescued him

Soldier Justin with dog days before his death dog-sad
© Animal Planet - Youtube

After her son tragically died in combat, a grieving mother set out to find the stray dog that he had fallen in love with days before he died.

By Natasha James , 1 Jan 2020

A tragic story

Justin Rollins was a 22-year-old soldier stationed in Iraq. While he couldn't call or visit his family regularly, he did send photos back of his time away.

He began to send photos of a group of stray puppies that he'd fallen in love with, much to the delight of his family.

A hunt for the pup

Tragically, young Justin was killed unexpectedly, days later in a roadside bomb. His family were distraught and the photos of Justin and the puppies held a special place in his mother's heart.

Following his untimely death, Justin's mother set out to find the stray and eventually found and adopted the pup. The Rollins family named the dog Hero, brought him back to the US and treated him like a new member of the family.


A magical moment

The touching tale reached the local press and a news crew arrived at the Rollins family home to document the story.

It was an average cloudy day and the news crew filmed Hero playing in the garden, it was then that something magical happened. A gap appeared in the cloud and a bright stream of sunlight broke through the gloom and highlighted the pup as he played. 

The family believes that this was a sign from Justin to let them know that he’s watching over Hero and the family.

Check out the inspiring photo here.

A loving home

It's wonderful to know that Justin’s mother also shares her son's love of animals and that Hero will be cared for for the rest of his days.

We wish the family all the very best and hope that Hero provides some comfort in such a tragic time.