Dog waits for owner to return from duty in Japan - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dog waits for owner to return from duty in Japan


Bandit and Bella are Bernese Swiss mountain dogs.

"They're good big dogs, so I always know if somebody's outside for sure," said Karen Souhrada.

Right now, Karen Souhrada of Allison is taking care of the dogs, but she said it's really her husband who's the dog lover.

Todd Souhrada is serving with the U.S. Navy in Japan. This is his sixth trip overseas since September 11, 2001.

"The first time he left was to Afghanistan and we'd just lost our daughter in a car accident six months prior to that so that was the most difficult one, plus I had four children at home," said Karen Souhrada.

While he's likely gone through the end of next year, Todd not only leaves behind his wife and four, college-age daughters but Bandit feels the loss, too.

In email correspondence from Japan, Todd Souhrada said, "I got Bandit shortly after our daughter Anna died in 2005. It was a very difficult and challenging time in all of our lives and loss is something that forever changes you."

This past summer the family also got Bella, but it's Bandit and Todd that have the closest bond.

"When Todd leaves, he does sit at the end of the driveway, waiting for him to come back," said Karen Souhrada.

It was actually a viewer who noticed Bandit waiting each day at the end of the driveway for his owner to come home who emailed our newsroom about this story.

"He knows his master," said Karen Souhrada.

Todd and Bandit do a lot of activities together, but Todd told said, "I think the one that defines our relationship the most is the fact that he is my fishing buddy."

Todd and Bandit fish at the family's cabin in northern Wisconsin, catching many fish together since Bandit was just four months old.

Karen Souhrada said her husband and his dog have a very special bond.

"He emails me and he'll always ask how is the dog. He wants to make sure the dogs are okay," she said.

Karen thinks Todd feels better about being away from home knowing she has two dogs looking out for her. She may not be the "dog lover" her husband is, but she's happy to take care of them until Todd returns.

"I want to think when they reunite, he'll feel like he's home," she said.

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