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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

US Navy Petty Officer reunites with his dog after Iraq deployment

The dog was being watched by San Diego based non-profit "Dogs on Deployment."

SAN DIEGO — Jean Mathison of Texas is US Navy Petty Officer, stationed in San Diego. He returned from a seven-month deployment in Iraq, waiting to see his best friend.

On Saturday, he was reunited and welcomed home his dog at Balboa Park.

“Before I left, I was trying to figure what to with Kyoto,” said Petty Officer Mathison. He told News 8 that giving him up was not an option, Kyoto helps him in so many ways.

“There’s a lot going on with COVID and the uncertainty of deployment,” said Mathison.

Through peers, he connected with Dogs on Deployment, a national, San Diego based, non-profit that provides assistance for military members, veterans and first-responders to find volunteers willing to board their pets while they are deployed or have other service commitments.

“You just submit the appropriate paperwork, and you’re able to go through and filter the sitters that you’re looking for and I met Sonya.” He added, “It was something that really meant a lot to me… to give back, Kyoto was a lot of fun to have especially with COVID, it was extremely rewarding and we took such good care of him and Jean didn’t have to w.”

Sonya Grigorian told News 8 after losing her dog, she wasn’t ready to get one, so she decided to open her home and care for pets.

“I wouldn’t look at it as giving up your dog all together, with Dogs on Deployment they not only take dogs, but cats too,” said Mathison.

Sonya thanked Petty Officer Mathison for his service as he thanked her for her service too.