Carlos and Mike had been together in active service for 15 years.
Content warning: Death of a pet
It's hard to overstate the impact that dogs have had on our lives. To most people, they have been the most wonderful of companions and bring about a sense of joy and affection all around. Most of us are well aware of the trustworthy nature of dogs and their unerring loyalty to those who feed and care for them. In light of this appreciation, it's always a tearful and heartbreaking moment when one of these furry animals leave our lives for good. For one former US Navy SEAL, in particular, it was the most heartbreaking of farewells to his beloved K9 companion.
Mike Ritland's relationship with his dog Carlos meant the whole world to him. The two of them had been together as partners in the field for many years before Carlos was eventually made to retire. Once the K9 pooch was taken off active duty, Ritland was able to adopt him as a family member and bring him home for good.
The time they spent after that was nothing short of pure joy until that fateful day approached where Ritland had to say goodbye to Carlos. On behalf of the former US Navy SEAL, a touching tribute to his departed faithful companion was posted on Facebook. It said: "Mike had to say goodbye to Carlos today, after 15 amazing years of blessing this Earth with his presence.”
The tribute stated further that Carlos' body was "draped in the flag that Mike carried with him on every operation with him, and still possessed Afghan dust as he unfolded it on him." Clearly, these two had a lot of memories from their time serving together – it must’ve been a very tough moment for Ritland.
Before Carlos breathed his last, Ritland managed to treat his beloved friend to one last meal. He treated Carlos to some steak, his favorite food. The tribute concluded thus: “Our hearts are now much heavier having to say goodbye. Fair winds and following seas C-man, we have the watch from here buddy.” Saying goodbye to a pet, or more so a friend who you've known for so long is never easy. Carlos has perfectly embodied the spirit of all canines around the world by sticking by Ritland's side all through his life and sharing countless experiences in the service together.
The reactions to the tribute complimented the emotion that was attached to it. One user wrote: "Sincerest condolences on the loss of this hero. Well done, good boy, well done. Run young again and pain-free at Rainbow Bridge. Thank you for your service hero MWD Carlos" Another added: "R.I.P. MPC Carlos. Thank you for your service and for being a Super Hero. My deepest condolences and sorry for your loss Mike Mike and WDF." A third said: "Thank you for you guys’ service to this great country. May the brave warrior Rest In Peace. He had a great long life with his handler/Dad! It’s so sad that they are only with us for a fraction of our lives. I have 2 retired law enforcement shepherds that just turned 10. I cannot fathom how losing them will feel. God bless."
It’s a new day... with the recent losses of a great friend and warrior dog, it’s important to remember how fortunate we...Posted by Mike Ritland on Saturday, October 10, 2020