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Wild sends off team dog Celly to his next mission, helping veteran with PTSD

Minnesota Wild team dog finds home with veteran
Minnesota Wild team dog finds home with veteran 02:01

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild sent their team dog off to a brand new job this week.

The team adopted Celly from Coco's Heart Dog Rescue last summer on a one-year training contract, to be raised as a future service dog. Now a veteran will take Celly home.

Air Force Major Allen Thill said he's excited to take him his new battle buddy.

"I'm taking him home today and there will be some training after as well," Thill said. "I think he is going to be an excellent part of our family. It means a lot to me and he is going to be my little buddy through the rest of my life and my recovery."

Thill is not only an Air Force veteran, but has also been a Minnesota State Trooper and Purple Heart recipient. He lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Celly will help him cope and deal with life as it comes.

"I think its going to help my recovery and help me in my day-to-day life. He will there on my bad days and an awesome companion on my good days," Thill said.

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Celly was adopted by the Minnesota Wild last July. He spent time with the team, learning how to be of help to others. 

"We had Celly at the start of the hockey season, worked with Celly, and all the members of the Wild have been," dog trainer Mike Boehmer said. "It has been fairly interesting to train Celly, as we had to train him with basic obedience, working around the games and working around the large crowds, with pizza on the ground, with popcorn on the ground."

Soldier's 6 -- a nonprofit that provides honorably-discharged veterans, police officers, and firefighters with specially trained K-9s -- will take Celly and his new buddy to expand that training.

"The work that we already had with Celly has been basic, but were going to take that work and were going to advance it," Boehmer said. "And with Allen and Celly together, once they form a bond, we'll take them whatever advance training they need so they can move on with their mission."

Solider 6 will work with Allen and Celly inside and outside the home to make sure the military hero's battle buddy is ready for any mission they choose to take.

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