RICHMOND, Va. - Spike is a member of the K-9 patrol with the Virginia Capitol Police. Sweet as he is tough, Spike, is also a heartbreaker. He didn't mean to be - he just got caught in a love triangle.
At the State Capitol in Richmond on Wednesday Spike was reunited with U.S. Marine Jared Heine. They hadn't seen each other in three years.
"Right when he got next to me he knew it was me," said Heine. "He pushed up against me. It was like we didn't skip a beat."
They were a team in Afghanistan where Spike's job was to sniff out bombs - risking his life every day to keep Heine and his buddies alive.
"He did a great job at it," Heine told me. "He was like my brother, my kid. He slept with me every day like we were inseparable."
But after a series of traumatic brain injuries, Jared was sent home to Louisiana -- where he's been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. His mother Mary Heine noticed he'd been upset and wasn't acting like himself. She says he talked all the time about how much he missed Spike.
"It just hit me if I could find Spike it would make a huge difference in his life," said Mary Heine.
Eager to help, she went online -- and with the help of friends on Facebook she found Spike in Virginia.
Jared told me in his dream world he'd love to have Spike come home with him. But that's where Officer Laura Taylor comes in.
"It was pretty much love at first sight," said Taylor, describing her first moments with Spike.
She and Spike have been inseparable for the past two years.
"I didn't ever expect to not be with Spike until he was an old, old, old man," said Taylor.
Recently, though, Taylor learned about Jared Heine and realized she and Spike might have to part ways.
"He is more important to me than anybody can know, but we have to do what is right for the whole situation," Taylor told me.
After meeting Jared on Wednesday she said that as painful as it is, she knows in her heart it's the right thing to do.
"Take good care of him," Taylor told Jared Heine. "He means everything to me."
"I promise I will," answered Heine.
The good news, though, is that Capitol Police Chief Steve Pike said Officer Taylor will soon get a new dog. And the guessing is she'll fall in love with that one too.
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