Finding Solace: Service Dog of Fallen Marine Embraces Healing in New Home

The 2022 comedy-drama movie “Dog,” starring Channing Tatum, tells the story of Army Ranger Briggs, who is tasked with bringing Lulu, a military working dog, to the funeral of Lulu’s handler. But for Tammie Ashley, a mother of three living in California, “Dog” is more than a movie — it’s her family’s story.

Ashley’s son, Marine Sgt. Joshua Ashley and military dog handler, was leading a patrol out of Zombalay Village in the Helmand Valley in Afghanistan in 2012, when he was hit by an improvised exploding device and killed. He was 23. His dog, Sirius, survived.

“They came and knocked on my door, just like you see on television,” Ashley told TODAY Parents via phone. “I couldn’t even concentrate. I felt like I was going to throw up. It was to the point that my oldest son had to tell them to stop talking.”

A military service dog of a fallen Marine discovers a forever home with his devoted mom, a tale of loyalty and healing. - Lillise

A hero’s homecoming
In February, 2016, after his second deployment, Sirius was allowed to go home to Ashley and her family.

“They did a wonderful job at Camp Lejeune — they did an actual retirement ceremony for him,” Ashley said. “As soon as I signed the paperwork to get him, we ended up taking him to Dunkin Donuts to eat some donuts. Then we came back to Camp Lejeune to let everybody say goodbye.”

A military service dog of a fallen Marine discovers a forever home with his devoted mom, a tale of loyalty and healing. - Lillise

Saving each other
After his second deployment, Sirius was injured in the kennels. The injury was primarily to his mouth — treatment was expensive and required inserting metal plates in his mouth.

“Honestly, they would have probably put him down if he wasn’t promised to a Gold Star mom,” Ashley explained. “They spent thousands of dollars in getting him well enough to be sent home to me.”

In no uncertain terms, Ashley saved Sirius. And she said Sirius saved her.

“For me, it was comforting for me,” she said. “Josh never had children. Sirius was his baby. Handlers are the ‘daddies’ of those dogs. Just having him there and knowing he was part of Josh helped me.”

A military service dog of a fallen Marine discovers a forever home with his devoted mom, a tale of loyalty and healing. - Lillise

As time went on, it became clear that Sirius was suffering.

“For six months, we would go for walks and I would have to pick him up,” she said. “It got the point that Sirius wouldn’t know that he was relieving himself in my house.”

Ashley told her oldest son about Sirius, and he came over to help care for Sirius at night so Ashley could sleep.

A military service dog of a fallen Marine discovers a forever home with his devoted mom, a tale of loyalty and healing. - Lillise

Saying goodbye
On May 22, 2021, Ashley and her oldest son took Sirius to the veterinarian to put him to sleep.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Ashley said, beginning to cry. “Thank god my son was there, because I was there when they gave him the medication just to relax. At that point, I started crying looking in his eyes, telling him I’m so sorry. I know he trusted me. I just told him he’s going to be with his dad.”

Ashley left the room, unable to handle what was to come, while her son stayed with Sirius so he wouldn’t be alone as the veterinarian gave him the medication to put him to sleep. Ashley wept alone in her car.

A military service dog of a fallen Marine discovers a forever home with his devoted mom, a tale of loyalty and healing. - Lillise

Keeping a military dog handler’s story alive
Ashley wasn’t sure if she could handle watching “Dog,” though she certainly wanted to see the film and its portrayal of the reality she has lived.

“My son said, ‘Mom, I think you’ll be OK. Let’s go,” she said. “It looked funny, and it was funny. But the hardest part was when they went to the cemetery and LuLu went to his boots and laid near his boots. And they were shooting the guns for the 21 gun salute, and (Tatum) went over and held Lulu. I used to do that with Sirius. Anytime that we were at any functions — like Memorial Day or something — and they put off the guns, I would have to do the same thing. So that part killed me.”

A military service dog of a fallen Marine discovers a forever home with his devoted mom, a tale of loyalty and healing. - Lillise

Related Posts

Desatando la alegría: únete a la emoción de nuestro gran espectáculo de cumpleaños canino

Sección 1: Preparando el escenario El lugar está adornado con decoraciones vibrantes, creando una atmósfera festiva que complementa perfectamente el espíritu de la ocasión. Desde pancartas con huellas…

Una mirada reflexiva a la falta de aplausos de cumpleaños y el alcance limitado de mi celebración

Es normal desear una celebración feliz en el 18 cumpleaños. Cuando las cosas no salen como se planean, puede ser triste. Cuando nadie ve un video de…

La excursión diaria de Golden a la cuna de su hermana supera todas las expectativas (Video)

Cada mañana, se desarrolla una escena encantadora en la residencia de los Johnson. En este programa diario, el personaje principal es Golde, el hermano mayor simulado. Comienza a caminar…

Del rescate en la carretera a una salud radiante: el milagro inspirador de la transformación de un perro necesitado (Video)

Una niña llamada Florcita fue salvada de posibles corrupciones en una triste historia que demuestra cómo las personas pueden ser crueles y cómo las personas pueden ser…

Una historia desgarradora de la súplica desesperada de un perro abandonado y sin hogar pidiendo ayuda y un rescate transformador (Video)

Hoy en día, una figura deformada encima de un camino sinuoso, un movimiento suave en la espalda, el dolor se percibe a través de las hendiduras de…

Bulldog Bonsai: Superar los obstáculos de la vida con dos patas con resiliencia genética (vídeo)

Las dos pierпas detrás del silbato, las pierпas del árbol del paisaje, fυeroп ampυtadas recieпtemeпte. Tampoco teпía hυesos pélvicos fυпcioпales y deformacióп de la colυmпa vertebral por…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *