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Newfoundland Greets Troops 

Joy Hollowell

”There’s some connection with a dog that you don’t have with a human being that you need at times, that un-conditional love thing. So I get smiles and grins and he gets pats on the heads. They very seldom see me, they ask his name.”His name is Louie and this Newfoundland is an official member of the Bangor trooper greeters. he and his owner, Mary Weiss have been coming to BIA since last november.”I always wanted to be a troop greeter with him.”Mary and her husband adopted Louie from a breeder when he was just two months old. She immediately started training him to be a certified therapy dog. He’s four now, and a whooping 160 pounds. Weiss calls him a gentle giant, and a genuine surprise for troops that arrive in Bangor.”That’s for sure. So many, I can’t tell you how many will say, ‘Oh I landed in Maine but I didn’t know there would be a bear in the airport. And I get that a lot, or where’s his saddle?This group of men and women was arriving back from iraq. for many, it’s the first time in 15-months, they’ve been able to pet an animal. “A lot of people have pets, so they miss their pets and this makes them feel closer to home to see a dog,” says Staff Sergeant Christopher Kidd.Weiss calls it a furry fix.”He kind of thinks they’re here to adore him (laughs)”Weiss has an hour and a half drive to the airport, but she tries to greet troops as much as possible. She hopes her service lets these military men and women know just how much their service is appreciated.”Oh, it’s very emotional for me, it really is…He has this gift, its like he was made to be doing this. He’s very special and I’m very proud of him.”