Phil Kriens’ wife, Shanti, presented him with a lovely rescue Pit Bull puppy named Cotton when he returned from his deployment in Afghanistan in 2009. The puppy was discovered hungry in a confined shed with gaping wounds by the Oregon Humane Society. Cotton was later discovered to be deaf and to have a number of health problems.
Cotton’s health was poor, so the pair determined to do everything they could to help him live a happy life. Cotton became an important aspect of Phil’s battle with service-related PTSD over time. Cotton was even registered as an emotional support service dog by him.
Cotton was anticipating Phil’s return from drill weekend when this video was taken. Every other month, Phil would go to Oregon National Guard for a weekend-long training, but the two days seemed like a lifetime to Cotton!
Cotton refuses to move from the door in this video because he is afraid of missing Phil’s homecoming. The deaf dog finally sees his father walking home after hours of waiting, and he goes “wild” with joy! Cotton’s happy hops, tail wags, and cuddling add to the sweetness of this video.
Cotton’s intrinsic health issues worsened, and the Kriens were forced to put him down, according to a heartbreaking update. This movie will always remind us of how dedicated and loving this adorable boy is to his humans! Cotton, may you rest in peace!
Watch Cotton patiently wait and his overjoyed, sweet reunion with Phil in the video below!