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Norfolk-based USS Gerald R. Ford’s Facility Dog Sage welcome home [Video]

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Small Business Lifestyle

Sage helped human shipmates cope with stress during their more than 8-month-long deployment.

It was also homecoming day for the Ford’s only four-legged crew member.

Sage is a military working dog, who served as the Ford’s “facility dog.”

Under a pilot program, Sage is the Navy’s first “expanded operational stress control canine” assigned to a deployed aircraft carrier.

The four-year-old yellow Labrador retriever was specially trained to help sailors cope with the stress associated with deployment, providing comfort and morale boosts as part of the ship’s warfighter toughness mental health and resiliency team. 

The Virginia-based nonprofit Mutts with a Mission trained Sage and loaned her to the crew for the deployment.

“We knew Sage was special,” said Allen Fabijan of Mutts with a Mission. “We just didn’t know how special she was going to be and impact literally thousands of sailors who are on deployment away from their families. And all the stories we keep hearing …

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