HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Rico is a German shepherd with lots of experience under his collar.
"He's a search dog, so what he does is search for lost and missing people," said Gulf Coast Search Team member Sherry Kinton.
But lately he and the rest of the Gulf Coast Search and Rescue team have been missing his owner, Spring Winters.
"She's an integral part of our team. She's the leader of our Kayak division, and our group has put together care packages and sent to her overseas for the past six months," said Gulf Coast Search Team member Owen Hines.
Winters has been serving in Sweden as part of a mission with the United States Air Force, but she just returned home.
Kinton said you always hear about people reuniting with family members after returning from serving overseas. However, you never really hear about people reuniting with their pets, which is why they set up a special reunion Sunday.
"We thought it would be an awesome reunion for her to be able to hide from him and her to not know she was back," said Kinton.
So the team set up a surprise reunion for Rico, having him sniff out his owner's whereabouts,
"Incredible feeling! I watched him, and when I saw his eyes and his ears go up, and he caught my scent, and he just ran towards me was an incredible feeling for him to back with me again," said Rico's owner, Spring Winters.
"It was so exciting because I knew Spring missed him so much, and Rico missed her. So it was nice to see them back together again," said Hines.
"I just want to say 'thank you' to my entire search team for the incredible work and everything they've done. They took good care of him while I was gone. They kept him certified, and it means so much to come back and be greeted like this again," said Winters.