An Indiana veteran who recently adopted the bomb-sniffing dog he served with in Afghanistan says the retired canine is settling in to a pampered life.

Army veteran Joseph Steenbeke hadn’t seen the now 11-year-old Belgian Malinois since during his return home from Afghanistan in February 2013.

Steenbeke spent years trying to adopt the dog named Tess, who served with the Connecticut National Guard until last week. On Saturday, Steenbeke and his wife returned home after picking Tess up in Connecticut.

The playful canine is now getting used to her new home in the northern Indiana town of Culver.

With a laugh, Steenbeke tells the South Bend Tribune: “She’s worked so hard her entire life, now she gets to sit back and have fun, and live like an eccentric billionaire.”

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In this undated photo Joe Steenbeke plays with Tess at their home in Culver, Ind. The northern Indiana veteran was reunited with the bomb-sniffing dog he served with years ago in Afghanistan. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)
In this undated photo Joe Steenbeke plays with Tess at their home in Culver, Ind. The northern Indiana veteran was reunited with the bomb-sniffing dog he served with years ago in Afghanistan. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)
In this undated photo Joe Steenbeke and his wife Stephanie sit in their living room with Tess at their home in Culver, Ind. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)
In this undated photo Joe Steenbeke and his wife Stephanie sit in their living room with Tess at their home in Culver, Ind. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)
In this undated photo Joe Steenbeke plays with Tess at their home in Culver, Ind. The northern Indiana veteran was reunited with the bomb-sniffing dog he served with years ago in Afghanistan. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)
In this undated photo Joe Steenbeke plays with Tess at their home in Culver, Ind. The northern Indiana veteran was reunited with the bomb-sniffing dog he served with years ago in Afghanistan. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)
In this undated photo Joe Steenbeke plays with Tess at their home in Culver, Ind. The northern Indiana veteran was reunited with the bomb-sniffing dog he served with years ago in Afghanistan. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)
In this undated photo Joe Steenbeke plays with Tess at their home in Culver, Ind. The northern Indiana veteran was reunited with the bomb-sniffing dog he served with years ago in Afghanistan. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)

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