A wiry German shepherd-border collie mix was the dog Maj. Brian Dennis took a liking to. His nubby ears had been cut off as a puppy so Dennis named him “Nubs.” Dennis found Nubs with a deep puncture wound on his left side. He later learned the injury was inflicted by a screwdriver. He helped nurse the dog back to health.
The time came, however, for Dennis’ unit to relocate 70 miles from Nubs’ home fort. As always, Nubs sprinted alongside the Hummers as they pulled away for what Dennis assumed was the last time he would see the dog. Two days later, Nubs wandered in below-freezing conditions into Dennis’ new camp, surprising the Marine unit.”When he arrived he looked like he’d just been through a war zone. Well, he had,” Dennis wrote. Nubs’ incredible journey forced the Marine’s hand, and Dennis and his fellow Marines unanimously decided to keep the animal.
“This dog who had been through a lifetime of fighting, war, abuse, and had tracked down our team over 70 miles of harsh desert was going to live the good life,” Dennis wrote. Nubs is not the only dog befriended by an American soldier to earn a trip out of Iraq. Army Sgt. Peter Neesley found two dogs while on patrol during his second tour of duty in Iraq — Mama, a Labrador mix, and her puppy, Boris.
But tragedy struck when the 28-year-old sergeant died in his Baghdad barracks in Christmas, the cause of which remains unknown. His family decided one way to ease the grief would be to transport the dogs home. “It’s second to having Peter come home on his own,” the soldier’s sister said. “If we can’t have Peter, then at least we can have his dogs.”
Dennis could be home from Iraq as early as March, his mother said. The dog no longer will have to contend with fighting to survive in the war-torn country, Dennis wrote in an e-mail, but instead will get to bask in the sun on the sunny beaches of San Diego. “He’s supposed to be this big, tough Marine, but he’s really a softy.”
[Source: ABC News]