Tag Archives: Operation Baghdad Pups

Heartwarming Story of the Day

When I woke up early this morning after spending yesterday sick in bed, I saw an amazing interview on CBS with a humble woman who works with SPCA International’s Operation Baghdad Pups to reunite our soldiers with the battle-zone dogs and cats they had befriended in Iraq and Afghanistan but were forced to leave behind.
Her name is Terri Crisp and the book she’s written about her experience is No Buddy Left Behind.

In an interview with SPCA International, Crisp explains how her mission began with a dog named Charlie. Here is Charlie’s story:

Crisp discovered that the only way to get Charlie out of Iraq was if she flew there and escorted Charlie to his new home.
As of May 2011, Crisp has made 36 trips into Iraq and 1 trip to Afghanistan. While writing the book she lived in Iraq for almost 6 months and can personally attest to the brutal conditions our GIs endure. She can now say from experience what a 140-degree day, during the middle of the summer, feels like in Iraq.  As she put it: “It was brutal.  If there were a way for me to set up my computer in the shower and write while water spayed over me, I would have.”
I’ve explained in my post, “Muslims Declare Jihad Against Dog,” that Muslims have this perverse conviction that dogs are “unclean animals” and so mistreat, abuse, and even kill man’s best friend.
Crisp confirms that: “Many of the animals that were befriended by U.S. troops were discovered just in the nick of time. If they had not been in the right place, at the right time, they would not be alive today. I remember one soldier telling me early on that he felt that the number one pasttime for children in Iraq is throwing rocks at puppies. When I think of how many children in Iraq have lost a parent, or both, to the war – not to mention other family members and friends, I think of the comfort a dog could provide if only the children knew how to love a dog instead of hurting them.”
Crisp emphasizes that although readers will tear-up reading her book, there are also many “feel-good” moments: “One of those moments was when a father sent a puppy his unit had befriended in Iraq home to his family. The soldier’s son had been having a tough time adjusting to his dad being gone. His grades dropped, he acted out a lot, and he just would not talk much – all unusual behavior for this 9 year old. Just before the soldier handed the puppy over to Operation Baghdad Pups, he gave him a great big hug. While the puppy was flying to his new home, the dad called his son and told him, ‘When the puppy gets there I want you to give him a great big hug and pretend it is me hugging you back.’ The puppy did the trick – the child’s behavior returned to normal.  This was not something that was intentionally planned. It just happened and one family will forever be grateful to a stray puppy from Iraq for filling in until a father returned from the war.”
But for Crisp, the highlight is witnessing some of the reunions between a dog or cat with a soldier returning home: “I have had soldiers ask me after weeks or months have passed whether their four legged wartime buddy will remember them. I always tell them, ‘Be prepared!’ I have seen some of the biggest, burliest men knocked over by a dog that went completely ballistic when they laid eyes on their buddy again.  No doubt, they do not forget.”
Here’s an example:

Recognizing the sad reality that animal shelters in the United States have countless dogs and cats waiting for a forever home, Operation Baghdad Pups nevertheless believes that its program is justified and worthwhile. As an example, a mother whose son was deployed to Iraq four times was asked why he wanted to bring a dog home from a war zone and not adopt one from his hometown.  She said, “Because the dog in Iraq saved my son’s life and made it possible for him to come back home to me with a smile on his face.”
The difference Operation Baghdad Pups has made in the lives of hundreds of men and women, plus the animals that made the time they were deployed in Iraq less of a hell on earth, fully justifies the resources it took to save them.
Please consider donating to this very worthwhile cause, Operation Baghdad Pups. Go here!
Get your copy of No Buddy Left Behind, here! It’ll make a great  Christmas gift 😉
~Eowyn

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