An Amazing Dog From Afghanistan Joins Our Family in the Wildest Way

kennelJessie Knadler of Rurally Screwed is such a good blogger and writer, she will fill you with both love and envy. She is hilarious, insightful, witty, and fun to read. 

We love her and know you will, too. She has graciously agreed to take part in our "12 Days of Gratitude" series featuring some of our favorite bloggers musing on the concept of thankfulness. See below:

I have so much to say about the past six days I don’t know where to begin -- Solha arrived from Afghanistan on Thursday, Jake came home from Afghanistan on Sunday, and my book, Rurally Screwed, publishes TODAY. The timing of these three events could not be any crazier, and in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, my brain did explode sometime around yesterday morning.


Like I said, I have much to say, but unfortunately not enough time to write it all down. But I do have one “Solha saga” I’m dying to share. And you knew “Solha sagas” wouldn’t be limited to just Afghanistan, right?

I’ll try to be brief.

First thing is first. Solha is doing great. She showed up at the airport looking much, much thinner than depicted in her pictures from Afghanistan. I’m not sure if this is because the dog rescue agency in Afghanistan had to limit food because of budget constraints and animal overflow (another reason to donate to Nowzad) or whether the kennel that shipped her faced similar obstacles, or both.

Here she is three minutes after I opened her crate for the first time at the airport.

See the ribs? Skinny! She was also without a collar and a leash, which Jake had packed with her but were curiously absent. Luckily, my father-in-law Jack, who came with me to the airport, brought a leash and a collar with him so we were able to constrain her. And let me tell you: A dog this rambunctious who's been confined to a crate since ... since ... Afghanistan? Dubai? Munich? ... had to be on a leash. She exploded with pent-up energy the second she bounded out of the crate and it was all I could do to hold on to her.

However, she was surprisingly calm and relaxed on the car ride home. Solha seems to really like people. She seems to have a very loving spirit.

Solha’s paws touch grass for the very first time. You can see how haggard she looks from what had to have been a scary and unpredictable journey. If only this dog could talk.

It’s funny to think Solha has never seen grass. She’s never seen a tree. She’s never seen a stream. This was her life as of two months ago:

All she has ever known is dirt, metal, heat, dudes, and gravel. She’s even the color of gravel. She has the survival instinct wound into her DNA. It’s what makes her special but also unpredictable.

Which is to say, she wasn't at Jake’s parents' house 12 hours before her Houdini instincts kicked in. Solha slipped through this opening in the fence ...

... and darted into the street. Jack, who was outside at the time, tore after her. Well, I take that back. Jack is a very chill guy who doesn’t really “tear” after anyone. He ambled briskly after her. I was upstairs when I heard Jake’s mom Gale shout from the kitchen. Her shouting made June cry. I cried after her. Everyone was crying and shouting. I threw on my boots and raced outside.

Solha charged to the end of the street ... right toward a pedestrian out for a relaxing stroll with her small and delicate pooch. The pedestrian looked up and saw a crazy dog racing straight toward her. She screamed and cried out to Jack, who was in hot power walk toward Solha, “Aaaaagh!!! Is ... is ... your dog friendly?”

Now. How to answer this question? ”Is your dog friendly?” Telling the truth -- “Yes! She is friendly! But she is from Afghanistan! She may see your dog as lunch, but who can know?” -- doesn’t exactly quell alarm. Jack responded instead with the more general and diplomatic, “Come, Solha, come!”

To which the pedestrian screamed, “Go, Solha, go!!!!” as her small animal, in a panic over being turned into another dog’s kibble, wound its leash multiple times around its master’s legs, immobilizing her.

More on Solha ...


Image via Catie Rhodes/Flickr

Read More >