We've heard plenty of stories about pets that soldiers have adopted abroad making their way home to America to begin a new life of cuddles, walks, and treats. But this one is different for the sheer number of pet pooches that made it out alive from Afghanistan to America. It all started when a stray dog ingratiated herself into a troop in Afghanistan. Sgt. Edwin Caba immediately took a liking to the dog, and named her Sheeba. Sheeba actually went on patrol with the soldiers, and also waited patiently for their safe return back to barracks every night. But then Sheeba became pregnant -- an inevitability given the lack of spay and neuter in the middle of war. When Sheeba was suddenly mom dog to seven cute pups, Caba knew he had to do something.
The puppies were weak and emaciated at first, so the soldiers banded together to give them and Sheeba their rations. Soon the adorable pups grew on the crew of men. Caba told Anderson Cooper 360:
I fell in love … from the second [they] were born, we were like 'Oh they're cute,' and then they started getting their personalities and they took to us very well … you can't leave something like that behind.
Caba contacted animal rescue group Guardians of Rescue, which contacted a shelter in Kabul, Afghanistan. After generous donations from the public, the dogs were able to go to Kabul. There, they were quarantined for three months and then shipped to Dubai. Soon, they were flown 8000 miles to the U.S. Whew, what a trip for these pups!
The dogs all arrived safely in New York, to cheers and applause from the soldiers, who greeted them with "Welcome to America" signs.
"We got you here," a soldier told Sheeba. "We said we would."
"I feel fantastic," said Caba, cuddling his new pup, Cadence. "She's gorgeous."
The soldiers agree that the dogs were part of them -- they were, essentially, soldiers. Not only did Sheeba go on patrol with them, but they offered them emotional support in a time when they desperately needed it. "She offered so much companionship," said Caba of Cadence. "Just to see someone excited to see me ... She made things so much easier."
These dogs deserve all of the support that the human soldiers get. Awesome that they made it out and now can start a new life with their military companions!
As for mommma Sheeba, she will be trained to be a service dog and live in the home of a veteran with PTSD. Sheeba will make that a special mission, since she knows exactly what it's like to be in war.
Do you think dogs can be like soldiers?
Image via Edwin Caba/CNN
Video via uktelegraph/YouTube