A Marine from Texas wanted his story to be like the 200 other adoptions this year of stray dogs rescued by soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, but a twist of fate had the serviceman welcoming home a dog he never met.
It was supposed to be a happy ending story for a dog named Bill who was the only survivor of a litter of 6 puppies that were nursed back to health by members of the Lone Star Battalion. Sgt. Jon Staffen had become very attached to the black and white pup and wanted to bring him back to his hometown of Dayton, to live.
A website raised $12,000 in donations to care for Bill at an animal shelter in Kabul and pay for his trip to Pakistan and then the United States. But Staffen recently learned that Bill got sick with the deadly Parvo virus and died in late November.
“Bill was a fighter. He survived as a 9-day-old puppy in Afghanistan. Kind of hoped he’d pull through,” said Staffen. “But it was a bad disease.”
After considering what he should do about the sad turn of events, Sgt. Staffen asked the animal shelter if there was another dog he could rescue. The shelter told the soldier about an injured dog who walked with a limp. Because of the dog’s condition they didn’t think it had a future in Afghanistan.
On Monday afternoon after a 20-hour journey, a crate with the name “Limpy” landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Sgt. Staffen anxiously opened the crate and out popped a small brown, female dog. At first the soldier was surprised to see a female dog. He hadn’t considered that possibility, but once he and the pup took a quick run he knew they wouldn’t have any problem bonding.
Staffen originally wanted to bring Bill back to the U.S. as a way of saying thank you to the puppy for giving him hope. Instead he plans to raise his new dog …”in a place that’s not so hostile where she can actually lead a fulfilling life- just as I would have done for Bill,” said Staffen.
The Marine has decided to call his new dog, Holly.
Photo from afgmatters via flickr.