Soldiers around the world develop a special comradery with their fellow soldiers, especially when they face the dangers of warzones like Iraq and Afghanistan. The same can be said of the animals that they come across, including local dogs that sometimes befriend soldiers as they go about their duties.
That is what happened to U.S. Marine Corp. pilot Major Brian Dennis when he met Nubs, a dog raised by the Iraqi troops to alert them if danger was around.
Dennis meets Nubs for the first time
As a part of his training, the Iraqi soldiers had cut Nubs’ ears off. This was done to toughen the dog up and to make him more effective when dealing with attack dogs. When Dennis came across Nubs, he had been severely injured by one of the Iraqis.
“One of the Iraqis told me that one of the soldiers had gotten mad and stabbed him with a big screwdriver,” Dennis said in a Today interview. “He looked terrible. We didn’t think he was going to make it. He was all infected. It was bad.”
Nubs becomes popular at the fort where Dennis is stationed
Thinking quickly, Dennis brought Nubs back to the U.S. base with him to get treatment. Soon, Nubs had endeared himself to the other troops at the fort. Dennis fell in love with Nubs the very first time he met him, recounting their first encounter in an interview.
“As soon as I met him, he just kind of jumped up and I started playing with him. The first time we ever met, he just kind of flipped over. I started rubbing his belly. Really, my whole team, we just kind of bonded with him as soon as we met him.”
Dennis has to transfer to a new location
As Dennis continued his tour in Iraq, he and Nubs developed a special bond. Dennis even found himself stopping in at the fort to check on his new pal from time to time. Eventually, though, as is the case in the lives of many soldiers, Dennis had to transfer to a different location.
Nubs is determined to stick by his friend’s side
Traveling 70 miles to his new assignment on the border, Dennis noticed Nubs following behind his Humvee. Soon, Nubs was no longer in sight and Dennis assumed that he had returned to the fort. A few days later, a fellow marine called Dennis’ attention to something outside. As he looked, he saw Nubs.
Dennis and his fellow soldiers decided to keep Nubs there, even building a doghouse for him. The problem with that was that dogs generally aren’t allowed in sensitive areas, and soon the MPs showed up telling them that they couldn’t keep Nubs.
Nubs now lives with Dennis in the U.S.
After giving it some thought, Dennis decided to send Nubs to the U.S. where he would live with the soldier at his home. Through some careful planning, Dennis was able to get Nubs to safety in San Diego, California, where Dennis had some friends who could watch over the dog until he finished his tour.
The story of Nubs inspired so many people that a book was written about his journey and a movie was developed. Dennis and Nubs have also been on many talk shows spreading the story of how everything came together to unite the Marine and the dog.
Watch the video below for more on this inspiring story of the companionship that developed between a U.S. soldier and a dog in Iraq.
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