Operation Baghdad Pups

The SPCA International has launched Operation Baghdad Pups to bring home the dogs and cats befriended by US soldiers. It’s great to see these animals cared for after they’ve provided comfort and companionship to our soldiers in Iraq. I think the fact that soldiers keep rescuing these needy animals shows just how important they are to moral.


Operation Baghdad Pups has rescued Liberty who was found during a house raid, K-Pot who was found ensnarled in razor wire, and Charlie who was found as a puppy close to death. The program is now working to rescue 13 more animals rescued by US servicemen.

Nubs, The Iraqi Dog, Is Home


(Update 9/25/09: You can read tmy recent interview with Maj. Dennis about Nubs here!)

Nubs landed in San Diego on Friday ready to start a new life. He sure seems to be an unflappable dog, happily wagging his tail even with all the people and cameras.

Nubs is the dog who walked 70 miles to reunite with the marine who had befriended him. You can read more about Nubs and Maj. Brian Dennis from my email with him.

Maj. Dennis did a great job looking after Nubs in Iraq and this lucky dog is already receiving excellent care here in the US. During his stop-over in Chicago, Nubs was seen by an American-Egyptian veterinarian so that the Jordanian vet’s report could be translated accurately. He’s clearly being very well taken care of.

Nubs will be joining Maj. Brian Dennis’ other dog Bogey (Dennis spelled it “Bogey” in the email we exchanged) whom he adopted from a shelter in 2000. We hope Maj. Dennis is able to come home soon too.

I’ve checked with Major Dennis and he said it was okay to post his email address. You can write him at:



He also said Nubs is doing great in San Diego.  Yea!

Signs Of Spring


Last weekend was the first warm, sunny weekend of the year here in the Pacific Northwest and everyone and their dog and their other dog were at our favorite off-leash park, Marymoor. After months of grey skies and very short days, everyone is happy to see the sun light. I love that all these people made an afternoon with their dog part of their weekend.

Marymoor is a massive off-leash park at 40 acres and 700 feet of river access, and still it was filled with people and very happy dogs. We witnessed a joyous canine reunion between two friends–a black lab and a chocolate lab. They leaped at each other, gamboled, wrestled, ran around like crazy dogs, greeted other dogs who came up to see what all the hubbub was about, and wrestled some more. This went on for ages. They were still playing whole heartedly as we moved off to a different part of the park.

Later in the year, the grass gets as high as my hip and Saffron loves dashing through it, running in huge circles, and finding us hiding in it. It’s a wonderful chance to see the real dog in her, which is just what off-leash parks are great for. It’s good exercise, but it’s also a chance for your dog to be a dog. You can really see their instincts come through whether it’s herding, pointing, tracking, going to ground (going down burrows after “prey”), guarding, swimming, retrieving, etc.

Off-leash parks can be a great place for you to socialize your dog with other dogs and humans. If you’re lucky, most people at an off-leash park are somewhat dog-savvy and understand if you’re working on some issues with your dog. (Of course, if your dog has serious issues, seek professional help.) Most people were understanding when we said we were working on Saffron’s fear and submissiveness, even when she snapped at their dog out of fear.

And we humans need to remember it’s a DOG park. Don’t wear nice clothes, don’t bring food, and don’t let your children run around shrieking or carrying a dog toy.

So, be sure to support off-leash parks if you have them.  Many times improvements and clean-up are funded by friends-of-the-dog-park type organizations, so your membership is important.

More On Nubs From Maj. Brian Dennis


(Maj. Brian Dennis & his team.)

(Update 9/25/09: You can read my recent interview with Maj. Dennis about Nubs here!)

You’ve probably already seen the story on the Iraqi dog Nubs who tracked a US soldier 70 miles to rejoin him. Before this story took off, I wrote Maj. Dennis to thank him for looking out for Nubs and on the off chance he might answer a few questions. Then the story got picked up by more media outlets and I figured there was no way he’d write back, when all these bigwigs would be wanting to hear from him. Well, Maj. Dennis very graciously wrote back and gave me a little more information on Nubs.

Some of the news stories made it sound like there was difficulty in getting the dog across the Jordanian border. Turns out there was a lot less mystery and mainly just bureaucracy. It really only took filling out the correct paperwork with the Jordanian Border Authority. I was curious about Nubs’ personality and how it had been affected by his harsh life. Maj. Dennis describes him as very friendly, but a little timid. I think it’s remarkable that Nubs could still be friendly without his fear taking over. Dennis and his team were able to do a bit more for Nubs than I would have expected given their situation. Lucky Nubs was fed steak, chicken, and pop-tarts. Doggie heaven! He slept in the field with them and when he followed them home, Nubs got to sleep in their barracks.

When Nubs gets to the States, he’ll be staying with friends until Dennis returns home. Not surprisingly, Maj. Dennis has another mixed-breed dog named Bogey so Nubs will have a new pal. I also want to point out that according to this comment from a friend of Maj. Dennis’ there is NO effort to raise funds to bring Nubs to the US. So, if anyone is asking for money, it is probably a scam.

I hope the day comes soon that Nubs, Bogey, and Maj. Dennis are all enjoying the sun and surf at the dog beach in San Diego. And eating pop-tarts!

(Update: Nubs is now in San Diego.)

I’ve checked with Major Dennis and he said it was okay to post his email address. You can write him at:



He also said Nubs is doing great in San Diego.  Yea!