A Very Special Dog

A dog from Baghdad Iraq captures the hearts of soldiers and earns his way to becoming an American citizen. The story of Dangles.

On my first deployment to Iraq, I found myself becoming extremely bored and not knowing what to do during our down time. We would sit around play cards, goof off, and think of things we wanted to do when our tour of duty comes to an end, needless to say, you can only do some things so much before it becomes redundant. I was sitting outside near our humvvees, when I felt a cold nose poke me in the side, it almost startled me as we were used to seeing old stray dogs that are completely terrified of any human interaction. This one was different. As I sat there I realized he had a crippled leg. His back left leg looked as if it had been broken and healed abnormally, which is a high probability seeing as they don’t have vets like we do in the states. As a matter of fact, in the Iraqi culture they see dogs as dirty, unclean animals and very very few people actually own them. So this leaves thousands of homeless stray dogs in the streets that are abused and beaten. After a couple of weeks my new friend had acquired the name of Dangles, maybe a harsh and unusual name but it fit him. Dangles always loved to see soldiers, where as he would completely avoid any local civilians that were around. He brightens every ones day and was always ready to play despite his leg. I had learned that Dangles has actually been around the area for quite some time and is now interacting with the American soldiers. He had been shot, run over, and beaten in his past years and I believe wanted a new start. In 2009 Dangles received a gift that likely saved his life. A group of soldiers raised funds to send him and his young pup to the United States for treatment and a permanent home. This loving dog deserves it. He has made a hell on earth a little easier to deal with for some soldiers. Dangles has now been in the states for a couple of months now and from what I hear he is doing great adjusting to his new lifestyle. I know that this will be a story I will never forget, of how just one dog that made such a big difference unknowingly, and in return got repayment with what we could do best. You can follow him through MySpace under name Dangles!

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