Alice was found living outside a Marine Forward Operating Base in Helmand province. When found she was a puppy, probably only eight weeks old, and in pretty poor condition. Her Marine says “She was in bad shape, maybe just 10 to 15 pounds. She had been in a couple of fights and was all scarred up.”
Captain Taylor and his Marines took Alice in and she became a loyal and loving mascot. For six months she was a constant watchdog, always letting them know when strangers were near their camp, and being there to greet them after every mission.
According to the Captain, “She became a part of the family. She kept our spirits high during some very hard times. You come home and it’s hot or cold or you are wet and tired and there is always somebody who is real happy to see you. You’re not going to get a hug and a kiss from a Marine when you come back from patrol, but there is always a little girl like this to come up and give you a lick, put her head on your lap and remind you there is something nice in the world too.”
Unfortunately the time came when the Marines were told they were to receive a military working dog to help with explosives detection and Alice would have to go. Rather than return the dog to the streets and the dangers that would await her there, the Marines decided to work to save her and send her to the United States.
Alice got her own website and Marines, families, and the students of Lebanon Middle School in Lebanon, Indiana, Captain Taylor’s home town, raised funds to rescue her. By donating one dollar at a time these students were able to contribute over $1,000 to help Alice reach her goal.
Nowzad arranged Alice’s rescue from Afghanistan to Indiana. The first step was a taxi ride from the base in Garmsir to Nowzad’s shelter in Kabul. Captain Taylor handed his battle buddy over to the driver just hoping he would see her again. “It was a big leap of faith,” he said. “A very excited Afghan taxi driver saying, ‘I’ve got this. It’s good. I’ll drive her 14 hours to Kabul.’” Captain Taylor added, “There’s obviously some trepidation there.”
Thankfully Alice did make it and in May 2011 they were reunited in Indiana.
Here is Alice at home with her new “brother” Yukon.
One of the first things Captain Taylor and Alice did after her arrival was pay a visit to the students who had worked so hard to bring Alice home.
At the school Captain Taylor and Alice walked into a room of smiles and applause.
Alice was a big hit with the kids, and Captain Taylor expressed his gratitude to them all, “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and my Marines’ hearts, because this little girl helped us through some hard times and was a really sweet reminder of what is good and good things that can happen when people like you come together.”