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Soldiers' Animal Companions Fund

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Betty's and Albert's Story -
now Livvy and Joe
 
November brings us Veteran’s Day and in honor of our veterans we want to recognize the latest Nowzad rescues destined to become service dogs: 
Betty and Albert – now renamed Livvy and Joe.

 
 
 
In June a wonderful organization, No Dog Gets Left Behind, based in Pennsylvania, contacted us and generously offered to fund the rescue of a potential service dog and also to fund its service dog training!
 
We immediately contacted War Dogs Making It Home, who they said they would welcome another Nowzad rescue.  They have had great success with the dogs Louise previously selected and would be happy to bring another into the War Dogs group.

When asked about possible candidates, Louise told us, “I currently have Albert and Betty who were two of the pups I hand-raised at the beginning of the year. … both very laid back and loving.”

Albert she described as being like a “big, shaggy-haired German shepherd.”
 
 
 
And Betty as “mostly black and collie-like.”
 
 

Louise had hand-fed these two as puppies and they were very special.  How could War Dogs choose which one to take?

Fortunately our wonderful volunteer Dan was scheduled to travel to the shelter in July.  He agreed to send an “audition” tape to us so that War Dogs could make their selection.
 
When he visited them he gave us this report:
 
“Albert & Betty are in the same run… .  Betty is the black/white dog, and Albert is black & tan.  Both of them are incredibly sweet. In the video, you'll see that early on I ‘collapse’ myself into a ball until they've settled down, at which point I open myself back up for interaction.  Albert and Betty come back to me almost immediately, while the third dog in the run keeps his distance to a greater degree.  Both Albert & Betty were very affectionate & attentive.  Betty seemed a bit more tentative/cautious than Albert, but at the risk of contradicting myself, there's a moment where Betty comes over to me, squeezes up alongside me, and rolls over for a tummy rub.  Great dogs, both of them.”
Here is a view of Dan’s time with them:
 
 

After the video was sent, War Dogs chose Betty.  She would be the dog No Dog Gets Left Behind would fund to rescue and to train as a service dog for one of our veterans.
 
 
 
We informed
No Dog Gets Left Behind of the choice of Betty and true to their name, they were concerned that Albert would be “left behind.”  They told us they could fund his rescue if he were going to be a service dog, but wouldn’t be able to provide funds for his training in addition to Betty’s.

Would War Dogs agree to two dogs if we could find funding for training both?  When we asked, Elena was very pleased.  “Do you mean we could have two?” she asked. “We would love to have them both!”

Now we needed funds for Albert’s training.  Enter the Tamaki Foundation.  Thanks to their generosity and caring, Albert’s training funds were provided.

To raise funds for the dogs’ rescues and Betty’s training No Dog Gets Left Behind held a wonderful fundraiser.
 
 
 
With rescue funds raised and training funds on the way, both dogs were then destined to leave Afghanistan for Chicago and
War Dogs Making It Home.
 

By October they were with Elana in Chicago.
 
 

Albert was curious, and happy to check out his new surroundings.
 
 

And Betty also found her new world pretty amazing.
 
 

Clearly they were facing an entirely new future.  From living in the shelter in Kabul (which in itself is a very fortunate existence for an Afghanistan stray) they were about to embark on entirely new lives where they would be needed, special, and extremely valued as partners for two of our veterans.
 
 

Their next big experience – only one week after their arrival in Chicago – was meeting their new War Dogs “pack.”  The group was happy to meet them and they were clearly excited to be there.

They were decked out in American headgear for their introduction and Elana tells us that Betty thought those "flags that were on her head with the attached foiled tinsel, were better than dog cookies!  She so enjoyed waving and thrashing her head about with a big grin on her face.”
 
 

Albert has now been renamed “Joe,” in honor of War Dog Kevin’s best friend Joe Hughes, who was recently taken by PTSD.  We share Elana’s hope and dream that the K9 Joe will help a future War Dog make it home!
 
 

And Betty, now renamed Livvy, shows what an affectionate, sweet dog she is.  We look forward to following her progress as she becomes service-dog trained and connected with her own veteran partner.
 
 

All in all, our new American citizens are looking ahead to wonderful lives – and to helping provide wonderful lives for two of our veterans.
 
 
 
We are very grateful to all who have made this special rescue and new future possible.

Thank you to No Dog Gets Left Behind for funding the rescue of both these dogs and for funding Livvy’s service dog training!

Thank you to the Tamaki Foundation for funding Joe’s service dog training!

Thank you to Dan Tatsch for once again helping us showcase the Nowzad dogs and thereby contributing significantly to getting them on their way.

Thank you to War Dogs Making It Home for welcoming these two and working to help them become veteran partners!