When it came time for the soldiers to move on, they felt strongly – they did not want to leave their dog companions behind.
One of the soldiers described Buttercup with these words:
“Buttercup is the oldest of our three dogs, we think about two or three years old.
She has participated in more missions than some of the guys on our camp, and she is one tough dog.
Before our arrival, she was accidentally shot in the hindquarter by an Afghan Army soldier and disappeared for about three months.
Some of the guys were patrolling one day and they found a dog that looked like her and walked with a slight limp; they called out her name, and she followed them back to the camp.
If any dog has earned her way home to America, she has.”
Fortunately, before they left the soldiers were able to contact Nowzad and arrange the transport of all three dogs to the Nowzad shelter in Kabul.
Buttercup was cared for at the Nowzad shelter until funds were raised to bring her to the States.
Thanks to the generosity of many donors, that didn’t take long.
Here she’s shown getting ready for her transport to America.
But a glitch came at the last moment. Buttercup was originally to go to a friend of one of the soldiers on the East coast. At the last moment that future home fell through and John Gustafson, living on a sheep farm in Minnesota, got a call in the middle of the night from his son stationed in Afghanistan.
His son asked if he remembered Buttercup, the dog he had talked about. He had often talked about the dogs and how much they meant to him and his buddies. Well, it turned out that Buttercup needed a home. Would his dad please go to the airport and get her?
Not just a loving father, John is also Director of Development and Communications for Animal Allies Welfare Society, He was definitely a good person to call and agreed at once to go to the airport to pick up Buttercup.
Initially his plan was to foster her until a new home could be found.
From pictures he knew the dog was big and looked a bit like a hound. He wondered how she would do around his sheep and with his two working dogs – a border collie and a short-haired collie. On the day she arrived, he said, “Buttercup is quite beautiful already, moves nice. I am waiting for her to relax enough to smile.”