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Soldiers' Animal Companions Fund

Helping those who have helped us . . .

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Hazel's Story
 
 
 
Hazel was a very special companion for her owner while she worked as a teacher in Kabul.  In the unfamiliar world of Afghanistan Hazel became a source of humor, courage, and comfort.  When her owner had to leave, and Hazel had to be left behind, they were both devastated.

 

 

 


After returning to the US, her owner told us her story:


“David and I have been working and teaching in Kabul since 2012. Our first year, after an impromptu visit to Nowzad with some friends, we found ourselves falling in love with a little fuzz ball we later renamed Hazel.

 

 

 
Hazel became part of our lives in Kabul.  She came to work with me in my classroom (she loved getting into the crayons), she made herself at home on our compound, and she befriended all of our Afghan students and neighbors.  Everyone knew her by name, our students, the neighbor kids, our guards, and fellow staff.Hazel became part of our lives in Kabul.  She came to work with me in my classroom (she loved getting into the crayons), she made herself at home on our compound, and she befriended all of our Afghan students and neighbors.  Everyone knew her by name, our students, the neighbor kids, our guards, and fellow staff.

 
Hazel, who started out as a little ball of fluff quickly grew into the giant beauty she is today. Her size was intimidating to many, but she’d quickly win people over with her squeaky voice, shoving her head into your hand for some petting.  She loves water bottles, she can sit in a chair like a person, and is the best snuggler.

 

 

 
Obviously, living in a war zone is difficult and has its risks.  Hazel was a huge source of comfort for us, and she made us feel safer and was like therapy when times were hard.  I don’t know what I would have done without Hazel, and I am aching to have her here with us in the US.

 

 


Last month while David and I were both in the US, as we were preparing to head back for spring semester, we received the devastating news that our school was closing permanently due to increased security concerns. We were not permitted to return to Kabul and were not able to say goodbye to our students, friends and colleagues, and we were unable to retrieve any of our belongings…including Hazel.

 
We are desperate to have her home safe with us and to start our family intact as David and I will be getting married in June ….”

 

 


Although they were separated, Hazel was sheltered and cared for while funds were raised to reunite her with her owner.  And very generous donors quickly made that reunion possible.

 

 

 
Hazel arrived in the United States in April.
And quickly adapted to her new home in Ohio.

 

 


Grass!  Green grass!  What a treat!

 

 


New furniture to lounge on…

 

 


New friends to play with …

 

 


And most importantly, a life with the people she loves – and who love her so much.

 

 

 
Her owner tells us,


“Thank you all for the work you have done to get Hazel home….

  
Hazel was therapy for us in Afghanistan. She was brave when we were afraid, and cautious when we were in danger. She was a way we bonded with Afghanistan and learned the value of perseverance, whether it be in training a dog, teaching a student, or changing a nation. Now, she is our little Afghan treasure to cherish for the rest of her days. I feel whole again, having her here...like a part a part of the home that I loved so much is here now.

 
You all do amazing work, and we are blown away by the gift you have given us. God bless all of you.”