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Soldiers' Animal Companions Fund

Helping those who have helped us . . .

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Roxy's Story
 
Roxy’s soldier, Shannon, was on her third deployment to Afghanistan in 2011 – her first deployment working with US Special forces.

One day in late December her interpreter went out on a mission with the team and came back with Roxy. Shannon told us, “He came into my office when he got back, and placed this 5 pound ball of fur on my lap. Roxy was covered in fleas and looked like she was starving. He told me he had found her in Ghazni City with 5 other puppies who had lost their mom. I fell in love instantly.”

Roxy was given a bath and fed steak and instantly got a look on her face that looked as if she was smiling. There was another puppy living on the SF camp at that time -- a puppy Nowzad also saved and the two puppies played together all the time.

Shannon said, “they warmed the hearts of all of us on that camp. Roxy began to get bigger, became extremely spoiled, and learned to speak on command (of course prompted by a dog treat or peanut butter). She and I grew close. I've had dogs in the past, but none I actually got the chance to bond with as my own dog.
Roxy became not just my companion, but a part of my family.
 
 
The joy and life she brought to everyone on the camp was amazing.”

Then in late March the Task Force put out a memorandum saying "all animals on the camp must be destroyed". Shannon and her interpreter spoke to the shop owners out in front of the camp and they put Roxy in a box and drove her to Kabul. The night before Shannon sent her away she said, “I sat on the floor of my room crying, holding her and promised her that we'll see each other again, and I promised her that nothing bad would ever happen to her. She just looked at me and ‘smiled.’".
 

Fortunately Roxy made it to the Nowzad shelter in Kabul and was soon under the care of Louise. Louise kept Shannon up to date on Roxy’s status every step of the way. Shannon said, “ She … informed me one day that Roxy may have distemper because of a fever she was running and discharge coming from her nose. Roxy ended up pulling through and Louise even put me on the phone with my pup. She barked and raised chaos like she does with her personality.”
Shortly after that Roxy made it to the States and arrived in Florida.

Shannon tells us, “I donated the funds in full for Roxy as soon as they got her at the shelter. People back home tell me I'm crazy for spending money for a dog from over here, but little do they understand about the bond of friendship someone can have with any animal, especially in a war zone. This was my third fifteen month deployment to Afghanistan, I can say without a doubt that I wouldn't have been able to make it past the first four months if I had never gotten Roxy.”

About two weeks after Roxy arrived in the States; Shannon came home for R&R and saw Roxy for the first time in almost a month.

She said, “I will never forget the feeling I had when she came running around the corner of my stepdad’s back yard and how it felt when I hugged her for the first time and cried. So many people have said to me ‘that dog has no idea the life you saved her from.’ But I often wonder ‘who really saved who.’”

 
Roxy eventually left Florida and is now in Rhode Island with some of Shannon’s family members. Shannon said, “She has caught four robins, clears fences (4 ft. fences), is EXCELLENT with children, runs around the back yard with so much energy, and watches out the window for my aunt to come home every day.”

 
In June of this year (2012) Shannon was standing outside in Afghanistan with the same interpreter who had gotten Roxy for her. She showed him pictures from her R&R and he told her something that brought tears to her eyes. He said "I got that specific puppy for you because of the look in her eyes, Of all of the puppies, she had so much curiosity and intelligence in her; her eyes said she is full of life and she was the PERFECT puppy to bring to you. I thought to myself, this is a wonderful creature, and I know she will have the life she deserves". He couldn't be more right.

This September Shannon will be home in Rhode Island and reunited with her best friend once again.