When I first picked her up, she was so weak that her head just flopped down against my arm. She was tired, dirty and had a hole in the side of her lip. People weren't too sure about the name I'd given her, but I called her 'Xena' after the warrior princess.
I looked after her in my room, feeding her and giving her lots of attention, as did many other clients at the camp who were worried about her. I called the local provincial vet in Kandahar and he kindly paid a site visit to check Xena out. He gave her some shots and left me with some worming liquid and flea liquid.
Over the weeks, Xena's health improved and she was being spoiled rotten by our clients. I had her on a blanket in my office and would get people calling in daily to check on her. People would request her in their room for the nights, sometimes even two people on the same night! She was not short of care-takers and fans.
She loved the attention she was getting and was often photographed by the clients. One of the clients came to see me in the office one day, asking whether I would be interested in adopting her out to a family in Seattle. The client had taken numerous photos of Xena and emailed them to family and friends back home in the US. One of his friends responded, asking if she was available to adopt. Although I adored her, I knew she'd have a good home in the US, rather than me keeping her. She was several months old at this stage.
I had dealt with a group called Nowzad when I was working in Kabul the previous year… I contacted Louise at Nowzad to see what the process would be to get Xena to Seattle. Xena was collected from our site by a Nowzad vet and the process commenced. At Nowzad, Xena was given all her vaccinations whilst we started the fundraising. I couldn't believe the generosity of people and how relatively quickly the money was raised.
Here is a picture of Xena after she arrived at the Nowzad shelter.
As her departure to Seattle came closer, Andrea said, “Xena is a special young lady and I'm just so happy that through the efforts of some committed people, she'll be getting a loving home.”
Back in Seattle, Xena’s new family looked forward to her arrival. They told us, “We had recently lost our Black Labrador, Kami, and wanted to find another companion for our German shepherd, Kado. After communicating on Facebook, Christopher found out about Xena through a co-worker, Paul. Paul happened to be friends with the contractor that was involved with Xena's rescue in Afghanistan. We started fundraising in March and Xena finally came to Seattle in July 2013.”
The SAC Fund, based in Seattle, was excited to be present at Xena’s arrival.
But definitely the most excited and happy were Xena’s new family and Xena!
Michelle, Xena’s new “mom,” shares Xena’s story since coming to the US.
She writes, “Since Xena has come home, we have found out that she was not accustomed to everyday things that we take for granted. For example, the first night she was here, we turned on the television and she stopped in her tracks. She then turned towards the screen, cocked her head to the side, and started growling viciously. She had about a 10-15 minute war of words with the television. Chris and I could not stop laughing.
She also sits on our back deck every day, very attentively listening to the sounds that nature brings. She loves watching the birds fly by, chasing the squirrels out of the backyard and letting all the neighbors know that this is her house! We have taken many adventures with her this summer including RV camping at Banks Lake, going out on a boat, and hiking on various trails.
She has become best friends with our 8 year old son, Logan. She has a very protective nature which shows through by the way she sleeps in front of his bedroom door every night…
Xena adores Logan, just as much as he adores her.....maybe a little more! He reads to her every night before bed. He has taught her how to "go find" (or play hide and seek).
She loves to follow him where ever he goes. Every morning, she accompanies him to school by quickly jumping in the backseat of the car....ready to "go for a ride." She has quickly become to know what "go for a ride" means....and she loves every minute of it!
She also loves to play fetch with sticks and tennis balls and even loves to "kick" the soccer ball around with him. Xena really loves digging huge holes in the backyard.....anywhere she can.
We have a 12 year old German shepherd who is still trying to get used to the idea of having a new, 65-pound puppy to play with! She loves stealing his bed and his treats, however, Kado is not very fond of this. Xena really adores him, nonetheless.
We also have 2 cats, Sadie and Sam, with whom she is trying her hardest to become friends. When she chases them throughout the house, it seems as if her body goes one way and her legs go another....she is so clumsy. The cats hold their own against her and she has even been spotted cuddling with them a time or two!
We are definitely a lucky family to have found her. She has so much personality, is very intelligent and has us laughing in a daily basis!
There would have been no way we could have made this connection if it weren't for the amazing teamwork between Nowzad, Houndstown, and SAC Fund to get her here to the States. We will always support these outstanding charities and what they do for fur babies all over! “