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Soldiers' Animal Companions Fund

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Yakkul's Story
 
 
 
Yakkul’s soldier came upon this little white puppy while on a mission in Afghanistan.
 
The puppy was in a compound previously inhabited by enemy forces and was only about three weeks old.  The other dogs there had obviously been used for fighting.  They had clipped ears and tails, and bite wounds – both old and new.  All were malnourished adult males except for the one small puppy.

When this soldier looked at the puppy he said it was as if the dog were saying, “What are you going to do, man?  What are you going to do next?  It’s your call…”
 
Seeing that there were no female dogs there, that the males had no source of food, and that it was unlikely the owners would be back, the soldier knew he knew he had to take the puppy along with him.
 
 
Yakkul became a new resident at the team house.  While there the soldier said, “Since then, despite the losses we have endured, the little guy keeps us in good spirits with his constant antics and wild, boundless energy.”
 

At first it was hard to find food Yakkul could eat.  His soldier would chew up beef jerky and then place it in his mouth.  “I love little Yakkul,” he said.  “He really became my little son on this trip since we rescued him.  It got to the point that I couldn't really imagine life without my little baby. “
 

Fortunately the soldier was able to contact Nowzad and arrange for Yakkul to be transported to the Nowzad shelter.  The puppy made the dangerous two and a half hour drive complete with military escort.
 

Here he is in the shelter in Kabul.
 

Then thanks to many generous donors and Steve Caporizzo’s Pet Connection web site, his funds were raised very quickly.  So quickly in fact that he beat his soldier home and was flown directly to his solder’s parents in New York.

He received a warm welcome when he arrived at JFK.
 

Followed by a first car ride…
 

Lots to explore in his new yard with his new “Granddad.”
 

And lots to eat…
 

His soldier’s parents have done a fantastic job helping Yakkul adjust to his new life in the USA.

We got the following updates from Yakkul’s new “grandmother.”

“Today is only day one. Things are going fine, I think.  Our older dog seems a bit confused to have this visitor. She ignores him during walks. I have her on a leash, hubby has Yakkul. We did allow a quick sniff a few times and hope that this is the way to go. 
Yakkul is friendly and excited and his nose is getting a workout with all the leaves to sniff and grass everywhere.”

 


Then:


“So we have managed day four. So far to report is that Yakkul is feeling more and more at home and is getting bolder. And getting away with it with hubby (mostly).”


And a week later:


“On Friday Naja initiated play in the house for the first time. I know I had shared with you how she avoided Yakkul at all times. I was relieved, unsure at how far to let them go, and did not want to invite wild play in the house for the future. So I took them outside quite soon where play is no fun because Yakkul is on leash. But it was a good development.”

 


The next day…


“Saturday Naja initiated play again, and overall displayed her understanding of being the top dog. :-) Then Larry took them out to the dog park and since it was very cold and windy no one else was there and they got to play together to their hearts content for the first time. Yesterday we took them with us (to go shopping.). Both shared the space in the back of the jeep and ended up curled up next to each other. They behaved quite well when Larry and I did our shopping by sleeping through those minutes.


Yakkul is now off leash in the house. He answers when called by name (always hopeful for "pay"), Naja often right behind him. She has not displayed what I called jealousy in the last three days. House training is also on a good track. … Our training session problems have bee n worked out also.”

 


“We can now enjoy watching Yakkul grow and learn. He is a smart little guy. It looks like our older dog has accepted him. Now I must keep them from wrecking the house when they play; it is too small.
I thought you might enjoy this snap shot of Yakkul learning to play with toys (other than shoes).”

 


And then – finally – Yakkul’s soldier was home.  His mother told us, “There was not one second hesitation. The door opened and Yakkul was in his arms.”