No Border Collie Left Behind

You know I jest with my “Border Wars” rhetoric, but there is a real war going on with real guns and grenades and casualties, and apparently there are real Border Collies in the middle of that war. Border Collies in Baghdad of all places; who would have thought?

One such pup is Charlie and this is his story:

One night, while on guard duty with the US Armed Forces in Iraq, Sgt. Watson’s squadron returned from patrol with a new buddy. Weak, malnourished, and at death’s door, a black and white puppy had decided to adopt the soldiers of the unit known as Charlie Company. Sgt. Watson wrapped the shivering puppy in a blanket, gave it some clean water, a portion of his own rations, and provided what refuge and comfort he could for a poor life he expected would sadly end in a few days – another innocent life cut short in a harsh and unforgiving environment.

But the puppy rallied back, thriving on the care, attention and affection of Sgt. Watson and the members of his platoon. A real survivor, the puppy was named Charlie (after the military unit) and before long the growing puppy bonded not only with Sgt. Watson but with the other soldiers.

You can see video of Sgt. Watson talking about what Charlie means to the troops and how you can help (read: donate money) to bring Charlie to America. The website is called Baghdad Pups.

SPCA International (the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is running “Operation Baghdad Pups, “a major effort to bring U.S. soldiers’ mascots and companion animals back from Iraq.” Obviously, they want some cash to help the effort. After getting all gushy over Lucky Jack, I’m in a giving mood. I wouldn’t ask you to donate to a cause that I haven’t already donated to.

The donation website says:

Donations received for this program will be used in three ways:

1. to cover the costs associated with bringing companion animals, befriended by United States military while serving in the Middle East, to their new homes in the United States;

2. to cover transportation costs for companion animals belonging to active military personnel who need financial assistance for this purpose when they are transferred to another military base;

3. to further the mission of SPCA International to stop euthanizing adoptable and healthy animals. The outcomes of this program will be maintaining the human/animal bond and a reduction in surrendered animals.

Now, I’d prefer that my money was earmarked for #1 or #2, since technically none of the money they might collect would help the Iraqi dogs and would be spent here in the states on CEO salaries and advertising for other fund raisers. The Humane Society (not the SPCA who is doing this program) pulled a stunt like that with the Michael Vick dogs, collecting money for their care when the HSUS didn’t have anything to do with it. But this is the SPCA, so as far as I know, they have a good track record.

Kudos to the Flyball Blog and Johann the Dog for the heads up on this story.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.