The age-old label of being “man’s best friend” was solidified by a U.S. service member and this dog he took under his wing during a military assignment in a foreign country.
Years after his exhausting training and being deployed in Erbil, Iraq, to serve his country, Cameron Marin had clearance to go back to his New Hampshire home. Along with his homecoming, he brought a souvenir like no other—a lovely dog named Sunny.
Marin fondly recalls how he came to know the canine. When he and his fellow service members were destined in Iraq, they came across a few dogs who frequently hung out within the active runway they were assigned to every morning. And a dog named Sunny caught his attention for being relatively bright.
Every time he goes up the ramp to prep the aircraft, he would always see Sunny around it. And since the temperature always got extremely hot outside, so the dog would resort to laying down in the mud to keep himself cool. He began attracting the attention of the canine until he began approaching him. He eventually came running to Marin, who allowed him to be petted by him.
Sunny kept coming around because of this, and Marin fed him every day. And even though Sunny laid low for about a month, he returned one day and was part of the soldier’s daily routine while deployed in Iraq. When the time came for Marin to fly back to his hometown in New Hampshire, he just couldn’t bear with the idea of leaving Sunny behind.
Thankfully, the good guys at Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) International were more than willing to assist Marin and his canine companion.
The soldier narrates that he became so attached with Sunny that he looked for ways to take him back to the States with him. Fate led him to SPCA International, and he sent an application to the Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide Program. They served as a bridge between him and the local animal shelter located in Erbil, who helped make it happen.
He says the day he picked Sunny up so he could take him to the shelter was unforgettable. Marin found him soaked in his mud, as usual. Together with his friend, who drove the truck, they brought him back to the shelter to get ready for his transfer. The soldier held him tightly; he could tell his dog was afraid because of the way he buried his head on his lap.
Sunny flew into the John F. Kennedy International Airport by himself because Marin was still deployed at that time. His wife picked Sunny up before the canine from Iraq, and Marin reunited in October last year. When they were back in each other’s’ arms, Sunny got so excited that he wiggled all over the place, hopped up and down, and even pooped on the carpet, says Marin.
Sunny is now enjoying his new life in the States, where he spends time playing with his fur-parents’ six-year-old Australian cattle dog named Cowboy Joe. He was also able to develop new hobbies, but his goofy personality remains the same.
Happy tails to you, Sunny!
Credits: SPCA International / Facebook