Now more than ever, you are needed to donate your old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter. With financial cut-backs, repairs on shelters are often put off, so if it's drafty, the animals suffer. I know my shelter uses rags to stuff under doors. No kidding! Empty out those closets... this is your chance to get rid of stuff and do something useful!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sophie Goes To Iraq

I do a little soldier support, through an organization called Soldiers' Angels ( so I relish the chance to combine both my loves, supporting soldiers and anything that concerns dogs. In the future I will be posting more stories that focus on dogs coming home with soldiers, fostering dogs while their soldier-owners are deployed, and the like. I had not considered I would have a chance to post a story like this! Enjoy!

(And, this is a Humane Society dog, so if you read my Michael Vick post, you'll see I'm sore at them but do see the value of much of their work).

Homeless for less than a day, shelter dog Sophie, a 2-year-old Australian shepherd-Queensland heeler mix, was handpicked to accompany the California National Guard, 49th Military Police Brigade, when they deploy to Iraq.
“We are looking for a little bit of home away from home,” said Sgt. Arlyce Baty, of the 49th, stationed in Fairfield. “She will be a morale dog and mascot.”
Sophie came to a local humane society as a result of owner release; they said they were moving and could not keep her. It took her about two hours before she found herself a new home and lifestyle. On Aug. 7, Baty picked up Sophie, and the two headed to New Jersey for three weeks of training. From there, Sophie will accompany Baty and more than 100 soldiers as they head to Kuwait, then on to Iraq.
Sophie was handpicked for the task because she has several qualities that make her perfect for service.“She’s calm, relaxed and well-mannered,” Rogers explained "This is the first time Baty’s brigade will have a dog as part of the unit, she said. “We are really excited that our dog can be of service,” said Casie Jachetta, director of marketing for the Humane Society.
Though Sophie won’t be sniffing out explosives or drugs, she will contribute a much-needed service to soldiers stationed in the Middle East. “She will provide some comfort and companionship to the unit,” Baty said. “This is my second deployment to Iraq. It just might make it a little bit easier having a little piece of home with us.”