(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.”