A Slain Soldier's Wish Is Fulfilled: His Dog Is United With Family Overseas


But Lewis, who said that other dogs were shot on the same compound, acknowledged another reason for the "no mascot" policy: the Taliban.

"If the Taliban thinks you've got a connection with the dog, they'll use that against you," he said.

While both former military men said that they understood the policy, it did not prevent Lewis nor his buddies from developing an attachment to the stray mutt, and eventually, delivering it to safety.

According to Lewis, not long after he sent a message to the regiment that he wanted to rescue Peg, the soldiers managed to sneak the dog onto a helicopter and the Afghan national army agreed to drive her to Nowzad's shelter in Kabul via a humvee.

"The military doesn't help us at all so [rescues] might involve, at times, a dog going in the back of a truck it shouldn't be in to get it out," Farthing said. "The military have yet to see the benefit of some of the rescues we do."

Farthing greeted Peg at her arrival in the Kabul dog shelter -- the first official animal shelter in Afghanistan, according to the former marine. Within two weeks, Nowzad arranged for the dog's vaccinations and put her on a plane to the U.K., where she now waits in quarantine until Nov. 30, when she can officially become the newest member of the Lewis family.

"They are absolutely over the moon," said Farthing, who seeks to expand Nowzad to include more rescue operations. That dog is probably going to be spoiled rotten now for the rest of its life."

Home Sweet Home

Every Saturday, the Lewis family, including wife Sandi, 48; brother Jordan, 19; sister Siobhan, 17; former girlfriend Georgina, 21; and bulldog, Furgy, 8, drive up to Birmingham from their respective dwellings and visit Pegasus.

"[Conrad] taught her tricks, like to give her paw in exchange for biscuits, which is something she still does," Lewis said.

The father believes that Pegasus was a source of comfort to his son during his deployment in Afghanistan. "Paratroopers are hardened individuals, but I think they need something that is a comfort but also a bit of reality and humanity. When you've been out fighting Taliban all day, you lose perspective," Lewis said. "It's great to come back [at the end of the day] to a little bit of home and a little bit of perspective."

The family is looking forward to the day when Pegasus can finally come home, especially Furgy, Lewis' first dog, who has since taken to barging into Conrad's old room, awaiting his owner's return.

Lewis said, "Furgy's great with other dogs. He'll just love [Pegasus]."

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