Iraqi Dog's Miracle Trek Reaches U.S. Soil


Scroggs acknowledged that both are more accurately "mascot" puppies and are not truly performing security detail, but without the designation, the animals could not stay on with military units.

"Both of these dogs have just become a joy," Scroggs said, adding that one will live with the wife of a soldier and the other will live with a soldier's sister until the respective units come home. "Just the knowledge that [these soldiers] have a companion while serving in Iraq." The program has already screened requests from about 25 different dogs, according to Scroggs.

Army Sgt. Peter Neesley found two dogs while on patrol during his second tour of duty in Iraq — Mama, a Labrador mix, and her puppy, Boris.

The soldier claimed the dogs, building a doghouse for them and sending photos to relatives in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. "They were his family away from home," Neesley's sister, Carey, told ABC News.

But tragedy struck when the 28-year-old sergeant died in his Baghdad barracks on Christmas, the cause of which remains unknown. His family decided one way to ease the grief would be to transport the dogs home. A politician, airline and animal organization helped coordinate the 6,000-mile trip.

"It's second to having Peter come home on his own," the soldier's sister said. "If we can't have Peter, then at least we can have his dogs."

Dennis, who wrote in detailed e-mails to family and friends about wanting to walk with Nubs along the sunny beaches of San Diego, remains grateful to everyone who helped him rescue Nubs. Already, the collective work earned the Marine recognition from the animal rights group PETA.

"I'm just glad Nubs is going to the states," the Marine wrote in an e-mail to ABC News.

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