When she received a picture from Afghanistan of her son cradling a small brown and white puppy, she knew he’d found yet another friend.
A wayward pup in Afghanistan may soon call Aledo, Texas home — thanks to a kind-hearted American soldier whose mom at home was willing to take in yet one more stray.
Aledo is a long way from Afghanistan, too far away for Nancy McEntire to know the daily dangers faced by her 26-year-old son Zack.
“I don’t ask. Everyone goes ‘what’s their job’ and I’m like, I don’t know. It’s better to not know sometimes,” she said.
But what she does know, is that for her youngest son’s entire life he’s had soft spot for stray animals.
“He brought home a pregnant cat, and she had four kittens,” she said. “There were two puppies that mysteriously ended up on the front porch. They would go to the lake and bring a dog home,” she said of Zack and his two older brothers.
So, when she received a picture from Afghanistan of her son cradling a small brown and white puppy, she knew he’d found yet another friend.
“My first picture was of him sleeping, and I’m like, ‘They both have smiles on their face.’ I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s him,'” she said.
The puppy’s name is Mimi: one of an untold number of stray dogs roaming Afghanistan often adopted by American soldiers until the day the soldiers go home.
“We’ve spoken to so many service members who had to leave those dogs behind. And when they do, they’re never the same,” said Robert Misseri with the Paws of War, the organization working to bring Mimi to Texas.
It’s an intricate, red-tape-filled, and sometimes, a dangerous process he’s helped with dozens of times before, relying on donations to help transport a dog on a series of civilian flights to be reunited with his soldier when they both eventually reach the U.S. The estimated cost is $6,000.
“He says it’s his angel,” Nancy McEntire said of the dog. “And that it’s given him a lot of comfort and hope. It’s just an opportunity to be able to help and to help this animal to be able to come back and have a good home. And to be taken care of and be loved.”
Paws of War also rescues shelter dogs here in the United States and trains them to become support animals for soldiers struggling with traumatic brain injuries or PTSD.