Soldier adopts dog from battlefield
Staff Sgt. Abel Emanuelli may not miss the battlefields of Afghanistan, but he will miss his companions there.
Especially Miley and Fathead.
No, they’re dogs.
The two canines were among the many strays the former Derry man befriended before leaving Afghanistan last year with the New Hampshire Army National Guard.
“They were something we could relate to,” Emanuelli said. “They helped our morale.”
But, he had to leave them behind, hoping they survived in the war-torn country. He’s been lonely ever since.
“He was just sitting there, saying, “I miss Fathead, I miss Fathead,” said his mother, Jane Lockard of Derry.
Now, Emanuelli, 27, wants to help a dog just like the canines that made life much more bearable for him in Afghanistan.
The former member of Charlie Company is adopting a black-and-white mongrel through a national organization, The Puppy Rescue Mission. Its goal is to unite soldiers and dogs from the battlefield.
He even has a name for his new pet — Charlie.
Out of all the dogs on the organization’s website, it was love at first sight.
He looked just like Fathead.
“I saw a couple of photos online,” Emanuelli said. “It looks just like the dog I had. When he was a puppy, he had a fat head.”
Miley was a little brown dog, or “kuchi, as they called them, that the soldiers befriended.
Emanuelli, who now lives in Manchester and is a student at Southern New Hampshire University, decided to obtain a pet through The Puppy Rescue Mission.
The organization seeks about $3,000 to fund the various expenses to adopt a dog of war, including airline transportation and medical care, Emanuelli said. The Purple Heart recipient has raised about $400 and the remainder will come from donors wanting to help.
Charlie, one of thousands of dogs that roam Afghanistan eating whatever they can find, is expected to arrive in the United States on Tuesday.
“He was eating rocks and dirt to stay alive,” Lockard said. “They don’t adopt dogs in Afghanistan. They shoot them if they are an annoyance.”
Anna Maria Cannan, founder of The Puppy Rescue Mission, could not be reached for comment. But Lockard said Cannan and other members of the organization are glad Charlie will make a soldier happy.
“They are just thrilled he’s going to have a permanent home,” Lockard said. “I think this is going to be very healing for Abel.”
She said Emanuelli and his younger brother, Luis, always had dogs when they were growing up.
“Adoption runs in the family,” Lockard said.
The family, including father Steven Emanuelli, usually adopted older dogs — at least 10 years old — that no one else wanted, she said. The only problem was they didn’t live much longer, and the family would soon be looking for another one.
“The boys said, ‘We need to get some younger dogs,”‘ Lockard said.
Emanuelli is not worried about Charlie dying of old age. He’s only about a year old. Dogs don’t tend to grow old in Afghanistan.
“I’m just happy to have a dog again,” Emanuelli said… story taken from… Eagle Tribune… read full story… http://www.eagletribune.com/newhampshire/x553403640/Soldier-adopts-dog-from-battlefield
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