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"Iraq, the Story Unfolds" -- For the Dog Lovers

Well, after I wrote that post last night I thought of another good one . . to be honest I am surprised I did not think of it earlier.  It is about my new friend, Abbie.  Abbie is a eight-nine month old part lab, part . . .something dog that we are trying to rescue.  First off I need to say that we are not allowed to have pets here, or mascots as the army calls them, so for purposes of saving her life I will be referring to her as our "force protection dog".  Anyway here is her story.

The base that we are at right now used to be ran by the British army.  Well if you are watching on the news you probably know by now that the British are pulling out of Iraq.  The British came to us about a month ago and asked us if we wanted a puppy.  They stated that they found her when she was a newborn pup, "she was just a little fur ball when they found her".  They have raised her, fed her, kinda trained her since then.  However now with them going home, and the British having such strict regulations on foreign animals they asked if we could take her.  If we could not take her she would probably be killed, as the stray dog population in Iraq is out of control and causes lots of problems.

Well, luckily we are a Civil Affairs unit.  We have on staff a Lieutenant Colonel that is a Veterinarian.  She is the one that is heading up the project to save the dog.  Now as I mentioned before we are not allowed to have pets or mascots.  So the first thing that we did was get her officially assigned the title, "Force Protection K9."  Next she had to find a place for her to go home to . . .I volunteered.  I have been looking for a good dog for home anyway, plus I am on the rescue squad back home and would love to have a dog that I can train in search and rescue.  There are also several others that have volunteered in-case something falls through and I cannot take her.  There are a few more steps that has to be taken, she has to get all of her shots, and she needs to be spaded.

The last and the biggest step is physically getting her to the states.  We found an organization called "Baghdad pups".  You can check them out on the web at  It is a great organization that is being used for cases just like this.  If you are a dog lover I suggest you check it out as it is a very moving website.  The hardest part is getting her excepted for the program but i dont think that we will have a problem. 

Anyway I have been doing my best to take care of Abbie while here, this is a warzone and I do still have a job to do, but I do what I can, along with several other soldiers in the unit.  When she was with the Brits she ran free, never put on a leash or caged up so her life has changed a bit now.  We have to restrict alot to keep her out of trouble.  Right now she has to stay in a cage pretty much 24/7.  I take her out several times a day, give her lots of water, feed her, and try to entertain her some.  But it is very restricted with our schedules.  Below is a picture of me and her.  I will let you all know what turns out, at the moment I am still unsure of the outcome.

Well, thats all that I have for today . . .I'll see you in the next post.

Happy AbbieNick and Abbie

Nicholas S. Bush


Keller Williams Realty

Knoxville, TN


Comment balloon 21 commentsNicholas Bush • May 30 2009 01:40AM


Hi Nicholas,

Interesting story on your situation with Abbie, hope all goes well.

At this point I'm not sure if AR has had anyone posting from Iraq, please keep it up and please let us know what's going on there from your perspective.

And more importantly, THANK YOU for your service! Because of you and all the others we all continue to live in freedom, unknown to so many other places in the world.

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) about 11 years ago

Great post Nicholas. I enjoy following your story, and I hope that things continue to go smoothly for both you and Abbie. Aloha from Hawaii.


Posted by Mike Eddy, Maui Real Estate Broker (Coldwell Banker Island Properties) about 11 years ago

Hi Nick, Abbie is very cute! That is a moving story, and to be honest, I don't know if I have the heart to look at the Baghdad pups website. I am an animal lover, all types and sizes. If you get to know me more you will find out that I milk cows also, cows are my favorite large animals.

I so appreciate these posts of yours. It is wonderful to have contact with someone like you over there.

When I have the courage I will go check out the website you suggested!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 11 years ago

Andrea - The website is not a bad one you can check it out.  It is about success stories on soldiers that have bonded with an animal and the program has done everything they can to help them come home together. BTW I am originally from the "sticks" out in Kentucky, I know a thing or two about milking some cows myself --

Mike and Lynda -- Thanks for the support, I have said this a hundred times and will continue to do so . . we couldnt do half what we do over here if it was not for the support of you all back home.  Thanks for the comments, it keeps me motivated.

Posted by Nicholas Bush (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

Hi Nicholas-You have a big heart and this is such a wonderful story. I think it is awesome that you are doing this. Abbie is so adorable and I hope everything works out for you. Take care and God Bless<SMILE>

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 11 years ago

Hi Nicholas, keep up the good work, praying for you and following your story. Dogs can be wonderful companions and here's hopeing Abbie can find a home.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 11 years ago

Nicholas, good job you are doing with Abbie. I hope she qualifies for the program and can be sent back to the States. Keep safe.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 11 years ago

Nicholas - This is a great story. I hope Abbie gets to go home with you and that she becomes your search and rescue dog. Please stay safe and keep us posted. 

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) about 11 years ago

Nicholas, Abbie is such a cutie!  When you get back, you'll have to get her on your business cards!  Yeah, I know it's a little bit hokey, but people love agents who love dogs!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Mans best friend. Thanks for sharing a great story.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) about 11 years ago

Nicholas - What a positive story and we all will pray that a positive outcome for Abbie is in her (and your) very near future. It sounds as if you are a determines young man and will find a way. That is a pretty essential trait in our biz , so you are a success already. 

Posted by Laura Gray (RE/MAX Realty Group) about 11 years ago


She is adorable and I wish you luck in being able to bring her back home, or maybe even sending her home early.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) about 11 years ago

Nicholas - maybe you can get some attention from your local news - they love stories like this - also stateside rescue groups.  Thanks for posting.  I can't imagine being in Iraq - we appreciate all you guys more than you'll ever know.

Posted by Alyce Martin, Albuquerque - THE Place To Be! (The Realty Group, LLC) about 11 years ago

Nick, I'm glad you are able to give Abbie attention while maintaining a detailed schedule.

Posted by Goodbye Active Rain, Out of Real Estate about 11 years ago


I'm a sucker for dog stories like this. Good luck on getting her home.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) about 11 years ago

Nicholas- what a great story.  I sure hope that Abbie is accepted into the program and you can bring her back tot he states and train her for search and rescue. 

Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) about 11 years ago

HI!  Nicholas!!  Good for you and your fellow soldiers.  I hope having Abby to focus a little love on will help her deal with the cage and you stay stronger.  I try to go to the shelter but start crying in the parking lot, so I don't think I can look at the site.  Take care!

Posted by Dana Wilkinson, Broker-Your TX agent for The Woodlands-Spring-Conr (Connect Realty, The Woodlands, TX) about 11 years ago

Nick - she is beautiful!  And thank you and the others for taking such good care of her.  The poor animals get left out of the equation so many times ... and people forget how frightening and disconcerting all that hullabaloo can be.  I will be praying that you'll be able to take her home with you.  She's obviously fond of you already!

Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) about 11 years ago

Nicholas, She is beautiful.  We recently lost our Chocolate lab named Abby this last January.  I had to tell our son on instant messenger while he was in Iraq that we had to put Abby down.   He ended up looking for us a dog here in Houston from Iraq.  We got a Golden Retriever Rescue that we named Dundee. We welcomed him to his forever home about a month before Tarren came home; so he was here to welcome Tarren home.  (You have to love technology.)  That sweet little Golden face got him in to the Golden Rescue but we are fairly sure he is half Border Collie. 

I sure hope that you are able to adopt your Abbie. Our son had told us they had a big problem with wild dogs over there so I am so happy to hear that you are rescuing Abbie from that fate.  Obviously I am a little attached to that name. Our Abby was a wonderful dog. 

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) about 11 years ago

Nicholas - I hope you are able to bring her back with you, that would be awesome. And I look forward to reading more of your blog posts.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) about 11 years ago


As a life long dog lover, your story really touched my heart.  I currently share my home with four fur kids and couldn't imagine a life without my babies.  I so want you to be able to adopt Abbie and give her the life she and you deserve.  If you need any help stateside, let me know.  I'll be happy to get in touch with anyone who might be instrumental in getting her "home."

Posted by Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert (Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103) about 11 years ago