Ollie was there when the soldiers left on missions and he was there when the soldiers returned. The Iraqi dog had been raised as a pup by the Americans, who were in Iraq fighting alongside a Kurdish military outfit.
He gave the soldiers comfort and camaraderie, something extra to care about in a place where many spend their days pining for home and safety. And when former Army Specialist Ken Wyrsch found out their camp was to be closed, their unit disbanded, he knew he couldn’t leave his devoted friend, a dog he described to a San Francisco CBS affiliate as “a lover, not a fighter” behind. He feared for Ollie’s safety.
“I don’t know, some Iraqi would use him for target practice or something,” he said.
And so Wyrsch, with the help of SPCA International, was able to arrange for the Iraqi dog to become an American, like his adopted Army brothers, journeying west to the cargo depot at San Francisco International Airport, where Wyrsch was there to greet him.
“And this right here was thousands and thousands of dollars of donations that went into this dog, you know? He’s a good boy. He’s worth it,” Wyrsch said.