Simca Stole his Heart in Baghdad

By Stephanie Scott, SPCA International Staff For 10 years, Simca worked protecting the lives of the people of the British Embassy in Baghdad by searching vehicles entering the Embassy for explosives.  When her retirement day arrived she wasn’t celebrated, she was locked away in her kennel and only allowed out twice a day for about 15 minutes a time to relieve herself. She had no bedding because she used to chew her blankets through absolute boredom, so the handlers took it away from her. All Simca had was a cold concrete floor until Alex found her. That day, Simca met her savior. Alex asked permission to take Simca out for walks twice a day.  They quickly formed a very strong bond. Alex says it best, “I soon fell in love with her.” Alex dreaded taking Simca back to the kennel at night. “I knew how much she hated the kennels, you could see it so clearly in her face and body language that it used to break my heart taking her back.” Alex looked into ways of getting her home to the UK so she could enjoy her last few years as a normal dog, but everywhere he looked he ran into problems. He spent months trying to figure out a way. “I was at my whit’s end when miraculously someone gave me SPAC International’s website address.” Operation Baghdad Pups’ Program Manager, Lori Kalef, responded to Alex’s request for help right away. It wasn’t long before SPCAI helped Simca say goodbye to that cold concrete and got her on her way from Baghdad to a safe foster home in Erbil while she awaited transport to the UK. Last week, on March 7th, Simca flew to the U.K. Alex explains, “They [SPCAI] arranged everything and paid for her flight to the UK, where she is now relaxing in a lovely kennel, getting fussed over regularly while she waits for her quarantine period to finish. Then she will be taken back to my home where she can lie on the grass in the sun and play with the other dogs; all the things that normal dogs take for granted and that Simca has never experienced in her 12 years of life.” In the midst of other program work and international travel, the SPCA International staff celebrated Simca’s arrival in the U.K. Over the course of Simca’s rescue we had also fallen in love with her – hanging on every new photo and update of this aged, beautiful working dog. Her eyes pierce through you as you gaze at her image. “I owe SPCA International everything. More than I could ever repay them, because it wasn’t only their financial assistance that made this possible, but their unwavering support and eagerness to help me and all the hard work they did organizing the whole evolution. They made the impossible, possible. They are absolute diamonds, each and every one of them, and I can’t thank them enough.”  And SPCAI can’t thank you enough, Alex. For opening your heart to a dog who needed you and for letting us get to know her too, if even from afar.