One such story involves a dog named Sadie that was born on a U.S. Military base in Iraq. Sadie was adopted and loved by a unit which included, SPC Daniel "Lucas" Elliott. When SPC Elliott was killed by an IED in July 2011, Sadie mourned alongside his unit. A few months later, Sadie gave birth to 6 puppies. Each of Sadie’s puppies was claimed for adoption by soldiers in SPC Elliott’s unit, except for one female puppy that was reserved for his mother, Patti Elliott. This puppy will help mend a little bit of Patti’s broken heart. Patti explains, “I like to think (Sadie) brought a smile to Lucas's face a few times.” Now she feels she will get to share a little piece of that joy her son experienced during his deployment.
Patti has already named the puppy Dixie in honor of her son’s “Southern-ness,” as she calls it. “Hunting, fishing, bonfires and seeing how muddy he could get his truck were his way of life,” Patti explains.
But help is needed to get Sadie and her pups to America.
“We know that through our Operation Baghdad Pups Program, we have been able to brighten the lives of hundreds of our veterans who had formed strong bonds with their patriot pups on U.S. bases in Iraq,” says Stephanie Scott of the SPCA International. “This story of Sadie’s pups epitomizes our overall efforts and there is much work to be done to complete this mission. We hope this appeal to bring Dixie home to SPC Elliott’s mother will brighten many peoples’ holiday season. It is rare when we can unite a pup with the parent of a fallen hero and we are committed to making this happen in 2012 with a little help from our supporters.”
“I want to give back to Sadie's child the love and acceptance and joy that Sadie gave to my kids,” says Patti. “Pay it forward.”
For more information about Operation Baghdad Pups or to donate, please visit www.spcai.org.