Soldier is a red doberman, one who was bred in Europe for his size. He is approximately 8 years old. He is a war veteran and was one of the lucky canine that were actually brought home after their service ended.He was extremely depressed and nervous when we picked him up. He walked slowly and like he was depressed, and there was absolutely no bounce to his step.
We were attending a canine training class in So. Cal. Matt's sister and brother-in-law run canine cadaver and "live-find", bomb dogs, and drug dogs for the FBI and other authorities. However, also at that training session was a beautiful red doberman. I asked about him and this was the answer I received.
"He is is a military war dog, and his handler/soldier was killed in action. Since then he has been bounced around from home to home, as he has a severe case of PTSD and is hard to handle."
It took about 5 seconds and a quick phone call to Matt and we loaded him up to bring him home. He was extremely depressed and nervous when we picked him up. He walked slowly and like he was depressed, and there was absolutely no bounce to his step.
This dog is a WAR VETERAN, through no choice of his own, and not only has he seen action, but most likely WATCHED HIS SOLDIER DIE. We need to honor each and every soldier that comes home, and mourn those who don't. So not only to honor "Soldier" aka Soldier Scooby, but to honor his handler and one of our own, Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang has taken in our very own soldier.
Soldier had the saddest eyes I have ever seen, and
he seemed totally lost. When his leash was placed in my hand, he
looked at me with eyes so empty that it brought tears to mine. He
walked quietly and sedately beside us, did what we asked him to, and was
simply "there". There was no life to him, no spark of energy or
anticipation. When he ate, it was with hesitation and he had to be by
himself. He doesn't come "off leash", but is very obedient and well
trained overall. We were thinking there might be a reason for him not
to "come when he was loose", especially in a war zone. We cannot seem
to get any more information on him, what his commands were, or any other
info. So we handle him with extreme care and love, and are always
patient when he gets scared. He is extremely fearful if you throw
Since the first week we brought Soldier home, he has slept beside our bed.
He has become a member of the family and has gradually lost the haunted
and empty look in his eyes. They are bright and shiny and he plays and
bounces around when we take him out. He has made friends with the other
pups and loves to play. He is extremely protective, but will still
only come to Matt if he is sitting down.
There are times when he will come in the kitchen, and others when he is so
nervous he won't take one step in. If you carry any type of object he
tends to panic, like a computer, a purse or a package. Things that
panic him are extremely random and it is truly hard to tell what will
trigger the bad memories.
Soldier was in the Nevada Day Parade and afterwards we attended the Military
Celebration where they had the traveling Memorial Wall.
While we were at the wall, it was as if Soldier was searching for his fallen
comrade. He would go up to many of the young men in uniform as if to
say “have I finally found you”? Many of the veterans had tears in
their eyes as they reached down to pet them and I started to cry when
one of the veterans reached into his pocket so he could buy “Soldier
Scooby” a hamburger. One woman started sobbing as she told us about her
wonderful son who came back so traumatized by what had happened that he
had snapped and was now in prison. She told us of how her son would
not let her get rid of his best friend, buddy and soldier’s bloody boots
and clothes. It was all he had left of his fallen friend and it simply
broke her heart. She said that her son came back a different man and
she wept in my arms. My heart breaks for her and we need to never ever
forget that just because a soldier makes it home, it is still not
over. We heard that he came back through Camp Pendleton, but are still
unable to get any solid or definitive information on what he went
through. As far as we know, we believe he was in Afghanistan and
possibly a bomb dog, but will never know for sure. All we know is that
it is an honor, (and a huge responsibility) to provide a safe and loving
home for this amazing animal. It seems as if he was taught “not to
come” if he is loose. Whether this is so the enemy could not obtain his
services we do not know. However, little by little this amazing
Soldier is starting to heal.
His soldier gave his life for our country and he not only deserves to be
honored, (along with all the other soldiers who give up their time and
lives for us), but Soldier Scooby deserves to be honored for the rest of
his life also. He went through horrors unknown and watched his Soldier
and best friend die, only to be shipped home (PTL for that) and bounced
around from place to place, again through no choice of his own. He
cannot help what happened to him, or how he reacts to life back here.
So many times people forget that these amazing men and women are often
put through living hell, seeing things so horrific that we could not
possibly (or even want to) imagine.
Today, Soldier still sleeps with me every night. He actually got on the bed
the other night, which for him is a huge step forward. He loves to play
and although he is still extremely nervous and easily stressed, he is
settling in well. If you throw a bone or a snack into the pen, he
still runs away, but will quickly come back for it. His PTSD still
seems to be with him most of the time, but hopefully with love and
patience, he will someday be able to relax. One thing for certain, he
has found his forever home and will continue to be honored for the
soldier that he is.
We look forward to bringing Soldier to the parade where he can be honored and
also honor his brothers and sisters in the service. God bless and thank
you for all your support.
We would appreciate any help with the finances of getting Soldier to the Parade in Virginia City that will take place on the 25th of May. You can Donate via Paypal using the link below, please put FOR SOLDIER in the "Add special instructions to recipient" so that we know that your donation has been made specially for our Soldier.