Sergeant Jake Woodward is from Nebraska, but he found his best friend in Syria. The Army National Guard Aviation Unit deployed him and 34 other soldiers to provide Medevac services in the Middle East. During his time in Syria, Woodward did more than just gain military experience, though. He also saved a furry friend along the way.
The two formed an unbreakable bond during their short time together. They couldn’t bear to part ways. So, Woodward worked hard to bring the special puppy home with him at the end of his deployment.
Love Has No Distance
Woodward found Sam the puppy when she was only three weeks old. She was in rough shape, but Woodward knew she had some life left in her. He kept the puppy in a cardboard box in his tent as he nursed her back to health.
“I fed her with a syringe, I had some dehydrated milk,” said Woodward. “She was only three weeks old and I didn’t really know what to do.”
The more time the duo spent together, the more their bond grew. He brought her with him as much as he could, and he watched her grow up to be a good, loving dog.
When the time came for Woodward to head back to his home in Nebraska, he knew he couldn’t leave Sam behind. So, he arranged for her to travel to SPCA International in Iraq. From there, the SPCA was able to get Sam a flight to the United States so she could enjoy the rest of her life with Woodward by her side.
A New Life Together
Today, Sam is no longer the tiny puppy Woodward found. She’s big, playful, and full of energy. So far, she loves Nebraska because it’s very different from anything she has experienced before.
“It was completely new, so she loved grass, she rolled around in it,” said Woodward.
Sam loves to spend as much time outside as possible. Woodward tries to play fetch with her, but she prefers the game “keep away.” Sam is so lucky that she found such a loving human to spend her days with.
Woodward flew Sam to the United States just in time. Starting on July 14th, the CDC is banning the importation of dogs from 113 countries due to a rash of false rabies certificates. For one year, at-risk dogs like Sam won’t be able to be shipped to the United States. So, Sam is even more fortunate than she realizes.