Sgt. Tracy McKithern is an experienced combat photographer who has a soft spot for dogs. She was deployed to Iraq to document the efforts of the US armed forces there.
One of the things she noticed around their camp was a small pup with his mother. She learned that there used to be three puppies, but the two somehow disappeared.
Tracy was disheartened to see how the locals treated stray animals. They would pelt them with stones and kick them whenever they got near. Amazingly though, despite the abuse, the little puppy she saw was very gentle and sociable.
The pup would go near the sergeant and look at the dog lover with her beautiful round eyes. Tracy thinks it’s not all about hunger. The pup may be looking for love and compassion.
Tracy made sure that the pup and her mom were fed regularly. The dogs started hanging around outside their barracks. They would wait every day for the soldiers to come back.
Everyone started falling in love with the puppy, who they started calling Erby. She became their unofficial mascot for the camp.
As time passed, Tracy grew a special bond with Erby. And when her deployment was coming to its end, she started dreading leaving the pup behind.
Taking the pup home
Tracy voiced her concern on social media. She posted a picture of the pup and said that she wishes that she could bring Erby back home. The next day, her post had an overwhelming response. Her family and friends posted links to various charity groups.
Tracy reached out to one of them, and they eventually came up with a solution. The sergeant gave a thousand dollars to the group, and they would come up with the rest of the funds needed. It would take almost 5,000 dollars to bring Erby to the US.
Soon enough, the money was raised. Erby had her documents done, received vaccinations, and travel arrangements were made. Tracy had to go first, and Erby followed several weeks later.
They had the most amazing reunion at the airport.
Source: Erby of Iraq via Facebook