Erby of Iraq

Meet Erby of Iraq:

“I rescued and adopted a very young Chi from a heartless breeder in Texas about 9 years ago. I was single and living alone and had just met my husband about a month before I heard about this breeder. He was known to drown unwanted puppies to save money.

She was grey and about two pounds, I named her Sweet Pea and she quickly became my human child equivalent. She was born with a heart murmur and unfortunately degenerative heart failure. She had “cherry eye“ and minor health issues which we quickly corrected for her. She traveled with us often on hikes, beaches, cross country road trips and everywhere else. My husband often said that she was as much a part of our marriage as our wedding bands. She was my puppy soul mate and after years of Lasix and good clean food and everything we could do for her, we ultimately had to let her go at our Veterinarian’s office late one night, when we knew it was time. It was devastating but I am happy to write to you that she left us, in our arms with vanilla ice cream all over her chin. I deployed about six months later.

We rescued a second dog about 4 years ago and she is also a joy in our lives and is currently living with my husband in an Army school in Maryland.

I am approaching the end of a good, but long, deployment. As Combat Camera in Iraq, I have endured a lot of travel, discomfort, terrible weather, shelter and food. Overall I always try find friendly faces and humor in my days here. This brings me to “Erby”.

I have a few distinct missions here in Iraq in regards to my photography and videography work. One is to locate and document Coalition soldiers training Iraqi Security forces and Peshmerga forces to aid in defeating ISIS. Erby is a stray who is estimated to be about 4 months old. He lives at Camp Bnaslawa, near Erbil, Iraq. This is a Peshmerga Camp that holds a training facility named “The Kurdistan Coordination Center.’

Erby is an adorable puppy who loves people, children and all animals that reside with him. The training facility is often full of soldiers from Germany, Italy, Britain, Sweden and Finland. He meets our convoys regularly, racing frantically, with his clumsy long legs often tripping on the way.

He makes us all smile and laugh. As military members we are often instructed to not touch or feed stray animals. Well, he receives a lot of love, hugs, pets, belly scratches and a lot of food and snacks.

He recently survived a sand storm and eagerly awaited me to exit a building, and I just knew within that moment, that my beloved Sweet Pea would approve of him joining our family. Since I am a photographer, I will happily share some images of Erby living his life.

For all intents and purposes, he is already luckier than most stray dogs in this country, but two of his siblings have disappeared and it’s only a matter of time before a new command rotates in and has him thrown off of the base. I would like to keep him safe and give him a permanent home with my small family. I want to continue to spoil him with love, medical care and comfort for the rest of his life.”