Former Marine Raises Money to Bring Home Stray Dog He Befriended in Afghanistan
When former Marine Shaun Duling met Bolt, a stray Labrador-shepherd mix, the little fella was skittish and hungry. Duling was doing contract work in Afghanistan with a German military unit, and while the Germans had adopted Bolt's sister as their mascot, the less-outgoing Bolt was mostly ignored.
Duling started to pay attention to the neglected pooch, who almost immediately became his loyal companion, accompanying him on runs and waiting for him at his office in the morning. Their bond was tested when the base's commander ordered all dogs removed and brought to a village 12 miles away. But the next morning there Bolt was, waiting for Duling like he had been before being banned. After Bolt kept returning, the base commander gave in and allowed him to stay.
The end of Duling's yearlong contract presented another challenge for their relationship, and he says Bolt tried to jump into the helicopter when it took him away.
Back home in Virginia, Duling realized he just didn't feel right with Bolt halfway around the world. So, with the help of the dog-rescue organization Nowzad, Duling set up a Facebook page soliciting donations for the costs of bringing Bolt to the United States.
Four thousand dollars later, Bolt is in America. The pooch is still in quarantine, but come November 5, Duling and his furry buddy will be back together for good.