'Nubs the Dog: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle'
In October 2007, Dennis and his team of 11 men were in Iraq patrolling the Syrian border. One day, as his team arrived at a border fort, they encountered a pack of stray dogs -- not uncommon in the barren, rocky desert that was home to wolves and wild dogs.
"We all got out of the Humvee and I started working when this dog came running up," recalls Dennis. "I said, 'Hey buddy' and bent down to pet him." Dennis noticed the dog's ears had been cut. "I said, 'You got little nubs for ears.'" The name stuck. The dog whose ears had been shorn off as a puppy by an Iraqi soldier (to make the dog "look tougher," Dennis says) became known as Nubs.
Dennis fed Nubs scraps from his field rations, including bits of ham and frosted strawberry Pop Tarts. "I didn't think he'd eat the Pop Tart, but he did," says Dennis.
At night, Nubs accompanied the men on night patrols. "I'd get up in the middle of the night to walk the perimeter with my weapon and Nubs would get up and walk next to me like he was doing guard duty," says Dennis.