'Nubs the Dog: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle'

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Maj. Brian Dennis and his pet dog Nubs's picture

Maj. Brian Dennis and Nubs the Dog today.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

When Maj. Brian Dennis of the United States Marine Corps met a wild stray dog with shorn ears while serving in Iraq, he had no idea of the bond they would form, leading to seismic changes in both their lives. "The general theme of the story of Nubs is that if you're kind to someone, they'll never forget you -- whether it be person or animal," Dennis tells Paw Nation.

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.

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Tom

I think this is a amazing story! Especially that Nubs walked 70 miles and two days WOW!! I cried when I heard what Nubs went through. The wound in his stomach and not eating much filling weak I am glad hes happy.

Maggie

April 03 2012 at 10:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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