When an American soldier named Chris Duke was stationed in Afghanistan, little did he know that he would meet three special beings that would change his life forever. One day, he came across three homeless dogs, and took his time to feed and care for them. The dogs, whom he named Sasha, Rufus and Target respectively, were extremely gentle yet playful. Chris quickly forged a bond with the canine trio, spending as much time as he could with them.
Chris and his team decided to bring the dogs back to their base so that they would have a place to eat, sleep and rest for the nights to come. According to Chris, the three dogs were a source of comfort for many of his teammates – especially if they were homesick.
The dogs didn’t just become good friends with Chris and his colleagues, however. They would even go on to save their lives.
One night when everyone was asleep, the dogs started barking. Chris and the others soon woke up, realizing that there had been a serious problem. A suicide bomber was found to be attempting to make his way into the soldiers’ base! All three dogs attacked him, forcing him to detonate the bomb, killing himself instead in the blast. Sasha, Rufus and Target saved 50 lives in total.
Unfortunately, Sasha was badly wounded in the blast, and had to be euthanized. Rufus and Target were the remaining two who survived. Chris’s firm belief was that he would have probably perished and would not be here today if it weren’t for them.
Thanks to the dogs, Chris and the others were able to go home safely. This meant that Chris’ stay in the country was going to end. He did not want to return to the United States alone.
He was also worried that the next group of soldiers to move into the barracks would not want the dogs around, leaving them with no place to stay. He contacted Hope for the Warriors, an group aiming to assist soldiers going home after active combat. Chris begged the organisation to try to fly the dogs back to the States.
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The organisation’s CEO, Robin, was touched by Chris’ story and decided to help. She started a fundraiser to finance the travel, necessary injections and other expenses that were required to successfully import the two dogs. Today, Chris was reunited with Rufus and target back home – whom he credits for saving many lives, including his own!
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