We’ve heard countless stories of heroism from the war in Afghanistan. Ones with happy endings are always reliable for a dose of upliftment. Happy endings involving rescue dogs? That takes the cake. Or dog cookie.
Fred The Afghan isn’t what you’d expect. He hails from the Sangin District, Afghanistan but he’s of the canine kind. This scrappy, mix breed wunderkind is slowly becoming a star online, with his amazing story and savvy networking skills.
Fred met his owner, Craig Rossi during days of fighting between the Taliban and American military. He noticed the stubby legged pooch after the dust settled.
The rule in Afghan army bases is that soldiers are not allowed to approach stray dogs, who usually travel in packs and can be snappy.
Fred, however, was different. He was a lone ranger and wanted friends. Perhaps to form his own pack.
“He was as confident as he was little,” Grossi told The Dodo. “‘He’s got it figured out,’ I thought.”
Grossi and Fred became fast friends, with the small dog quickly assimilating himself into the army unit.
“When we started going out at night, Fred came with us,” Grossi said. But he and the other marines were worried that Fred might bark and draw attention to them. “But Fred figured out not to bark — he never made a sound.”
Eventually the time came to ship out of that location and Grossi had a dilemma on his hands.
“I was talking to him,” Grossi said. “‘If you want [to leave],’ I said, ‘I need a sign.'”
Fred ended up hopping on the Helicopter with his new pack and that was it. He and Grossi were inseparable.
After a short stay at a DHL station near Grossi’s base, a close call involving injury and a stay in hospital, Fred was on a flight to New York where Grossi’s parents were there to pick him up.
“There were all these things people were sending home on the conveyor belt, like rugs and carpets,” Grossi said. “And then there was this filthy dog.”
Three months later, dog and owner were reunited. Grossi and Fred embarked on an eight week road trip around Fred’s new home country, recounting the story of how this amazing dog ended up in his new life.
Lucky for us, Grossi is writing a book about it all and loaded can’t wait to get our hands on it.
Well done Fred.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.