Sgt. Tracy McKithern found a small stray dog wandering around her army base and began caring for her.
A crowdfunding campaign through Puppy Rescue Mission raised enough money to bring the dog, named Erby, home.
McKithern was deployed again before Erby arrived, but they recently reunited.
For Army Reserve Sgt. Tracy McKithern, it was love at first sight.
While stationed at the Kurdistan Training Coordination Center, the combat photographer took notice of a small, white, stray female dog wandering around the base, according to an Army report.
“She is the sweetest little soul,” McKithern said. “She came up to me immediately — probably hungry, but gentle. I think she was looking for love more than anything else.”
Other soldiers on the base began caring for and feeding the dog, naming her “Erby” after the Iraqi city of Irbil. Erby started waiting for them to come back and sleeping outside of McKithern’s quarters.
As McKithern prepared to return home, she reached out to Puppy Rescue Mission to see it it would be possible to take Erby with her. The organization set up a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the necessary vaccinations, paperwork, and travel arrangements, which reached its goal of $4,500 with most contributions coming from “complete strangers,” McKithern said.
McKithern went back home to Tampa, Florida, but was deployed again a month later while awaiting Erby’s arrival. Her husband picked up the dog in New York and drove her back to Florida. When McKithern returned home again for their long-awaited reunion, Erby immediately recognized her.
“Hi, do you remember me?” McKithern asked Erby when they finally met again.
In reply, Erby jumped on top of her and began licking her face.
You can watch a video of their reunion as reported by ABC Action News below.
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Source:: Business Insider