Monday, December 31, 2007

How to get out of Iraq...

Well the last remaining step for getting Charlie home is still the most daunting! The question of how to get him out of Iraq and on his way to the United States is one that does not have an easy answer. I have been working many angles on trying to get him out but nothing is definate yet. I have a few leads right now that are looking good, but still nothing for sure. The thing is its so tricky to get him out of Iraq when technically he's not allowed of Iraq and the military has rules against pets. Apparently they had modified that rule slighty when concerning the situation that Charlie is in, and have made a statement allowing 1 animal to be kept at an outpost/JSS facility for security purposes and as an early warning. So for now, hes fine where he is, but time is slowly ticking away until our time is up.

Like I said just about everything has been taken care of on my end that I can and have been advised to take care of. He has recieved his shots and I have the health certificates from the Ministry of Agriculture. He has a shipping crate that is more than adequate for his size. He has had a microchip ID and one of those national dog tag IDs as well. There is plenty of food and many toys for his time here and probably for home as well. All that needs to happen is to find his way out of Iraq. Once he is out of Iraq, then things will be taken care of from there so I'm still optimistic at this time, just a little worried. I will continue to do all I can to try and make this happen and if anyone has any ideas or ways they may be able to help, please contact me. Right now Matt Burden of Blackfive is working a channel that may be able to get him out of Iraq, but as I have said before, any and all help we can get we will definatly take.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Charlie got his shots!!

Alright well a quick update as for Charlie and his rabbies shot. I was finally able to get together a patrol and stop by the Ministry of Agriculture. I talked with one of the guys there and he made the trip to the veternarian hospital and picked up the rabbies shot along with 2 others, which I don't remeber what they were. He came back and admisitered them. Charlie took them like a champ and didn't really put up a fight at all. The doctor had to swing back by a couple days later to drop of the health certificate, but I was unable to coordinate being at the outpost when he was to come by. The next rotation out there I will be able to get in touch with him and having him come by and drop that off. The countdown is now underway for the waiting period to pass and then the wheels can start rolling on getting him out of Iraq. Things are looking pretty good right now for transport out and if all goes well hopefully he will be on his was soon. Figured Id just put this latest break up here since it has been a while since I've posted an update.

Charlie is getting big now. He's almost full grown Id say. He's turned in to such a great dog and I so can't wait to get him back to the states and get him cleaned up and see what a beautiful dog he really is. He's going to make a great companion back home and Im exicted that this is looking like it is going to happen. Charlie has been going out on dismounted patrols with us now too. I didn't like the idea at first, but after going on several patrols with him, I think he really enjoys getting out and he seems to have a good time with us. He also helps us when we do random vechicle stops by barking at the car until we get up there and get the driver out! :) He has gotten a little too friendly with some of the local nieghborhood dogs, but now he has learned to keep his distance and stays around most of us.

A quick story about the "Adventure of Charlie" that happened while I was home on leave. One of our squads headed out on a patrol and ended up having to stay in some building watching this area all night and the next morning they got picked up by another platoon to come back to the outpost. They tried to get Charlie in the trucks, but the other platoon was not letting them and they had to leave him out there, a good ways away from the outpost. Everyone was worried what was going to happen with im and after almost 3 days people were starting to wonder if he was even ok, until out of nowhere he came trotting back in the entrance to the outpost. The little guy had survived out there on his own and somehow found his way back! I couln't believe it when I heard the story and I'm so glad that he made it back. He's ok now and from this point forward any squad not coming back on foot makes sure and has Charlie stay behind when they head out.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

SPCA comes to the rescue??

Well I have been working with many people and organizations to try and figure out a way to get Charlie home. Like I've said the only real issue that I am running into is the passage out of Iraq. Its a touchy situation. But besides Bonnie and Military Mascots whom have been a great deal of help in figuring everything out that needs to happen, the SPCA has been working hard in trying to find a solution for Charlie as well as several other pets in Iraq and Afghanistan. I just received an email from them that they may have something worked out for transport out of Iraq. If all goes well hopefully this can happen soon and he can be on his way to the hands of the Military Mascots organization and finally on his way to the US. I will keep everyone posted as this developes.

Also just a quick note to let everyone know that packages for Charlie have been coming in at an outstanding rate. We have received tons of food, theats, bones, toys and various other pet supplies. The last rotation out to the outpost we were able to take the first batch and he has loved just about everything he has received. He is really taking to eating dog food now, but he really went to town on the Benful dog food because it is soft, not totally hard like most dog food. He still eats the other stuff but usually only one or two pieces at a time. He has received several baths, but unfortunately the entire grounds of the outpost are covered in dirt, so he manages to dirty himself right back up like he never had a bath to begin with. But he is still very clean compared to most Iraqi dogs! Also his shipping Kennel has arrived and it is HUGE!! He will have plenty of room in there so no worries about it being to small. Thanks to everone who have sent stuff for Charlie. The number of you all is too great to mention, but THANK YOU!!

I have another friend and fellow soldier working with me to help get Charlie home and he will be handle the exchange of information between SPCA and any coordination that may need to take place while I am on leave. I will be heading out shortly for an 18 day stay back in the US before I head back here to Iraq for a little while longer. Things are looking pretty good right now. I was starting to get worried about wheter or not finding a way out of Iraq was going to be possible, but this new light has given new hope. Lets all keep our fingers crossed and prayers going! Thank you again to everyone for all the emails offering help and support. It means a lot to know how much Charlie is loved!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sorry for the lack of updates...

Ok I haven't posted much up here lately, but thats because there hasn't been much to update about. Fortunately a lot of what needed to happened occured quickly in the first week or so that this site was up, so that pretty much leaves just the last real main issue of finding Charlie a way out of Iraq. I have a couple angles that I am working on right now, but nothing is set in stone. Trust me as soon as I know, and its a go, I will let yall know once it has happened! But understand that progress will be slow at this point because this last step is of course the hardest step to accomplish. There is practically an Army of supporters out there working right now to try to figure something out. The trip out of Iraq is touchy, but Im still confident that this can happen. Thanks again for every and your support.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Rabies vaccination

Just a quick update for ya. I talked with some of the Iraqi Police around here, and even though I did not have a translator with me, I was able to get the basics of what I was asking and what they were saying. I have confirmed that the Ministry of Agriculture which is easily accessable for me, indeed does the rabies shot!! This is a big relief so now it is just a matter of getting over there which should be soon. I'll keep yall posted.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Progress with Charlie...

Well if you haven't had a chance to see the list of checked items on the list, they have pretty much all been checked off except for the critical 2. I have been working with Bonnie at Military Mascots and she has been a great help in getting this taken care of for me and helping me out along the way.

I got a chance to see Charlie the other day while on patrol when we stopped by the outpost. Before we headed there, we made a stop by the Green Zone (this large internation base in Baghdad) and while at the PX I picked him up a big bag a Science Diet dog food. I dropped that off at the outpost. When I went back there to find him I was looking around and found him in the shade in a puddle that was on the ground. He seems to love those dirty puddles, but they really help him stay cool. Anyways when I saw him, he had just seen me and I dont know if its just wishful thinking on my part but he seemed super excited to see me. Now that he's getting older he's teething less and not bitting as much which is good. He also almost has 'Sit' command down!!! We were playing for a good while in back before I had him follow me out front where the rest of my platoon was. Of course as soon as Charlie showed up everyone began paying him all the attention in the world. He's got such great guys and I know he loves it.

So we will be heading out to the outpost in a little bit and I will be finding out some info about getting his rabies vaccine through the Ministry of Agriculture. Hopefully good things and I'll keep yall posted. I'm going to take some pictures of him and I got some old ones from when he was real little and will be putting them up soon.

Alright well that is about all for now. Know that he is doing good, getting big and receiving plenty of love! Thank you all for all your support!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Overwhealming support! THANK YOU!

OK I have some new updates and everything, but I just got back from being out for a couple days. After I get some sleep I will put up more info. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your support. I have received so many emails from people showing support, wanting to help and thinking up ideas. I am truly appreciative of all of this. If you have emailed me and I have not responded please understand that I have received an overwhelming amount of email and I simply am just not able to respond to them all. Know that I do read them and I am moved by the level of support I have received. For that I am greatful. So make sure and stay posted as I will try to keep updates coming as frequently as I can.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What is needed...

OK, right now I have compiled a checklist of things that need to happen in order for Charlie to be able to make it home. This list is not final and will be updated with new information as it comes to my attention. I will also update this list as tasks are accomplished.

Rabies vaccination (unknown cost)
Health certificate for Rabies vaccination (unknown cost)
Shipping kennel
Airline International shipping fees (Average $1000+)
Connection domestic US flight (approx. $300-$500)
Fees for Import/Export, agent, etc (unknown cost)
Additional shots, screening, etc by vet is US (unkown cost)
Arrange transport for flight home

Alright well that is all that I have for now. Like I said I will update this with sucesses and/or new requirements as I learn them.

Right now the biggest hurdles that stand in the way are the Rabies vaccination with accompanying health certificate and transportation out of Iraq. I am working a few angles on these and will keep you all informed.

Monday, September 3, 2007


First off I want to thank you for visiting this site and showing your support for Charlie, Charles, Chuck.... whatever you want to call him! :)

The purpose of this site is to provide a place where information can come together, be exchanged and updates on the current situation with Charlie can be disseminated. My hope here is to 1) keep everyone informed as to the progress of whats been dubbed 'Operation Get Charlie Home!' and 2) as a central place for those that wish to help, because I have a feeling we are going to need all the help we can get.

I will be working on this site over the next couple days so stay posted as I add some more stuff too it. I plan on having a running list of tasks to be accomplished as well as putting up a photo section of pictures I have so far, and any other pictures that are taken of him in the future.

This little guy means so much to me, as well as a lot of the other soldiers I work with. We just hope and pray that things can come together so that he can arrive safely in the United States. Once there he will be taken care of until we return and can be reunited. Right now I am very confident that this mission will suceed, no doubt due to the overwhealming support I have received already. THANK YOU!!