Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman says his six month stint in Iraq would have been much tougher if he hadnt found a puppy named Lava to pass the time with.
The former Marine talks about his relationship with his canine companion in his book From Baghdad, With Love (The Lyons Press).
Kopelman says the Shepherd/Husky mix was a bundle of nerves when a Marine battalion found him in an abandoned compound in Fallujah, Iraq and, despite a no pets rule, the soldiers took him under their wing.
They nursed Lava back to health by de-worming him with chewing tobacco and even made a makeshift dog house hidden in plain sight of their commanding officer so he could play.
Although Lava was known to poop and chew on the guys boots, Kopelman says he was something to remind us that there were things that were OK in the world.
Now Lava is safe in La Jolla, California, and Kopelman is proud to report that he is house trained and full of energy.
From Baghdad, With Love hits stores October 3.
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