By Rossi D. Pedroza-Bertrand, 940th Air Refueling Wing
/ Published October 27, 2020
SSgt. Gemma De Tinne and her new friend forever in the California sunshine after Carl arrives by aircraft and to begin his new journey. (Courtesy photo provided by V. Prieto).
If only Carl could talk. What do you supposed he would say to us? It would be more than, "Bow wow!" (Courtesy photo provided by V. Prieto).
Carl expresses his gratitude He is smiling corner to corner and from tooth to tooth,. (Courtesy photo provided by V. Prieto).
Carl is just happy to be alive. Adopted animals can be such a joy for the new family. In fact, the dogs can be the best of the bunch and they know they are wanted and it shows. (Courtesy photo provided by V. Prieto).
Puppy Rescue Mission uses social media platforms to support and receive donations for future pets like Carl and others. These deployers express emotion they feel for this canines who are about to be adopted. (Courtesy photo by PRM Facebook page).
One month ago, September, Carl was a stray canine without a home far from United States borders. He was just a dog without a destination when he first had begun showing up around a certain aircraft maintenance area where Airmen were busily supporting the mission while deployed abroad.
After a while, Carl officially turned into an unofficial squadron and morale dog for many of the men and women serving away from their normal life. Most everyone there agreed that having a four-legged furry friend around like Carl made their deployment just way better.
“When I first saw Carl he was so severely malnourished that he looked like a walking skeleton,” said SSgt. Gemma De Tinne, metals technician, 940th Air Refueling Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California.
“He was extremely skittish around people, and would only eat the food I gave him if it was far from the office and I went inside while he ate. But there was something about him I was already in love with,” said De Tinne.
De Tinne recalled, “So through a month of feeding him, Carl became more and more comfortable around me until one day I was able to reach out and pet him. All of a sudden he just changed. He was so happy after that day he began to just trot alongside me and became the friendly dog that he always had inside of him,” said De Tinne.
Carl’s normal duty day would begin minutes after he woke up in the morning and he would be just in time to greet all of the maintainers getting off the bus for work. Then happily he would go to beg for food and head scratches before running around in the grass for a while.
De Tinne continued, “But Carl deserved a good and permanent home where he was not at risk of being picked up by animal control. And that’s why I wanted to adopt him. I had become so close to this dog, that I honestly couldn’t image my life without him now.”
She described what happened next to bring Carl here to California.
“So when it came time to (hopefully) get him home, everyone really pitched in. One of the key spouses who supports the members of the 940th ARW, Ms. Virginia Prieto, found a charity that was willing to help. And everyone that knew Carl (and a lot of our 940th members that didn’t) donated funds so that he would be able to come home. Carl was really important to the whole squadron. I just ended up being the one lucky enough to keep him.”
For De Tinne and Carl, Puppy Rescue Mission, also known as PRM, was a dream come true.
Everyone could use a paw up from time to time. Never know. It could be you.
PRM: In most cases, when our military bonds with a stray dog while at war, Puppy Rescue Mission helps them adopt the animal and bring it home to a life a dog deserves. Sometimes though, the service member is not in a position to adopt...that's where Sasha's Legacy steps in.
Puppy Rescue Mission is the brainchild of Anna Chiasson, president and founding member. Anna’s idea for PRM began when her fiancé, Chris Chiasson, was deployed to Afghanistan.
A few weeks prior to Chiasson arrival at his combat outpost, a suicide bomber entered the post in the middle of the night.
The dogs on the post immediately started barking and took off in pursuit of the bomber. One of the dogs, Rufus, grabbed the bomber’s leg while the two other dogs, Target and Sasha, alerted the troops.
Realizing his cover was blown, the suicide bomber blew himself up never making it into the living quarters of the soldiers.
Sadly, Sasha did not survive the attack. And this is where Sasha’s Legacy steps in:
Soldiers Saving Puppies. Puppies Saving Soldiers.
PRM can be contacted at: anna@The PuppyRescueMission.org and info@the puppyrescuemission.org. Information is available online by searching Puppy Rescue Mission and Sasha’s Legacy.
Puppy Rescue Mission. (2020) Copyright in review [Webpage]. Retrieved from https://puppyrescuemission.org/