Brandon Carroll spent his last day of deployment with a puppy he was caring for outside the compound. They met in Indianapolis a few months later.
INDIANAPOLIS – After weeks of separation, a US Navy is finally reunited with his best friend.
Brandon Carroll was deployed overseas to Georgia last August to assist the country with his infantry battalion. Outside the compound, Carroll and a group of Marines came across six newborn puppies who were abandoned.
“It was winter there and it was cold and wet and rainy. We found them and we were like, ‘We can’t leave them to fend for themselves,’” said Carroll.
The Marines fed and cared for the puppies. Carroll immediately established a connection with one of them. He called her Lady.
“The more I started to pay attention to her and take care of her, the more I became attached and the more she attached me,” Carroll said. “She was so excited when she saw me. They were so small that she could easily fit in my forearm. She was so small.”
Carroll’s deployment ended earlier this year.
“I stayed awake for the last 24 hours spending all the time I could with her,” Carroll said.
RELATED: Air Force Captain Reunites His Bloodhound Beauregard After Deploying Overseas
It was a farewell that didn’t last too long. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal International (SPCA International), a global animal rescue group, has found a way to bring the two together through its program called “Operation Baghdad Pups”.
Currently, US military regulations do not allow animals to be officially transported, and alternative animal transport is generally expensive and involves complex logistics. The pandemic has also made it more difficult, according to the SPCA International.
SPCA International works through the process for service members. So far, they have brought together over 1,000 animals since 2013.
“I don’t know how I could have brought her home,” Carroll said. “The SPCA was instrumental. It was the only way I could have done that.”
RELATED: Service Member Adopts Dog He Met in Iraq
So far, the six-month-old puppy is adjusting to his new home and has been greeted by Brandon’s wife and their other dog.
“My wife absolutely loves him to death. She spoils him every chance she has, ”Carroll said. “The moment my wife saw her, she started going through the names and everything. Lady stuck because she is so delicate.
It is a lasting bond that is special in more than one way.
“She really stole my heart,” Carroll said.
The other five puppies were also reunited with US Marines across the country.