Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Home for Dogs of War; Navy Man Reunited with Pets He Knew While Serving in Afghanistan

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Home for Dogs of War; Navy Man Reunited with Pets He Knew While Serving in Afghanistan

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey

Even though they had been separated for four months, Navy Lt. Adam Walski only had to call his dogs' names once before they came running.

The year-old sisters, striking blond Afghan and Lab mixes named Carms and Candy, knew he was the one who had bonded with their mother in Afghanistan and saved their lives as puppies.

He was the one who found a way to get them out of their war-torn homeland after being transferred back to the U.S.

"It feels good," said Walski, appearing a tad misty-eyed as he petted their heads, hugged them and stroked their long fur. "They're finally home."

The lieutenant and his dogs were reunited Wednesday at the home Walski and wife Sarah share on Jacksonville's Southside.

Carms and Candy were laid-back and calm despite a long air trip from a Kabul shelter to New York and another long car trip to Florida. In the Walskis' backyard, they experienced grass for the first time, did their personal business in the bushes and lapped up water from their new bowls.

The Walskis were stunned that the dogs were apparently unfazed by the journey.

"They are so chilled out!" said Sarah Walski.

Watching too was Pen Farthing, the former British marine who founded the Nowzad Dogs animal shelter and clinic in Kabul. The charity was named after an Afghanistan town where he served.

As a "sideline," the shelter takes in animals that were adopted by Afghanistan-based military members who had to leave the country, he said. The shelter gets all the required vaccinations and paperwork done and raises funds to send the pets home to their military families.

For this trip, Farthing and his girlfriend brought Carms and Candy to the United States, as well as four other animals that went to other military families across the country. It cost about $4,000 each to transport Walski's dogs, he said. …

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