Bailey the German shepherd mix went from a war zone to a ZIP code with the help of Guardians of Rescue and Save-A-Pet.
She and the four goldfish she lives with in California are getting along just fine, but if she could just . . . get to those . . . pesky squirrels on the backyard fence.
Less than a year ago, Bailey was a stray in Afghanistan. She was given to Kevin Brady, a member of the California National Guard, by Afghan troops when he was stationed there during the war. The two became "war buddies," but when Brady's deployment ended in May 2013 he had to leave behind Bailey, who was only a few months old.
Their separation lasted only a couple of months, though, thanks to the two Long Island nonprofits and Nowzad, an international rescue organization. Last July, Brady and Bailey were reunited at Save-A-Pet's facility in Port Jefferson Station.
Bailey is now enjoying life with Brady, who splits his time between Fair Oaks and North Lake Tahoe, Calif., and his sons, Nolan 4, and Cade, 3.
"She is doing great, loving the weather," said Brady, 32. "She is curious of other dogs and socializes incredibly well."
Afghanistan's dry conditions definitely make Bailey a land lover, Brady said, noting that she likes the American River in Sacramento but has stayed clear of the ocean. She likes going on walks and hikes near the river with Brady and his sons, who he said both love Bailey. "My youngest was afraid of dogs," he said. "However, after a short introductory period, they all get along great."
At home, Bailey splits her time between inside and out, and has a nature fitting for the dog of a soldier. She is curious, loving and protective, Brady said, and is his kindred spirit.
"I like Bailey because she is a piece of me," he said. "Her wagging tail and running in circles is the same each time I'm reunited with her. The way she curls up and lays at my feet and looks up at me, it's a great feeling."