Major Brian Dennis of the United State Marine Corp. had a life changing experience while in Iraq. His troop was patrolling the Syrian border in October 2007 when they came across a group of stray dogs. This was very common in the desert where you would often find several packs of dogs and wolves roaming around.
They all got into their Humvee when a dog came running up. An Iraqi soldier had cut off the tops of the dogs ears to make him look tough. The Major bent down to pet him and said, “You got little nubs for ears.” They all began calling him Nubs.
Every couple of weeks they would return to the Border Fort and he would feed him food scraps and Frosted Strawberry Pop Tarts. Each night Nubs would patrol the area with the Major, as if he too was on duty. When they would leave Nubs would run beside the Humvee, which was traveling at 40 mph, keeping up with them until he became worn out and would disappear into the dust.
One day when they returned to the area to patrol, they found Nubs badly wounded on his side from being stabbed with a screwdriver. The wound was badly infected so they pulled out some antiseptic from their kits and some antibiotics and fed it to him with some peanut butter. That night Nubs was in so much pain that he didn’t eat or drink and slept standing up because he could not lay down.
The next day Nubs was doing better, but once they left the Major couldn’t stop thinking about him, wondering if he would survive. Two weeks later when they returned they found Nubs alive & well. The Major said that he feels that was the turning point in their relationship.
This time when the Humvees left, Nubs continued to follow. He lost sight of them but somehow continued the two-day journey. Nubs traveled 70 miles in freezing temperature, without food or water, surviving attacks from several wild dogs and wolves. He fought and ran and fought and ran, until he eventually reached the camp, torn and chewed up. When the Major walked outside his tent, Nubs jumped up on him licking his face with joy and excitement. No one could believe that he had followed them so many miles and was able to survive the trip through the desert and find them.
The Major had found a very special friend but knew he wasn’t able to keep him at the camp. He decided to e-mail family & friends to try and raise money to have him shipped to his home in San Diego. They heard the incredibly touching story and were so inspired that they were able to raise $5,000.00 to have Nubs flown to CA. One month later the Major finished his tour and was reunited with Nubs. They have an incredible bond that was established through an act of kindness. He has written a children’s book titled, "Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle," published by Little, Brown for Young Readers.
This story is a reminder that a simple act of kindness can have an incredible effect on not only animals, but people too. When you see someone who looks beaten down, sad, lonely, discouraged or hungry. Take a moment to stop and offer a kind word, smile, words of encouragement or a meal.
That one simple gesture may just help someone rise above their current circumstance and change their life. If a dog can travel over 70 miles, endure pain and the freezing elements, imagine what a human being can do with a little help!
"If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."
"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever - the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name. He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."