Nick and Bodhi at their happy reunion in a Florida Airport.

Something the United States Armed Forces never considered were U.S. soldiers bonding fiercely with dogs they happened upon while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Often reviled in Middle Eastern tribal cultures, dogs in these parts have found love and life with American troops far from home. Separated from their family members, a growing number of troops are refusing to leave the region without their new four-legged friends.

Thus was born the Puppy Rescue Mission, a dedicated group raising funds for soldiers to stay with, and be reunited with the pups they fell in love with while on duty.

Bodhi, a mere pup with no ears and half a tale is one such pup. Nick B, according to MSN.com, saw the pup, a victim of dog fighting and did what he could. Armed with skills learned in a convenience store, Nick traded his cigarettes for Bodhi, luring him with beef jerky and learned quickly; this was only half the battle.

He enlisted the aid of the Puppy Rescue Mission, who guided and negotiated Nick and Bodhis’ way through Taliban controlled territories that culminated in a happy Florida reunification last week.

– Amy Lidster