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Rescued dog coming home to Manchester soldier

October 22. 2011 7:28PM
Afghanistan combat veteran New Hampshire National Guard SSgt. Abel Emanuelli looks at a photo of "Charlie," an Afghani dog he is trying to adopt through (BOB LaPREE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER - Rescued from a war zone in Afghanistan, a dog named Charlie may be home with the Manchester soldier who's adopting him next weekend.

Staff Sgt. Abel Emanuelli said he's grateful to New Hampshire residents and others around the country who raised the funds to bring the dog here.

'I want to thank everyone,' he said. 'I think it's awesome. It shows that people are still grateful for what soldiers do over there.'

Emanuelli, 27, served in Afghanistan with the New Hampshire Army National Guard's Charlie Company last year. He adopted a local stray over there, despite Army regulations that prohibit soldiers from keeping pets on base.

When Charlie Company returned to New Hampshire, Emanuelli had to leave his dog, whom he named Fat Head, behind with other soldiers. He later learned the dog had been discovered and euthanized.

He got in touch with an organization called The Puppy Rescue Mission, which helps soldiers bring their dogs home with them. After hearing his story, they matched him up with a dog named Charlie who has been waiting in a shelter in Kabul for a year.

The adoption hit a snag last week, however, when a shipping company mistakenly shipped the wrong dog to the United States, Emanuelli said. That postponed Charlie's own journey; Emanuellihe now expects the dog will arrive here Saturday.

The other dog sent by mistake will be adopted through a U.S. shelter, Emanuelli said.

- By Shawne K. Wickham,

Sunday News Staff

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