Rescued Afghan dog travels the world

Published 10:59 pm Monday, July 30, 2012

Macy, a German Shepherd mix, poses with her adoptive family (from left) Braeden Williams, Debbie Hall and Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jessica Williams. (WDN Photo/Sara Cowell)

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jessica Williams came home from her deployment in Afghanistan with a new addition to her family.
An Army explosive-ordnance-disposal unit found the dog near an improvised explosive device. They named her Macy after a service dog that was killed in action shortly before they found her. Macy quickly became sort of a mascot for the unit. Soldiers shared the responsibility of caring for her, and she showered each of them with affection.

  • Check out our photos of Macy, a rescued dog from Afghanistan, in our photo gallery here.

“She would sleep in bed with the soldiers — so she’s spoiled,” Williams said.
Some had talked about taking her home with them, but it was no easy feat. To get the necessary shots, cover the cost of a kennel and pay for the trip to the states, Williams had to pay $6,000.
“My husband and sister-in-law started up a Facebook page, and we received donations from all over the world,” Williams said. “Had they not done that, we wouldn’t have gotten her.”
The page, “Macy’s Hope,” remains active. The family gives progress reports to those who helped bring her home.
Macy came to the U.S. by way of Kabul, Afghanistan. From there, she went to Pakistan, on to London and then New York City, where she finally met the Williams family. They drove up from Virginia to meet her.
Macy’s traveling days have not ended. Williams was recently assigned to Yokota Air Base in Japan. Macy will make the change of station with the rest of the family.
Before the big move, Macy came to stay with Washington resident Debbie Hall, Williams’ mother.
Hall said Macy’s reaction to being stateside is priceless. She had never seen grass before. Macy was apprehensive and placed one paw on the grass at a time, like a person would test water before a swim.
“She’s good to love on,” Hall said of her houseguest. “She barks a lot. She sheds a lot. But she’s a good dog.”
Williams described Macy as loyal, playful and a chameleon that adapts to the moods of others. She was never trained as a service dog, but she is a natural at it, Williams said.
Williams, a mental-health technician, said Macy was amazing with the soldiers and has been a joy for her family.
Williams said Macy usually greets her at the door for a hug. She stands on her hind legs to offer her affection.
“She definitely was a source of comfort for me coming back from my deployment,” Williams said.
She and her family are convinced Macy speaks Pashto, a native language of Afghanistan.
“When she barks, we call it her Taliban warning system,” Williams said. “She’s very, very protective of us.”
After seeing Macy in action, Williams wanted to share her story to advocate for Paws and people assisting Wounded Warriors. The nonprofit raises money for psychiatric service dogs.
Dogs like Macy may help Wounded Warriors with everything from night terrors to hallucinations.
To learn more about PpaWWs or make a contribution, go to