If you missed it, the "Today" show on NBC featured the story of a Marine who made friends with a dog in Iraq named Nubs. It's no ordinary story, though.
The fact the two of them were sitting in a New York studio on Monday was impressive in itself. It wasn't supposed to happen. Military rules are written to prevent this sort of thing - soldiers cannot have pets in war zones. Period.
But it happens, as we've written about previously. In this case, Maj. Brian Dennis, a Marine pilot who first came across Nubs in October 2007 at a border fort, befriended the dog, got him to California and has written a children's book about their adventure: "Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle," published by Little, Brown Young Readers.
"As soon as I met him, he just kind of jumped up and I started playing with him," Dennis said. "The first time we ever met, he just kind of flipped over. I started rubbing his belly. Really, my whole team, we just kind of bonded with him as soon as we met him."
Nubs got his name because his ears had been lopped off by an Iraqi soldier. It's a common procedure, done so that there's less for another dog to grab in case of a fight, but also to make the dogs tougher. As Dennis said, "It didn't make much sense to me."
Dennis figured he had seen the last of Nubs when he was transferred to another fort 70-75 miles away on the Iraqi border. But as his convoy of soldiers pulled out, the dog followed. And followed.
Somehow, Nubs made it all the way to where Dennis was stationed. It took him a couple of days, but he was not going to be denied. "It was the craziest thing when he walked up," Dennis recalled. "It was just amazing."
Now, the two are together, thanks to donations that helped Dennis bring his dog home. It's clearly an enduring friendship.