Monday, August 24, 2009

National Guardsman reunited with dog

Ed Panosh with his dog Molsen on the balcony of his apartment on the Northwest Side of Chicago on Friday, Aug 21, 2009. The dog was shipped to Chicago from the camp in Afghanistan where Panosh served. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune / August 21, 2009)

Ed Panosh, a Chicago police detective and first sergeant in the Illinois National Guard, thought he'd never see a beloved camp dog again when he left his Afghan base near Kandahar in May.

But friends who heard about a charity that helps with this sort of thing filled out the paperwork, crated up the dog and mailed it home before telling Panosh about their plans. "I got on the helicopter kind of thinking there's no way for it to happen," he said. They alerted him in an e-mail after he left the country.

"It basically said everything was taken care of, but she was in a crate and she was on her way to Kabul," Panosh, 37, said.

A lieutenant new to the base but on his second tour had done this before. A fellow Illinois Guardsman, Jorge Solis, helped carry it forward.

It is 7,000 miles from Panjwai, Afghanistan, to Chicago. Panosh got here May 28, the dog July 15. To get here, she was loaded into a crate at a Canadian camp southwest of Kandahar, flown to Kabul, then to Islamabad, Pakistan, then to New York, and then to Chicago. She got veterinary care in Pakistan, and also, Panosh surmises from new scars, into a few fights.

"Molson" (named after the beer: her hair is golden, and Panosh served on a Canadian base) is now getting used to life in America, where she has discovered grass, forest preserve deer and a regular place to sleep -- at the foot of Panosh's bed on the Northwest Side of Chicago. Chicago Tribune

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