Soldier returns from Afghanistan to learn his beloved dog is gon - WNEM TV 5

Soldier returns from Afghanistan to learn his beloved dog is gone

By Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 2:34 AM EDT, Sat Jul 27, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1st Lt. Brandon Harker left last year for Afghanistan, leaving his dog with a "good friend"
  • The dog was gone when he returned; he doesn't know if it was sold or given away
  • Harker uses Craigslist to ask for help: "I'd just like him back, safe and sound"
  • The yellow lab, Oakley, loves to play and snuggle with whomever, whenever

(CNN) -- A purebred yellow Labrador retriever, Oakley likes to run, swim and get into most everything -- "whether it's trouble or not," his owner 1st Lt. Brandon Harker affectionately says.

And as much as anything, Oakley enjoys cuddling wherever, with whomever. That's just what Harker wanted to do with him this month, when he got back from a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Except Oakley was gone.

"I'd just like to get him back, safe and sound," Harker said Friday night. "That's about it."

About a year after joining the Army, Harker got the playful lab over Memorial Day weekend in 2011, while he was at Fort Benning in western Georgia.

Describing him sweetly as "a very big baby," Harker said Oakley loved to snuggle.

"It doesn't matter who it was, he'd try to crawl up on your lap."

Whenever Harker was in the United States, Oakley would go with him. And whenever he deployed, his beloved dog would be left with a friend.

That's what happened last year, when the lieutenant left Oakley with someone he described as a "good friend" before he headed off to Afghanistan.

"Every time, while I was gone, I asked about him," Harker said, recalling how his friend would insist Oakley was "doing good (and) acting like his regular self. "I'd ask for a picture every now and then. But I never got any pictures sent to me."

Harker learned the truth as he was flying back to Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Washington.

"What do you mean you got rid of my dog?" he told his friend.

In the few days since coming back, Harker has been on a mission. He posted a plea to find Oakley on Craigslist, noting that he didn't know if the dog had been sold or given away -- something he'd been told happened in May, though Harker isn't so sure.

That online item describes Oakley as being "good with kids and other dogs," with darker yellow spots on his face and going down his sides and legs. He is registered to Harker and has a microchip identifying device, and is a few days shy of being 2 years, 4 months old.

Writes the soldier: "If anyone has any information on this and can help me, please do."

Article on CNN.com

CNN © 2013 Cable News Network.Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Report: 5 people injured in nightclub shooting

    Report: 5 people injured in nightclub shooting

    Sunday, May 28 2017 4:19 PM EDT2017-05-28 20:19:44 GMT
    WNEMWNEM
     Police are investigating a shooting that took place early Sunday morning at a nightclub in south Mississippi.    Five people sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.    WLOX quoted police as saying the shooting happened at Platinum Sports Bar & Lounge in Moss Point.    According to Moss Point Police Department, a fight started in the club, which spilled outside into the parking lot. Several people began shooting. Five people were ...More >
     Police are investigating a shooting that took place early Sunday morning at a nightclub in south Mississippi.    Five people sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.    WLOX quoted police as saying the shooting happened at Platinum Sports Bar & Lounge in Moss Point.    According to Moss Point Police Department, a fight started in the club, which spilled outside into the parking lot. Several people began shooting. Five people were ...More >
  • Woman charged in husband's hospital death dies

    Woman charged in husband's hospital death dies

    Sunday, May 28 2017 4:12 PM EDT2017-05-28 20:12:22 GMT
    nonenone
    A woman charged with killing her husband as he lay in a Florida hospital bed last year has died.    Jan Sochalski faced a murder charge for allegedly suffocating her husband last May after he suffered life-threatening complications following back surgery. Sixty-four-year-old Henry Sochalski was a retired Trenton, New Jersey, police officer.    The couple lived in Florida.    The Flagler County Sheriff's Office told The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://b...More >
    A woman charged with killing her husband as he lay in a Florida hospital bed last year has died.    Jan Sochalski faced a murder charge for allegedly suffocating her husband last May after he suffered life-threatening complications following back surgery. Sixty-four-year-old Henry Sochalski was a retired Trenton, New Jersey, police officer.    The couple lived in Florida.    The Flagler County Sheriff's Office told The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://b...More >
  • Tiger Woods blames medications for his arrest on DUI charge

    Tiger Woods blames medications for his arrest on DUI charge

    Tiger Woods attributed an "unexpected reaction" to prescription medicine for his arrest on a DUI charge that landed him in a Florida jail Monday for nearly four hours.

    More >

    Tiger Woods attributed an "unexpected reaction" to prescription medicine for his arrest on a DUI charge that landed him in a Florida jail Monday for nearly four hours.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
WNEM
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.