Frolicking outside his new home in Alexandria, Va., the little white puppy known as Polly Bravo shows no signs that he was once struggling to survive on the streets of Afghanistan.
Now, thanks to the rescue efforts of a local organization and the kind heart of his new owner, the dog can begin to forget about the traumatic period he spent roaming the streets with a potentially life-threatening injury, NBC Washington reports.
"Several of the soldiers who had been out doing security patrols had spotted a little stray white pup that was bleeding from the neck," Emily Jeter, Polly Bravo's new owner, told the station.
Upon closer look, the soldiers discovered that the dog's neck was and infected and bleeding from a tight collar that had become embedded into his fur. That's when they called the Virginia-based Afghan Stray Animal League, a nonprofit organization which aims to connect stray animals in Afghanistan with potential owners back in the states.
The organization found an enthusiastic match in Jeter, who picked Polly Bravo up from the airport last Thursday as the dog completed his 8,000-mile journey from Afghanistan.
Jeter's friend Lorie Green caught the arrival on tape and told reporters she was shocked at how well-adjusted the dog was.
"For a dog that's been through what he's been through, he came right out of the crate and right up to Emily and immediately bonded and kissed her. He's been such a happy dog for what he's been through," Green told NBC News.
The Afghan Stray Animal League is one of a growing number of organizations dedicated to rescuing dogs from Afghanistan, an idea that gained steam after stories surfaced of soldiers who didn't want to part with the pets they had adopted while on tour, the Daily Mail reports.
Though the cost of flying the pets to America is high, the benefit to recovering soldiers has proven enormous in many cases.
For Donny Eslinger, a 19-year-old soldier injured in Afghanistan, the thought of being reunited with his adopted dog Smoke Pup was something that kept him going while he was recovering from his wounds.
"This dog Smoke will help him heal even faster. He's a strong kid and he's done remarkably well," Eslinger's father told WESH News.
The pair were reunited earlier this year with help from the Puppy Rescue Mission.
Check out the story on Polly Bravo above and the report on Eslinger, below.