05/27/2012 01:41 pm ET

Bodhi, Rescue Dog From Afghanistan, Is Reunited With Army Sergeant Nick B In Pensacola, Florida (VIDEO)

After rescuing an abused puppy he found while on patrol in Afghanistan, a U.S. Staff Sergeant has brought his new canine friend home, CNN reports.

When Sgt. Nick B. first found Bodhi -- an Afghan herding dog -- in a village in Afghanistan, the poor puppy was in a terrible state. His ears and half his tail had been hacked off and he was severely malnourished.

"They were going to use him to fight other dogs as entertainment," said Nick, who has served in the U.S. Army for 13 years.

"You could just tell he hadn't been fed properly...When I saw that, it just broke my heart. I knew I had to get this dog out of here."

But getting Bodhi home hasn't been an easy road.

First Nick had to negotiate with Bodhi's owners, who initially refused to give him the dog. He was finally able to trade packs of cigarettes for the adorable pup.

Then the soldier had to work out an arrangement with the Puppy Rescue Mission for the dog to be transported through Taliban-controlled territory and out of Afghanistan to the United States.

"[There were] so many possibilities of things going wrong along the way," Nick told CNN, adding that it is "truly a miracle" that Bodhi is still alive.

Over the weekend, Nick and his beloved dog were reunited in Pensacola, Fla., after several weeks apart.

"I've missed him so much and just seeing his face and seeing how happy he was to see me was just a great feeling," said Nick.