Marine and Dog He Rescued in Iraq Reunited in U.S.

From NBC News:

Major Brian Dennis and his dog, Nubs, are used to shuffling through the sand.

They met in the desert terrain of the Middle East. Now Brian is introducing nubs to see the beach of his boyhood home near Tierra Verde, Florida.

Brian was stationed along the Syrian border in Iraq when his unit befriended the dog. Brian christened him "Nubs" because his ears had been cut off.

"I met the guy who did it. I asked him why he did it, and he said it makes him tough," he explained.

On the next visit the Marines witnessed evidence of even harsher abuse.

"One of the Iraqi soldiers was mad at him. They just abuse animals over there, and they stabbed him with a big screwdriver. He was in really bad shape," Dennis said.

With some TLC from Dennis and his fellow Marines, Nubs survived. The next time they returned, Nubs wouldn't be left behind again. The resilient dog tailed them 70 miles back to their base, through 118 degree heat.

"He tracked us and found us somehow. That's the big question everyone asks: 'How did he do it?' I have no idea," Dennis said.

Nubs' plight made headlines around the world, and people from all over donated money to help rescue him.

"The Jordanians charged me $1,200 for a dog kennel to ship him home. They really got me on that one, but it was worth it," Dennis said.

Though Brian's home in St. Petersburg for the next few days, he's stationed in San Diego.

He hopes to marry someday, but says for now, it's great to live with his furry best friend.