Former Royal Marine Sergeant Pen Farthing has been nominated by CNN as one of 2014’s Top Ten Heroes, but not because of his performance on the battlefield.
In 2007, Farthing established Nowzad Dogs in Kabul, Afghanistan, a rescue geared toward reuniting soldiers with dogs they met while serving in-country and finding homes for Afghani strays.
Thanks to Nowzad, US Army Staff Sergeant Edwin Caba was reunited with Cadence, the dog he bonded with on his third tour in Afghanistan.
Despite the intense lifestyle of a deployment, “the dogs are wagging their tails, jumping on your legs and so excited to see you,” Caba said. “You forget that you’re halfway across the world, in a desert, with hostile things going on.”
Pen Farthing will never forget his own deployment dog, Nowzad, having named the shelter after his beloved friend. Now he works in the only shelter in Afghanistan to ensure that other soldiers will be able to continue their relationships with their dogs the way Farthing was able to with Nowzad.
High paws to Pen Farthing and all those who serve, even in the unlikeliest of ways. You can vote for Farthing as CNN’s 2014 Hero of the Year on the CNN website through November 16th!