The reason for the Today Show visit with Meredith Veiera is an obvious one. It's the publication of a book, titled “Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle,” which was just published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers .
Dennis first met Nubs the dog in Oct. 2007. The name came from the fact that his ears had been lopped off, a common practice in Iraq meant to give another dog less to grab onto in a fight and also to make the dogs "tougher."
One day Dennis found Nubs the dog with a puncture wound in his side. He nursed the dog back to health and later learned the injury had been inflicted by a screwdriver.
Finally, however, Dennis' unit was going to move 70 miles away, to a new location. They couldn't take the dog with them; it was against the rules. That final day, Nubs the dog trotted alongside the Humvees as they left camp, as he always did. Dennis thought it was the last he would see of the dog.
But two days later, Nubs showed up at their new camp. It would be difficult to imagine the travails Nubs the dog faced during his trek to find Dennis and his unit again.
Eventually, the brass caught on, and said they had to get rid of the dog. Shipping Nubs the dog to Dennis' home of San Diego was going to take a substantial sum of money: $5,000. However, after Dennis fired off an e-mail to some friends, one the story hit local TV and the Internet, and the offers of help came flooding in.
Nubs the dog was shuttled through Jordan (and a veterinarian), then to Chicago, and finally to San Diego, in March of 2008. A month later, Dennis followed Nubs home.
The story is a heartwarming one, and one that shows not just the bonds of dog to man, but of man to dog. Dennis told Vieira:
“A lot of soldiers and Marines end up connecting with dogs out there. I heard from a lot of people who’ve been in Vietnam and even World War II. I guess it’s an escape. People who are dog people, they just get it. The dog comes running up to you with his tail wagging. It was an escape from the drudgery, the mundane life out there, the bad things you see at times. It was an escape and now it’s a friend.”
Watch the Today Show interview.