Man’s best friend

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Scofield said it normally costs between $4,000 and $5,000 per dog to bring them here. Luckily, she said, they only had to raise about half the amount it would normally take, because of some help they had in transporting the dogs. She said most of the donations that went to the rescue came from “lots of people giving a little bit.”

From Kabul, Sheba and her litter traveled to Dubai, and from there they flew to John F. Kennedy International Airport, where they landed last week. Last Wednesday, the dogs were brought to Save-a-Pet in Port Jefferson Station, and reunited with the soldiers.

“They’re our heroes,” Caba said of the three animal organizations that brought the dogs over. “We played such a small part, they did everything.”

The soldiers in Caba’s team took the puppies home with them, and Sheba will stay with Save-a-Pet for the time being. She may be trained as a service dog, but Scofield said she is shy, so she is still determining what role would be best for her.

Caba said that he brought Cadence home to Long Beach with him, the puppy that he felt an instant connection with in Afghanistan.

“When she was three days old, she was sleeping on her back, arms out, she just looked so comfortable,” said Caba. “I found love. She seemed like such a goofball.”

Caba, who returned home from his third, eight-month tour on Aug. 13, said that Cadence is adjusting well to life on the beach instead of in the desert.

“Everything’s so new to her,” said Caba, who said she enjoys going to the dog park and the boardwalk. “She ‘s really loving it.”

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