Have you rescued a dog? Perhaps you found an abandoned one out on the streets or saved one from being ethuanized in a shelter. Rosy, my dog, a Sheltie, German Shephard mix, that I adopted, was taken out of a community pound by a woman who fostered dogs moments before the dog was going to be euthanized.

Perhaps you feel that as much as you saved your dog, your dog has saved you in many ways.

That is how one Marine who fought in Afghanistan, during 2010, feels about his dog Fred.

Listen to Craig Grossi’s dramatic story of his mission fighting the Taliban in one of the most violent areas of Afghanistan, how he fell in love with a stray dog living in the middle of the battlefield, got him home to the United States and is rescued by his dog everyday.

Here are photos of Craig and Fred.

Craig Grossi and Fred the Afghan. Two souls rescued.

Fred sleeping in the worn-torn area of Sangin, Afghanistan.

Fred would accompany the Marines as they visited and spoke with the Villagers.

Fred looking out over the compound where Craig’s platoon was stationed.


Full Show Notes For Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 57.

Title: How Smelly Humans Are to Dogs & A Marine and a Dog from Afghanistan that Rescued each other.

How can search and rescue and police dogs sniff out and follow people that are long gone from sight? It is because, we humans smell ALOT to dogs and this makes it easy for them to track people. In this episode, I’ll explain exactly why and how you are constantly producing odors that dogs can detect and allow them to identify YOUR particular scent from all others.

Next, the story you’ll hear today, from my guest, Craig Grossi, a marine, who was stationed in, Afghanistan is about a stray dog who was scrounging out his living in the desert sands, and captured the marine’s heart and commitment. The story of Craig and his dog Fred, is one of the more unique and gratifying rescue stories I’ve ever heard. You’ll be able to read the entire story about how Craig brought Fred back from war torn Afghanistan to the United States, in Craig’s book, Craig and Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other.

Then, it’s time for another “Where did that expression come from? There are two stories that offer an explanation for where “let the cat out of the bag” came from.

In the podcast, I promised  you some photos of cats squeezed in small places.

If you live with a cat, you know that they like to jump into bags and boxes.  Cats have a natural need for warmth and protection and their instinct tells them to be alert to dangers that might sneak up on them when they want to relax and doze so it makes sense that they would feel snug and comfortable and more protected in smaller, defined places.

But do you wonder how a cat can cram themselves into the smallest of places? It has to do with how they are made. Cats can fit through any space that is wider than their heads. That’s because they don’t have collarbones and their heads are the widest parts of their bodies. As long as they can get their head in something, with their  amazingly flexible spines, they can twist and wiggle themselves into all sorts of things in such a way that their front legs can be facing one way, their hind legs are facing another when they are lying down, and they’ll still be comfy.


Photo credit: Alina Esther©

Additional Resources for the Show

Listen to Stories about Search and Rescue Dogs finding missing people. (Episode 31)

Listen to Stories about K-9 Police dogs tracking criminals. (Episode 41)

Amazon link to the source for the story of how smelly we are to canines: Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz.

Craig, Nora and Fred.

Craig and Fred’s website and social media:

Website: fredtheafgan.com

Fred the Afghan on Facebook:

Fred the Afghan on Instagram:

Craig Grossi’s YouTube channel.

Amazon link for how to order the book, Craig and Fred, A Marine, a Stray Dog, And How They Rescued Each Other.

Young reader’s edition of the Craig and Fred book.