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Sonora Dog Leaves For Iraq Assignment

Sonora, CA — “Sophie” left the Mother Lode Friday to become a mascot in Iraq for the California National Guard, Military Police.

Sonora’s Sherry Galka of Mother Lode K9 Training was contacted two months ago by the National Guard in hopes of finding a dog that could live at a base in Baghdad, and serve as a companion to the troops. Earlier that day, Sophie, a two-year-old Australian Shepherd was dropped off at the Humane Society because her owner was moving into a home that does not allow pets.

Galka says Sophie was a perfect fit for the assignment, and started to train the dog in order to ensure a calm and smooth transition. Sophie was picked up Friday by members of the California National Guard. Once Sophie is finished with a 10 month stay in Iraq, she will be released to live with one of the National Guard soldiers.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.