In the heart of Afghanistan, Army veteran Sean Murphy found more than just rugged terrain — he stumbled upon an extraordinary bond that defied borders and stood the test of time.
Picture this: two tiny puppies, not much bigger than a water bottle, discovered huddled together in a hole by one of Murphy’s fellow soldiers.
“They were only weeks old, not much bigger than a 12-ounce water bottle,”Murphy recalled.
These pups, later named Hutch and Bear, became instant members of the group. Despite his initial attempts to keep his distance, Murphy couldn’t resist their charms.
“At first, I purposely avoided the dogs for fear I would get attached to them,” Murphy confessed. “I even told one of the sergeants to keep them away from me.”
As the soldier who found the puppies returned home, Murphy found himself drawn to Hutch.
“One day, my sergeant major, Don Sanders, said to me, ‘You know, sir, Hutch looks at you differently than everyone else.’ If I had not made up my mind by then, that’s when I did.”
Hutch, a tiny goofball brimming with energy, became Murphy’s close companion. With his tour ending, Murphy couldn’t bear the thought of leaving Hutch behind.
The process of bringing both Hutch and Bear back to the U.S. began.
Finally, in March 2009, during a mission to Kabul, the dogs were transferred to the charity. From there, they were on a journey that took them to Islamabad and eventually to JFK Airport, where Murphy’s friend picked them up.
Bear found a home with the soldier who discovered the pups, while Hutch stayed by Murphy’s side.
Transitioning from the rugged landscapes of Afghanistan to the bustling streets of New York City seemed like a challenge, but with his best friend, Hutch seamlessly adapted.
“He loved all the people and the smells and all the things to pee on,” Murphy chuckled. “He made lots of friends everywhere we went.”
Now at the age of 15, Hutch faces health challenges, but Murphy remains devoted. To continue their adventures in the city, Murphy purchased a stroller affectionately named the “Hutchmobile.”
“Fifteen years later, it is hard to believe that story even for me”
“I have been so blessed to have him by my side all these years. I’m not sure who rescued who.”