UPDATE: Penny is now on her way to the US - she's coming home!
The months rolled into years as Petey and Penny protected and played with the marines rotating in and out of the base. Until October 16, 2009 when Petey and Penny slipped off the inner compound and were shot – no one knows why. Even though Penny was hit with a bullet in the lower portion of her face and was losing blood quickly, she found a way to crawl a mile back to base. Dave saw her first and quickly brought her to the medical facility where three medics began doing everything they could for her. Doug and Dave wracked their brains wondering how they to get her the veterinarian attention she desperately needed, and suddenly they realized she could be medically evacuated to the Baghdad veterinary clinic because of her Force Protection status. By the time the helicopters arrived, the base medics had managed to clean, stuff and stitch her wound.
As soon as Penny was on the helicopter, Dave set about finding Petey. He was able to follow Penny’s trail of blood, which snaked around the outside of the base for a mile. She had taken the long way around - Dave assumes to avoid whoever shot her. At the end of Penny’s trail he found Petey shot three times and dead. The marines were heartbroken. After three weeks at the veterinarian clinic in Baghdad and several surgeries, Penny was returned to the base. Her wounds have healed and her hair is starting to grow back around her wounds. The marines say it is clear that Penny is happy to be back, but she is frequently seen looking for Petey.
Dave has now asked Operation Baghdad Pups to rescue Penny and bring her to his family home in Tucson. Dave says, “Penny is one tough cookie. She lost a ton of blood that day and it's a miracle she is alive. She’s done her job very well for years and she does not deserve to be left behind.”