The beauty of having friends waiting at home - who let you know just how much you have been missed when you return...
What started out as a cool post for friends and family in 2005 ..just got discovered... and skyrocketed to viral infamy... accompanying text - shorter version --
" This was the day I came back from Kandahar in Sept. 2005. Life has changed since then. But Gracie is still a good dog.
UPDATE: (11-13-2009) - This is crazy. I posted this years ago along with three other clips of wife in Haiti for my parents to see (Jen does medical missions in Haiti and runs a clinic in Cap Haitien). They still have like 400 hits a piece.
This clip had like 30,000 hits two days ago. I'm not quite sure where this attention is all coming from.
[EDIT: It appears to have started at Mentalfloss.com]
Oh, and it was filmed by my wife Jen in our front yard in Springfield, VA.. Gracie is six now. She's asleep at my feet as I'm typing this.
Take care, all - A.S.
UPDATE (11-14-2009). O-kaaaaay. This is getting crazy. They ran this on the Today Show today. I'm not a public person ... this is getting a little intimidating.
I'm glad that this clip of Gracie has made so many people happy. If it makes you smile, it's a good thing. But please remember the men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. My buddy Steve Taylor who is in Iraq wrote me to say that it bummed him out, because it reminded him of how much he missed his dog ...
FINAL UPDATE (11-15-2009) Again, thanks for everyone's kind words. Yes, we did a short (2-min) spot in the Today Show this morning. They were nice, but I didn't get to say what I wanted to say about my friends deployed or the many Guardsmen overseas right now. But it went well (do a Google for Capt. Andrew Schmidt to see it).
We were contacted by another news outlet, but we declined. We're 17 minutes into our 15 minutes of fame. We're private people, and these things can get out of hand. For one, I am a staff officer in the Air Guard (even though I am past enlisted) ... there are tens of thousands of combat arms soldiers and Marines on their third+ 12 month deployment down range; I'm only gearing up for my second. I don't want to be made a symbol for something that I don't deserve to be. You have to be careful, because you have no control when you go on TV unless you are very, very savvy (I am not). Or you get crazy and end up building a UFO weather balloon in your back yard.
Take care. This was a fun week, but it's over now. I have to go change a diaper, then walk Gracie.
Andy and family.
FINAL FINAL UPDATE (11-16-2009) -- I forgot to say this earlier, but if you ever want to get a dog, go to the pound. Pound dogs will always appreciate what you did for them. Save a life, adopt a mutt. Mixed breeds rule. Gracie was on doggie death row -- she had been there for four months -- when we got her. She was days away, and she's been the best dog and a vital part of our family for the past five years. It's funny that a little dog that was found abandoned in a pen in West Virginia, completely neglected, could put a smile on so many faces. "
~ Stories like this are a reminder how we are all touched by Angel Animals -- in some way -- every day. -- For more Pet Fun and Inspiration join me and the growing list of contributors on www.Petsense.com. Life would be so much less delightful if our animal companions chose not to come along for the ride.