GRANTSVILLE — An Army veteran who worked in Iraq as a civilian after he deployed is settling into a new chapter in life in Tooele County. He is looking for a new job and a new pace in life. But he already has a couple of new friends making big adjustments of their own.
"I had taken to her probably more that she had taken to me," said Shane Lucey, who moved to Grantsville earlier this year and is making a home with his new dog, Lucky.
Lucey first deployed to Baghdad as a soldier in 2009. When he was done in the Army, he went back in 2014 and worked security.
Thirteen months ago, he heard barking below the street and rescued a female puppy.
"We found her in a drainage hole, just hanging out, and we were like, 'Let’s get her out of there,'" Lucey said.
The contract security workers took her in at their office, even though it was against the rules. Lucey took great care of the abandoned pup named Lucky.
"I was giving her baths and keeping her clean, making sure she had water,” Lucey said.
Lucky made Lucey's time in Iraq a little bit easier to manage.
"It didn’t matter if it was hot or cold, I’d be hanging out with her out on the steps," he said.
Last summer, when Lucey returned to Baghdad after a break, Lucky had given birth to Charm and seven other puppies, too.
"Any animal you come across, you always will make a connection with them,” Lucey said.
"They are big on getting dogs home for soldiers and veterans," Lucey said.
The dogs spent two months with a veterinarian getting the proper shots and health checks before a week of travel and layovers to get to Utah — where life is different.
"She didn't want to walk in the grass because she didn't know what it was exactly," said Lucey.
The dogs had never seen grass, or cows or other things they’ll see out in Grantsville.
"I will get them trained eventually. They're very, very stubborn," Lucey said.
Fortunately, they are also eager and happy, despite a lot of chewing right now.
"I'm just trying to socialize them with other dogs and get them used to live here," Lucey said.