A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier returned from Afghanistan this month to find that the loved one he’d thought was waiting for him had disappeared.
First Lt. Brandon Harker left his yellow lab, Oakley, in the care of a friend during his nine-month deployment. But when Harker got home to Lakeland, Wash., he learned that his dog had been sold or given away while he was serving his country, according to an ad he posted on Craigslist.
“I am just trying to get him back to me since he was wrongfully given away or sold [without]my permission while I was deployed,” Harker wrote.
Harker, who told CNN that he adopted Oakley around Memorial Day 2011, when he was stationed at Fort Benning, has been on a mission to find the playful 2-year-old since he got back to the States. He has spoken to numerous media outlets and has created a Facebook page called “Help Find Oakley.”
On Facebook, Harker described his dog as “a giant baby” and said he “loves to try and crawl on your lap.”
Harker said in his ad that he was told the dog was given away or sold in May, but he believes it could have happened anytime between February and June.
Because Oakley is microchipped and registered to Harker, the soldier believes he could identify the dog if he is found. He said the champagne-colored spots on Oakley’s sides and legs, which he called unique markings for a lab, also would make him easy to spot.
Oakley also is good with kids and other dogs, Harker said.
“If anyone has any information on this and can help me please do,” he wrote on Craigslist.
As of early Monday afternoon, nearly 4,000 people had liked Harker’s Facebook page about Oakley.