Whimpering and just days old, he was being kicked like a football by a crowd of children on a street in Afghanistan.
When Corporal Sarah Marriott rescued the tiny puppy, he was barely the size of her hand.
The 30-year-old Army medic, who was on foot patrol with the 2nd Yorkshire Regiment in Helmand Province, was told that the youngsters had been asked to drown the little dog because his owners did not want him - so she carried him back to her base.
Cpl Sarah Marriott with six-month-old pup Reorg who she saved from certain death in Afghanistan
And after six months on a restorative diet of porridge, Spam and affection, he has been brought to the UK to live with her family.
Corporal Marriott said: 'I was on routine patrol near our forward base when we came across some children throwing and kicking a puppy. As I got closer I could hear it whimpering.
'I don't think anyone could have just stood there and watched.'
Cute: Poorly Reorg was helped back to health on an army diet of porridge and spam
'I went straight over and we had a translator with us who spoke to the Afghan children about the dog.
'The children said, 'We have just been sent to drown it in the river'.
Cpl Marriott later found out that their parents' dog had a litter of unwanted pups.
'In Afghanistan dogs are used as working dogs, not pets, either as guard dogs or for fighting,' she said. 'If there are too many in the litter the ones that aren't needed are killed.'
She spoke to her squad commander and they decided to take the little dog back to the safe haven of their base.
Patrol: British forces in Helmand where Reorg was found by Cpl Marriott
'It was only about the size of my hand at that time and I just carried it back to the base nearby,' said Cpl Marriott.
'I don't think anyone could have just stood there and watched. I had to do something.'
Back at base the puppy was given the name Reorg - an army abbreviation for reorganisation, commonly used to describe a debriefing session after an operation.
Reorg was poorly at first, unable to walk for the first few days. Yet slowly but surely the badly bruised and malnourished bundle of fluff was nursed back to health - on a diet of army porridge and spam.
'Reorg became a very happy and bubbly character,' said Cpl Marriott. 'Whenever I got up he would follow me around.'
The dog soon became a much-loved pet on the base, but Cpl Marriott feared what would happen to him once her tour finished and her unit returned to the UK.
'I knew that once we were gone he wouldn't last five minutes. He would have been killed,' she said. 'To leave Reorg there after I had cared for him for so long would have been heartbreaking.'
The caring medic went on the internet and enlisted the help of a charity called Nowzad Dogs which specialises in rescuing mistreated dogs from abroad.
They spent £3,500 flying Reorg to Heathrow, and he has now been put in quarantine near Cpl Marriott's home in Devon - but not before an emotional reunion with the woman who saved his life.
She beamed: 'He definitely knew who I was. He seemed very happy to see me.
'My family has always had dogs and I think they are proud of me for saving Reorg. Everyone said it couldn't be done.'
Because Cpl Marriott is likely to be sent back to Afghanistan again soon, Reorg will live with one of her dog-loving relatives once he is out of quarantine.
A spokesman for the Nowzad Dogs charity revealed Reorg had been flown into Heathrow in the cargo hold of a passenger aircraft - at a cost of £3,500.
Cpl Marriott is so grateful she is now leading a fundraising drive to cover the cost of his rescue.
To make a donation go to Nowzad | Rescuing Stray and Abandoned Animals from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Read more: Puppy saved from death by thugs using it as a football in Afghanistan is flown to UK for a new life | Mail Online