While a soldier’s dread of a “Dear John” letter may be a well-established trope, few seem to fear the “Dear John, I sold your dog” letter, because — who would do such a thing?

But a Fort Carson, Colorado, soldier deployed to Afghanistan found himself in just that situation: His girlfriend sold his 3-year-old Shiba Inu while he was on the other side of the globe.

Image source: screengrab via KOAA-TV

Image source: KOAA-TV

The family who bought the dog, named “Baxter,” apparently had no idea that they were taking a soldier’s best friend, and when they found out, they were reluctant to return Baxter because their children had become attached to him.

It was unclear why the girlfriend sold the dog on Craigslist.

The whole situation seems more uncomfortable than acrimonious.

“No one wants to out [the family],” said Nancy Wallace, a supporter of the soldier. “No one wants to give them any negative publicity. We just really want Baxter back home with Robby.”

Facebook organizers told KOAA-TV that they have found an attorney willing to keep the family anonymous while facilitating a trade: reward money raised online, plus the soldier’s matching cash, for Baxter’s return.

The Colorado Shiba Inu Rescue has reportedly stepped in to help the family find another dog.

The Facebook page “Help Bring Baxter Home 2014,” used by supporters to spread the word and raise money for Baxter’s return, appears to have been deleted.

(H/T: Jezebel)

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter