Americans love their pets. When the United States Army deploys to garden spots like Iraq, we adopt local mutts as ‘FOB dogs.’
A FOB dog’s life is simple; eat left-overs, bark at strange things, let Soldiers pet them. In return, we take good care of our little mascots. Iraqis, for some reason, hate dogs. They don’t keep them as pets, they don’t like to touch them, nothing. Despite the fact that Iraqis hate dogs, they’re everywhere.
The Afghanis take the cake in dog hating. The Russians left behind millions and millions of land mines, which are still active. To clear the land, the Afghans will fence off a mine field and then put a pack of dogs inside the fence. Fetch, Rover! BOOM! One less land mine.
Our FOB Dog is Daisy. She is a little unusual for a FOB Dog. She hates all Iraqis and other dogs, and enjoys swimming in the pond/cess-pool behind the base. A few days ago, I saw her gnawing away at a very long bone, which looked like a human femur. What was I supposed to do? My family had a little chiuahua/rat mix named Gizmo who’d put up a real fight if I tried to take away something he was eating. This dog is five times that size and was apparently Eating A Human Bone. Bad dog! Very bad!
Upon further investigation, it turns out the bone belonged to another dog. Whew! Wait…so our FOB dog is a cannibal. It’s a dog eat – No! No I can’t go through with that cliché.
There are a number of things I did not anticipate about Iraq. Former terrorists who’re now my friends, eating sheep ass and cannibal FOB dogs. Why is everything in this country bat-shit insane?
There are some complications. The FOB Dogs do not appreciate the military working dog teams who visit the base, which results in an “Old Yeller” moment if the FOB dog attacks the working dog.
Some times Soldiers can ship FOB dogs back to the States, but the process is expensive and complicated. New units normally inherit FOB dogs…and their puppies. But, there are traveling vets who stop by for a little snip-snip to prevent that issue.
I can imagine that conversation:
FOB Dog: Yeah, the Soldiers let me sleep in peace, feed me and play with me.
Wild dog: Damn, that sounds awesome.
FOB Dog: It’s the life, but they cut my balls off.
Wild dog: @#@* that.
I do my best to stay away from the FOB dogs. Who knows when we’ll move elsewhere, and then who’ll take care of my dog? I have enough to worry about.
Here’s Daisy sleeping on a sun screen, her own improvised hammock.