War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

wild dogs (from May Day letters to Afghanistan)

M,

omg M, I got a dog. she’s a she. I can’t believe it. me, terrified of dogs ever since age three, knocked down by a drooling, horny lab.

J found her at the SPCA. three days ago. stopped in on his morning run to see who’s in jail. (actually, he’s got a thing for the dog cop, little chica in uniform). J saw pup with big pointy ears, fluffy tail. only one eye. “holy crap,” J says to chica, “what’s with that? poor thing.”

dog cop replies, “big dog attack. couldn’t save the eye. tooth puncture. owner didn’t pay the vet so she landed on me. res dog from Morley, best kind of dog. cross breed. mutt. part wolf.”

“little baby”, says J, picks her up, cradles under chin. little girl licks, bites. chica says, “go ahead, here’s a leash, take her out for a walk. got some ID?”

J leashes her up, brings her straight to me. “look at that face. that winking eye. be careful. she’s a pirate, steals hearts.”

and M she did. right then. the second she walked in. like she owned the place. sort of like you, two years ago WO when you walked into Evo, my club, looked over, winked at me. (your hand ringless). my girlfriends and I laughing, them warning me, “he’s a dog, stay clear.” and you with your black eye. boxing, you told me when you bought me a beer. you and the boys at the gym getting ready to go off again to Afghanistan. and it was that black eye that did it. fresh and red and blue and sore. that you smiled and laughed through all that pain. TKO’ed me right then. pathetic, I know.

anyway, I digress… so I go back to the pound with J, chica’s eyebrows raise when she sees me. “don’t worry babe”, I whisper, “I’m not with him. we’re just friends.” chica lowers eyebrows back down again. shows me where to sign on dotted line. takes my visa. “we have to do a background check,” chica says,” but I’m sure you’re alright.”

we get home a couple of hundred bucks lighter (dog food, dish, bed, collar, leash), J throws Frieda into the tub. “wild dogs of Afghanistan”. he says, sudsing up little baby, “maim, kill children with teeth or rabies. travel in packs. once I counted 50 dogs outside the FOB. some of them determined. kind of friendly, jumped the berms before the HESCOs installed. almost pets. we trained them to chase off the wildest. FOB dogs. kept floors clean. us warm at night. until some officer pulled rank, said, ‘get those fucking dogs out of my sight’, after he stepped in dog crap. wasn’t a smart move. we hated his guts after that.”

“wild dogs of Afghanistan. sounds like a novel. a movie.” I say. but J says, “no, they’re just skin on glazed, snapping, pins of bone.”

J towels Frieda, looks at me, tells me about EDDs. sniffer dogs. good with IEDs. explosives. bombs in cars. “wild dogs of Afghanistan. look scary from outside the wire, but once they’re in. all they want is food, affection, a place to sleep. some love.”

S


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled wild dogs (from May Day letters to Afghanistan). It was posted here on November 25, 2008.

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