Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Dogs of War

A dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatisfied.
~ Irish proverb

Many of our U.S. troops are finding solace in the company of man's best friend in Iraq.

Last week I read the story of Nubs, a dog abused by Iraqis that found a Marine to care for him. After the troop was redeployed 70 miles away, Nubs followed him and won a San Diego home along with his Marine's heart.

Now seven young pups are coming home to San Diego, adopted by Marines who will soon return to Camp Pendleton and reclaim their canine companions.

The first soldier I adopted with Soldiers' Angels had a pet dog in his camp, named Maisy. The Sgt. sent me a photo of her and mentioned her several times in his letters to me. When he came home, he wrote me that Maisy stayed on with the replacement troops that had taken over his platoon's assignment.

Speaking as a dog lover and owner, I know the vital role that our pets play in our sense of well-being and connection to nature. There is an irresistable quality in the unconditional loyalty and devotion of a dog that must render it especially precious near the battlefield. It's heartwarming to know that our troops, living in the midst of constant danger, have the chance to find joy in the company of their adopted dogs.