KABUL, Afghanistan — Nobody knows what her name is, but the black and brown spots covering her off-white coat was enough to make Pvt. Javon Deheard take pity on the frightened young mutt. But where did she come from, and is it OK if Deheard takes her home to America with him?
Pvt. Deheard hasn’t named his new pet yet, but he’s spent a lot of time with her. “She obviously can’t tell us who her family was, but we know she came from a local province that was destroyed in a recent firefight with the Taliban.”
Not only is the dog unable to disclose any background information, Deheard fears she can barely hear. “We shelled the area pretty hard, and it got pretty loud. But I love this dog, and I’ll take care of her from here on,” he said.
Who owned her before? “A lot of times we’ll find after an intense firefight where whole families get wiped out in the crossfire, that pets, like dogs and cats, are still alive, and newly homeless,” he said.
Deheard, to demonstrate the dog’s overstrained nerves, snapped his fingers. The dog dropped to the ground and whimpered. “She’s had a bit of trauma,” he said, smiling, “but it’s nothing unusual around here.”
The Private says he wishes innocent families, especially women and children, had the same uncanny ability to avoid getting caught by US and Taliban gunfire, and by US predator drone missiles.
The sheer number of troops who are willing to adopt these pets is enough to warm anybody’s heart. Deheard admitted he’s not the only soldier to find a friend in Afghanistan. He hopes there will be no problem with his higher-ups about smuggling the dog home with him when his tour ends.