The Luckiest Dogs in Afghanistan
We have two dogs here. One of the lads brought them in from outside a few weeks apart as very small pups, half-starved, wormy, riddled with fleas and very weak. The boys got together and sweet-talked the vets in KAF who examined the pups and treated them against protocols that apparently forbid treatment of local animals (makes me wonder why there are vets at KAF).
Junior and Kandy are both still pups but growing every day and, by the look of them, will be huge hounds. Their days are spent lying around on the cool tiles in our office, directly under the air conditioning or on any of the office furniture they take a fancy to – Junior (my favourite with big sad eyes) is a big couch potato and spends most of her days asleep on a couch in the Client’s GM’s office. They eat the food we eat – which is pretty much dog food anyway – and drink mostly bottled water.
I’m told the ‘higher-ups’ have directed we get rid of them but, if I can help it, they’ll stay – unless they are shipped back home which one of the lads plans to do. Everyone loves them and I’ve noticed that, in the quiet times, it’s not uncommon to see one of the men patting a pup and gently talking to her, or just sitting, quietly smoking, while a pup leans against his leg. We need the pups around as they give us a small sense of normality and bring out our humanity in a place and a job where that is often shelved in our lock-boxes until we fly home. The pups are a simple, but compelling, aid to morale here.
As I write Junior is eating a chocolate muffin and Kandy is lapping noisily at a bowl of water. They are the luckiest dogs in Afghanistan.