Saturday, February 23, 2008

U. S. Marine Major Dennis and Nubs: A Dog Story

Posts on this blog are generally serious, so it's good to write about a Marine and his dog: USMC Major Brian Dennis Major and Nubs.

(More at "Marine Serving in Iraq Finds Friend in Rescued Dog" (February 22, 2008))

"Desert dogs" are pretty common around Iraq's border towns. The dogs eat scraps from the towns, getting a steady source of food, Major Dennis wrote in an email. "The Iraqis get an incredible early warning system; these dogs hear anything approaching from miles away and go nuts and scramble to defend their territory."

Dennis is a fighter pilot, but was on the ground in Iraq, near the Syrian border. He'd volunteered to be part of the military team that's building infrastructure and training Iraqi forces to take over there.

He was on patrol when he saw a gray and white dog: most likely a German shepherd-border collie mix. Major Dennis named the dog Nubs after he learned that someone had cut the dog's ears off: apparently under the impression that it would make the dog more alert and aggressive.

The Marines did what you'd expect Americans to do to a crop-eared, half-wild dog1: they fed it.

Nubs started following the Dennis and the patrol on their rounds, and the Marines started looking for the dog. It wasn't an easy life for Nubs at that point. He'd lost a tooth and gotten bitten in the neck.

Then, in December of 2007, with temperatures near freezing, somebody stuck a screwdriver into Nubs.

Major Dennis found Nubs, put antibiotic on the wound, and slept with the dog to keep him warm. The Marine wrote, "I really expected when I woke up for watch he would be dead."

Nubs lived.

Days later, Major Dennis and the outfit he was with moved to the command post, about 65 miles away. He thought he'd seen the last of Nubs.

Wrong again.

Two days after the move, while working on a Humvee, Dennis looked up. Nubs was there, staring at him.

That was the good news.

The bad news is that the rules said 'no pets on the base.' Major Dennis was given two options: put the dog off the base, or kill him. He was given four days to make his decision, and act.

The decision was simple, implementing was anything but.

Major Brian Dennis and his Iraqi interpreter got to work. They found a Jordanian veterinarian to take care of Nubs and fill out the necessary paperwork. Major Dennis got to work on red tape on his end, and his family and close friends collected the $3,500 it would take to move Nubs from Amman, Jordan, to San Diego, California.

At this point, Nubs is safe in San Diego, in the care of Captain Eric Sjoberg, a colleague of Major Dennis. Captain Sjoberg is teaching Nubs to "just be a dog."

Major Dennis and Nubs should be together next month, when the Marine gets back to America.
1 Students and faculty of American colleges and universities, residents of Berkeley, and people who never got over the sixties notwithstanding.

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.