Afghanistan Without a Clue (AWAC) was created in August 2006 to chronicle my adventures on a one-year tour in Afghanistan. In February 2007 fellow military members started contributing, and it became a massive job producing daily posts. Most of us returned home in May 07. I will keep AWAC running to provide information for folks deploying to Afghanistan, as well as for new readers who recently discovered the joys of the AWAC world. I’ll post occasionally so the old-timers can keep tabs on my adjustment to life in the states, as well as any news I receive from Kabul. If you are new to AWAC, the best thing is to start from the beginning. Just wander over to the archives (they are over there to the left) and enjoy. Be warned, there is a huge amount of stuff over there, and rumor has it that people have become addicted. I can only hope.
I really don’t have much to write about in relation to Afghanistan or my cohorts. Instead, I will write about the pups we are fostering. I do this because I have to write about something, and if I must tie it to my time in Afghanistan (and I really don’t have to, since it’s my blog), I can always say it’s part of my therapy as I try to return to my old self. I enjoy working with dogs, and even though it can be tiring, it is also invigorating.
The last two weeks have been far too busy. Not only are my days at work exceptionally full, the puppies add an extra layer of work before and after the work day. I do seem to have it down to a science now. Here’s how I start each day:
1. Put my dogs out back. This of course wakes the puppies, who start crying, since their fat little bellies are never full enough.
2. I come back inside and put the five pups in a box to carry them all outside. I leave them out there in the vain hope they will do their duty outside instead of in their pen.
3. Rush inside, fill a couple of baby bottles with their special milk, and place them in hot water to warm them up.
4. Roll up the newspapers that line their pen, which are soaked and covered with little puppy treasures (love those euphemisms) and through the stenchly (my own word, copyrighted) papers in the garbage.
5. Wipe the plastic lining up that was under the newspapers.
6. Lay new newspapers.
7. Rinse out the blankets they were sleeping on, since they are too stupid or too lazy to avoid pooping on them.
8. Throw blankets in washing machine and set to go.
9. Scoop dog food into three bowls for the pups, place in their pen
10. Go outside and call the pups. They are actually smart enough to come when I call them. Drag them inside and place in pen. In the early days, they just cried until I gave them their bottle, but now they have figure out they can dive into the food and enjoy, and dive they do, usually climbing into their bowls for maximum food intake velocity.
11. Oops, need to go back outside and get Tiny, since he is afraid to climb the three steps into the house.
12. Feed my dogs
13. Get the bottles, grab a pup, sit on couch and start feeding (this is also the only time I’ve been able to watch anime lately).
14. After feeding five pups, I rush to get ready for work, which I can usually do in under ten minutes.
15. Grab a quick bowl of Cheerios.
16. Go to work so I can recover.
Despite my impending breakdown from exhaustion, I love having the pups in the house. Yes, they keep me hopping at times, but there is a great joy in watching them grow up healthy and loved, as opposed to dead and buried, which was the fate that awaited them. There is no way they would have survived in a shelter without their mom, and thankfully they were pulled by a fellow dog rescuer, and through our grapevine, we were able to arrange transport quickly to our home, with help from Jancy who drove out to get them the same day we heard about them.
They are starting to develop their own personalities. Bosley is the largest, and can be bossy and push the others around. Bear is pure black, just a tad smaller, and a great climber. He is also the most energetic, and loves to run around and wrestle. Sosuke (pronounced SOOS kay) is the most vocal, almost indignant if I don’t pay him attention first. Dieter (pronounced DEET er) and Diablo are the runts of the litter, very quiet, but very loving. Dieter is Jancy’s baby, and Diablo is Ryan’s.
Tiny was pronounced completely free of heart worms today, and is also healthy enough to get neutered and have his teeth cleaned next week. After that he will be put up for adoption. Soon he will appear on the Pom Posse website (see my list of links in the left column), so if you want to adopt him, you can be the first to fill out an application. He is at least ten years old I would guess, is not house trained, hates to walk on non-carpeted floors, can’t climb stairs, and barks if left alone. He will follow you everywhere and wants to be with you, but is still very timid, showing signs of abuse in the past. He likes to go for walks, but can only go for short distances before he gets winded. He requires a special home with patient owners who will let him slowly adjust to his new life. Homes with little children or aggressive or overly playful dogs would not be a good match for him.
Here are two more blogs kind enough to link to AWAC.
Marsha Loftus: The Road Home to Tennessee
No luck yet identifying Steve from the photo below. Keep passing the word.