Back when I was still a military clerk in a small reservist unit, a stray puppy suddenly turned up near the company line. That’s not strange, considering that the camp was infested with strays.
The only LT in the unit, a happy go lucky chap, promptly took it up to the offices and paraded it around. And I was tasked with looking after it for the whole day.
Now I always wanted to have a dog; I couldn’t afford one, nor could my mum stand one, so it was kind of unnerving at first. For its safety we kept it inside a room and for the day I regularly paid visits to it throughout, playing with him, soothing him and feeding him. The LT mentioned that we might be able to keep it (though I really hoped we could, but I seriously doubt so).
Unfortunately, I was proven right. The RSM said there was no way we were keeping the stray puppy. So at the end of the day, we got to drive the puppy away…or set it free outside. Well, the LT thought setting it free inside the camp may be better (perhaps the mum was still looking for it), so we did that.
It was like one of those poignant scene in the movies (eg. White Fang) where the main lead had to chase away its loyal four-legged companion. As we walked away the puppy came back to us and we had to shout at it to chase it away. Man…
In the same camp, just a couple of blocks away, a litter of pups had a completely different fate. One of the strays had sired a bunch of little puppies (he’s really prominent - he’s predominantly white, but had splotches of brown skin all over as if someone had thrown chocolate paint over him).
The puppies always gathered about an armor company, and soon the platoons of tank troopers adopt those puppies (in a semi-official way, of course). Scraps of food from the cookhouse were regularly fed to the dogs, despite the RSM’s threats and the cookhouse Warrant’s warnings not to do so.
A gigantic cage with a trap inside was even set-up; of course, the dogs weren’t that dumb (and strangely, there were never any bait inside…). Eventually, the puppies grew to gigantic proportion thanks to them being well-fed.
The dogs eventually get to know the hands which had fed them and one day I was greeted by a bizarre sight - when the armor company had their morning run, those dogs were running side by side with them. Really cool.