Sunday, February 8, 2009

Have you met my mascots?

So I think I am all ready to leave for my trip to Baghdad. Packing seemed a little too simple for me to actually have gotten it right. I am quite sure I don't need 1/2 of what I am bringing. After all, two of the nights I'll be gone I will actually be sleeping on a plane. But how bad would it be to be 7000 miles from home and wish you had brought along that favorite shirt or pair of sweatpants?

More importantly, the mascots I'll be bringing back are ready for their trip. That is who this trip is all about anyway. So who are these lucky travel companions of mine? Meet canine companions, Fenis, Tanner, Punisher and kitty Simsim. (I hope to have pictures up on Friday) I'm not worried about my safety in anyway, but I have to say that having a dog named "Punisher" along for the ride is going to let me breathe even easier. Wasn't it Jodie Foster who had been searching in the belly of a plane recently looking for her son and fending off bad guys? I'm sure I could get to Punisher to get his help if I really had to. I digress.

All of my little travel buddies have been vetted and cleared for travel and it looks like all systems are go. I say "looks", since these four mascots are some of the lucky ones. They are safe for the moment and awaiting their transportation to the US. That is not always the case with these unofficial mascots. Being that it's against a military general order for personnel to maintain and transport mascots, it is up to local commanding officers to decide what to do about it. Some mascots are, in fact, rounded up, taken to outlying areas and dropped off, others are poisoned and some even shot. Which ones get the worse deal is up for debate.

So assuming these guys and gals stay safe and under the radar screen, we'll depart Baghdad, through Kuwait, then Amsterdam and then onto Washington DC. Once stateside, my band of international travelers will ultimately live with their soldier mom or dad or their families in four different states across the country. Every mascot that Operation Baghdad Pups brings home already has a family to live with. No one is trying to add to the overpopulation of homeless pets that already exists here. And in the case of, Cinnamon, our mascot who my brother brought home (finally) in 2006, he and his wife have adopted two additional rescues since then. One from the local pound, which is a kill facility and the other was a stray right off the street. Both Pete and Elvis are now living the good life with Miss Cinnamon. So, in my humble opinion, bringing Cinnamon home actually helped two additional dogs get rescued from homelessness.

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