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I’ve served in countries where people eat dogs but never thought it would show up in state police reports. This is enough to turn a dog lover’s stomach!


May 4, 2021

Col. Sam Harper, Dogsport Reconnaissance


I’ve got a buddy in Arizona and he says ranch dogs go missing there, not just “south of the border.” Apparently, there aren’t enough stray dogs to satisfy human hunger. He said even armadillos are scarce and they used to be everywhere. He laughed, said they used to call them ‘hard shell pigs’ but that nobody in their right mind would eat one.



While I scribbled a note to look up an armadillo he said there was a TV report that hungry people down in South America were eating zoo animals! I thanked him, hung up and said hello to google. I found several news stories like “Forty animals … reported stolen, likely to be killed and eaten.” That was credited to “Bararida Zoo in Barquisimeto, 250 kilometers (155 miles) southwest of Caracas.


OK, different cultures, different customs but I thought of my old hound and got a chill.


I called a couple of other friends in border states and none of them had experienced any harm but their families are living in fear. That tells me a lot because these guys have been in combat and their folks are used to dealing with stress.


Jerry said they had a ruckus in the barn a few days ago while he was in town. His wife went out to see what was going on and two men ran out but went the other way from her. She called him and he told her to get the rifle and stay inside until he got back.


Calvin, who is in San Antonio, said that in addition to the remains of a family dog being discovered, he’d heard about a goat being slaughtered. He takes a big garbage bag (we laughed at what his new horse thought about that!) when he goes out to check calves because there’s so much “damned garbage” to pick up. He picked up a half-starved puppy only a week ago. He paused. “Yeah I took it home, Ellen had a fit…


It isn’t just the open border and having to house and care for these folks. The people from South American have different customs, more so than our neighbors in Mexico.


Jerry said his wife is a “nervous wreck” and wants “a bigger dog” because she hates guns! I laughed, told him I’m no dog expert but gave him the “buy from a breeder” advice and how to check ‘em out.


My job was to spot threats so our guys could neutralize them. I see this as a bang-up assault. Between the border mess and covid, America is changing. We have always been brave and adventuresome. I’ll let it go at that and just say our borders are there for a reason. My kid, who is grown now, said we had better find our backbone again. I laughed but it wasn’t really funny.


Now, with quarantine, facial masks and multi-cultural challenges, we’re all changing.



I kid her that she’s the “betwixt and between” generation. Old enough to remember when we were independent thinkers and young enough to be influenced by social media. At first she resented me for saying that, but then agreed that there is a big split in her friends.


She poured coffee and we talked a little about the psychological damage. Seeing people sitting at restaurant tables with masks on is about the most ridiculous example we came up with but then she looked at me and said “Daddy it really isn’t funny…” I waited. “You think I don’t know what’s going on? China is patient.” I just nodded.


Suddenly I didn’t want to talk about it. I’m used to being in control of things and knowing there’s a threat I can’t resolve is damned uncomfortable.


Most of us who have seen action are worried. Some have become what they used to call “preppers” but Jerry said it ain’t groceries he’s putting back… I guess it makes them feel like we still have some control but when my kid tells me about the latest pet regulation that puts the rights of animals over ours, I think we don’t have the right slant on this control thing.


Sorry to say that and if the editor deletes it, that’s OK but we need to “listen up” and “look up” because there are enemies all around us. The desperate people coming over our southern border will be helped. That is our duty. We’ve been around the globe helping the oppressed. I get it.


But a few days ago Stan said something that got to me. I remember his words… “We have only fought one battle in our own country.” I get it. We fought each other. I hope it never comes to that again. EST 2002 © 2105



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