There is a concept, a
theory really, in the psychiatric and scientific community called the Super
Family. In a nutshell: a Super Family is any gathering of beings that are
bonded together by a common trait. It has been applied to the military in terms
of military units, both in and out of war time. In this context, it’s said men
and women who serve military time together form a Super Family. It can supersede blood ties and childhood friendships. It’s very often brought about by sharing a common experience and trauma.A camaraderie is formed that has no limits and can’t be broken down over time. Ever wonder why men who fought in Korea or Vietnam can get together after 30 years and feel as though no time has passed? It’s the Super Family. It’s bigger than they are as individuals.
Quite a few of our Afghanistan pups have made their way
home. Soldiers from all over the country stepped up to bring their babies home.
And whomever didn’t make it home…we found their battle buddies a new soldier. We
currently only have two left – Socks and Blackie. Those girls still need homes.
I get a lot of questions about the Afghanistan dogs. The
main question, still, is why I help facilitate adoptions for dogs from overseas
when so many dogs right here on Long Island need homes. I have answered this
many times but I will answer it again:
These dogs are strays. They find active military bases and
are essentially adopted by the military folks on the base. They live there,
among them, the entire time that base exists. This could be a year, it could be
three years. Then the base gets packed up (they aren’t bases like you see in
news reels from the 50s – movie stars aren’t entertaining the soldiers in
million dollar dining halls) and moved to another area. The dogs are military
dogs; they are strays. Therefore no one “owns” them and they are not entitled
to travel with the base.
Imagine having to literally leave your pet, or as is the
case in the military, your brother or sister, behind. In a war zone, complete
with IED’s and active gunfire. Afghanistan is not a nice place to be. Couple
this with a culture that does not take kindly to stray dogs. They are used for
dog fighting (this is not a practice localized to the US, I’m afraid) and
tortured. Leaving a dog there is signing it’s death sentence.
I took up this cause for the soldiers, just as much as I did
for the dogs. I can’t imagine living the way these men and women do, for years
at a time. Probably because I’m a sissy. I consider myself as patriotic as the
next gal but I’m not living in a tent in the desert, getting shot at regularly.
At this point in my life I don’t even want to go to a cushy campground and
sleep in a tent. But these men and women do. And they do it proudly. They
understand they are part of something bigger. The dogs they take up with over
there provide them with a feeling normalcy. They give the soldiers someone to
love, unconditionally. They give them comfort and someone to play with on their
off time. The dogs become their friends. Friends who know what they are going
I’ve heard from other soldiers who have gotten their Afghan
pups that no one but the people in their unit and the dogs really understand
what it’s like over there. Soldiers who have returned home actively seek dogs
from Afghanistan specifically for that reason. It isn’t that they are
unsympathetic to the plight of strays here in the US, they simply want a battle
Now of course, we still work with local rescue groups. We
board rescues, donate to various causes, participate in fundraisers etc. But
there is something special about putting a family back together. A Super