I just got a PM asking me to explain part of my signature:
When a dog saves the life of a man, it becomes clear that partnership knows no bounds.
When I was trying to come up with something clever for a sig line I went through my favorite quotes, from Rush lyrics to Teddy Roosevelt, and nothing seemed to feel right. I started thinking about my dogs over the years and what they meant to me. I have had some cool dogs (and I still need to reply to that thread some day) and I spent quite some time sifting through memories and what they each meant to me. I was doing this chronologically in my head, and when I got to Fama I realized that the feelings I had for her were stronger, and much different, than the feelings I have for my other dogs. This led me to try and understand why?
Just as battle creates brothers out of soldiers that didn't know each other 3 months ago, the hardship of war forged a great bond between Fama and I. We lived in terrible conditions sometimes, ate bad food, worked in the heat and cold and bad weather, were deprived of sleep and safety and friends. We tackled the mission together. Fama was always an equal partner in the work. I can't smell bombs and she can't fire a weapon. Amazingly enough, I believe she understood this as well as I did.
There came a certain day, in a certain village, on a certain mission, when Fama undoubtedly saved my life. She bit a guy in the face who was about to shoot me from behind. I didn't even know he was there. When all the commotion was over, she came to check on me, ears back, kissing me on the face. Then she curled up next to me on the ground and resumed guard.
At that moment, I knew I had a partner in life that went far beyond a dog wanting a reward.
We spent 3 hours behind a rock one time, taking heavy machinegun fire from a fighting position on a hill. The rest of the platoon was pinned down 150 meters behind us. We shared a bottle of water and a bag of beef jerky. Everything was OK because we both had 10 fingers and 10 toes, and we were together.
So I guess what that quote really means is that there is more to my relationship with my dog than a bowl of food and a scratch behind the ear. We are in life together, and though I don't really know what all that entails, I know that it means I am never alone as long as I have my dog, no matter what.