Chuck and Gabe: Guns & Cookies in Iraq
This is Part III of this series. You might wish to read Part I (Gabe beats euthanization and becomes a MWD) or Part II (Gabe travels to Iraq and prepares to jump into action for the U.S. Army) before you read this post.
Gabe was on his feet at the “s” and bolting forward by the time Chuck got to the “k.” His nose stayed low and his tail was sweeping from side to side on rapid fire. He was Specialized Search Dog Gabe and he knew something didn’t quite smell right around this Iraqi farmhouse.
Though he had been chomping at the bit ever since they jumped out of the HUMVEE at the farmhouse, he stayed right beside Chuck as the home was searched. The soldiers couldn’t find anything, but Gabe was sniffing rapidly. He sensed something was in the area. Gabe’s olfactory system, the dominant sense in dogs, was on high alert as he scanned the area looking for the source of that strange smell.
Gabe, with Chuck following closely, entered through the entry way that had no door and into the dirt-floored farmhouse. Gabe went through the three room farmhouse methodically but was careful not to get into people’s possessions. If anything bad was there he would find it from a distance. The house was strange, though, because there were no beds or chairs. There were mats scattered in one room that appeared to be a sleeping area, a common area with some bowls and plates, and the kitchen had a small stove, a couple of cabinets and a large bucket of murky water.
He screeched to a halt at the bowls full of food and sniffed rapidly. “What do we have here?” he wondered as he licked his lips. He sat next to the bowls of food and stared at a pile of clothes in the corner as his body trembled with excitement. He sniffed the strange looking food but didn’t look at it. He was working.
“What, is he hungry?” asked the young lieutenant.
Gabe sat on the ground and continued to stare at the corner. He let out a small whine.
“No, Sir. He has something. It is over there in the corner,” Chuck informed him.
“Yippee! Great job, Gabe,” Chuck called as knelt down. “Come here, pal.”
Gabe saw his black Kong and tingled with satisfaction as he chomped down on the hard rubber. He enjoyed that Kong, but what he loved was when Chuck patted him on the head and told him he was a good boy. He followed Chuck outside and a few minutes later the men of the 1-37 Field Artillery Battalion walked out of the hut with four AK-47s wrapped in clothing hidden in a box.
“These things were buried in that pile of junk. How did he find them?” the lieutenant asked looking down at Gabe approvingly.
“Gun powder residue, Sir. Those guns were recently fired,” Chuck responded. He knew that there had been an ambush on an American patrol using AK-47s recently and those weapons might have been the very ones the attackers used.
He bent down to give Gabe a quick belly rub and was shocked to only see the black Kong lying on the ground.
“What the hell,” Chuck wondered as he scanned the area looking for Gabe.
“Woof, woof, woof.”
The wind had swirled scent around. Something was bothering Gabe. He knew there was something else out there. He made a beeline for it and now stood over a pile of worn out tires. He backed away and lay on the ground staring at the tires.
Chuck went over and moved a tire. He turned and looked back at Gabe, smiling.
“Jeez, Gabe. That’s a lot of ammunition. Must be about 100 rounds.”
“Give me my ball, Dad,” thought Gabe as he rolled over on his back playfully. In seconds he was in pure ecstasy. He had his ball, Chuck was rubbing his tummy, and he had just helped take equipment away from the enemy. They wouldn’t be using those weapons and ammunition to attack any more of our troops.
Two days later Gabe was sniffing around the inside of the trailer. Chuck was out learning about their next mission and Gabe was curious to know what was in the box Chuck had received in the mail yesterday. He smelt something good. Chuck had told him the box was for both of them, so why shouldn’t he take a peak? It was covered with gear, but Gabe easily used his big yellow paws and his mouth to move Chuck’s combat helmet, web gear and bulletproof vest.
“Hmm, this looks like a package of tennis balls. O, what do we have here?” wondered Gabe as he shook a small box that rattled and emitted a delightful scent. These were clearly for both of them, right? Shouldn’t he be allowed to have some?
“Well, Gabe, no one is here to tell you that you can’t have them, so go right ahead,” he told himself as he tore open the package of homemade cookies Chuck’s mom had sent. He began devouring them. He heard the door rattle and darted over to his bed and lay down, pretending to be asleep. Maybe Chuck wouldn’t notice the mess he’d made.
Does Gabe get scolded for his mischievous behavior?
What is Chuck and Gabe’s next mission?
How will Gabe react to an enemy attack?
Can Gabe’s stomach handle a whole batch of oatmeal raisin cookies?
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