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Feb-12-2007 22:22printcommentsVideo

It's A Cold Dog's Life in Afghanistan

You can't keep a good dog down, and even the coldest winter day in Afghanistan doesn't dampen the spirits of man's best friend.

winter scene in Afghanistan
All photos by: Tim King

(KABUL, Afghanistan) - At this mountain encampment called Ghazni, these canine visitors keep a watchful eye on things.

At forward operating bases, they're known as FOB dogs, friends left over from the days when the base had no walls around it, when wild dogs roamed at will, and some of them found their way into the hearts of soldiers stationed here.

Life hasn't been easy for the local dogs of Ghazni Afghanistan for many years, if ever.

The base at Ghazni has been part of the landscape for decades, "I've been told the Taliban had it, the Soviets had it, the communist Army from Afghanistan had it, so it has been a military installation for a lot of years," said Major Raymond Brown of the Washington State Guard.

The dogs that survive here live in the constant upheaval of a military presence, and all that goes with it.

“There was a litter of puppies, this is all that are left now," said Major Raymond Brown of the Washington State Guard. "Most of the dogs are afraid of people, it's when you start feeding them that they get attached to you."

"We had up to 50, before we had the HESCOs put up, the dogs could come through the berms onto the base. They had about 80 a day. They would travel around in packs of up to 10."

The dogs that became domesticated were a benefit at times, keeping the more wild groups of dogs away.

Then, people complained about the dogs and their days at the base were numbered. A few soldiers laid out the cash to send some of the dogs to their homes in the states. But they all didn't make the trip, and then the rules against them tightened.

"Once they put the HESCOs up, as they were building around, they started taking the dogs and sticking them outside. The only way they get in now is through the front gates. We've got guards there and they don't let 'em in."

The dogs that once lived on the base are now just allowed an occasional day pass.

"Spanky was a FOB dog, now there are rules that you aren't going to have dogs, so she just comes in once in a while," says Major Brown as he gives the dog another pat.

For the time being, the FOB dogs at Ghazni are just short-time visitors, then, back outside the gates they go. But at other bases in Afghanistan, dogs are more welcomed and accepted, as some base commanders utilize their positive impact on the well being of soldiers facing the challenges of war.

The forward operating base at Ghazni Afghanistan is home to many Oregon National Guardsmen, and even if it isn't home for man's best friend, it is still a great place for them to visit.

Watch the Streaming Video News Report below, direct from Kabul, Afghanistan by Tim King:

To learn how to keep your pet safe in the winter, visit: PETA Offers Salem Residents Urgent Information for Safeguarding Animals During Winter Weather -

In Afghanistan, Tim King, reporting for

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Tim King is embedded in Kabul, Afghanistan with the 41st Combat Brigade of the Oregon National Guard. See his stories several times a week here, on, and on Portland’s KPTV Fox12.

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agt.009 and 2/3; February 23, 2007 6:35 pm (Pacific time)

the A.P. news today says importing dog fur illegal!(ciggarettes, alcohol, oil and weaponry not affected!.,relax!),anyway Neiman-Marcus, Jacques C. Pinye and others to pull fur collar jackets from the rack!, citing "false advertising!" So send them four footed little fur collars to; Armor Tofu Products, Kabul!, put'm in cheney's(the overweight bald guy, remember?) diplomatic pouch!.,c/o "terrier div." February 20, 2007 8:13 pm (Pacific time)

Great video, I almost didn't recognize the FOB. I was there in 2005. I wonder if Mr Walli and Charlie are still there.

wahoo! news; February 16, 2007 7:39 pm (Pacific time)

Flash!; bear with me, as I have just now learned that an "abandoned dog" (a miniature schnauser no less) was found and rescued next to a dumpster in a place called Beaverton, Oregon! (this made the world wide net., I'm not making it up) The Emergency Dog Rescue and Abandonment Society are now "nurturing" said mutt with designer "D"-rations" and worm meds, and looking for the perpatrator of this henous criminal act! or an adoptive domicile scenario. (the least they could have done was to parcel it off UPS to Armor Tofu Prods.,Kabul-Silk, where it would have been introduced to it's mate and produced unlimited litters of G.M.'d "Karzaikazie" stick grenades!) This is here and now!., wahoo! news out.

fluffy says ruff ruff. February 15, 2007 8:01 am (Pacific time)

what about the taco bell pouche? that talking' little short haired rat thing.. he could be the spokes mutt for the FOB.. LOL howling good time had by all

anon. February 15, 2007 2:29 am (Pacific time)

just so I don't have to see two of her any longer.,did she raise pit bulls on the side?

Chinese R D; February 14, 2007 10:56 pm (Pacific time)

What about "Pekingese" short handled stick grenades?, they pack well and are easy to throw long distances and double as "little stone sentry's" when stuck upright in the snow! and they will go anywhere undetected crossing international borders at will right to the bowls of food set out on the precessing plants floor. Free transport is nothing to ..,bark at!

Margaret Blake February 14, 2007 8:15 pm (Pacific time)

This was a good report. It is hard to imagine dogs surviving in frigid conditions like that. Families of the Oregon Guard sincerely appreciate this coverage, it is important and we miss our family members in Afghanistan.

articles of incorporation H.Q. February 14, 2007 6:01 pm (Pacific time)

To Armor Tofu Products, Kabul., We are declining your application to open a side venture named: "Dog (by the) Pound", as being misleading. The license can only be granted if title converted to the metric system, i.e.; "Dog (by the) Kilo", or "by the gram", or "mg" etc., etc., and remission of an administrative fine of two thousand twelve dollars, (U.S.currency only), or another way of putting it is ($2,012.00 U.S.).

agt. 009 and 2/3;dateline Kabul, February 14, 2007 5:05 pm (Pacific time)

I just found out that winter's coming on this year again! and soon enuff!., and we're completely out of our horde of Mastiffs!,(they were "secretly renditioned" in a bold raid by horse mounted Wazir tribesmen wearing AK-47's and pastel cammies). These dogs were the most efficient when it came to "ready to wear" jackets for both adolescent males and females.,negating traditional centuries old tailor shops altogether,and making us quite the bundle of bucks because of their popular fur patterned balklavas! So send some o'those larger Pit Bulls or Mastiff'S and make it snappy!.,contact Sgt. King of a secret intellegence agency and he will know "who" to see! He's got connections!,its how I obtained my new C-136 A-4 Herculese cruiser!,blue star cluster pods and night retrieval netting for late nite dog roundups.,known lacally as "Operation Sweepsteaks".,I even got a Humvee for quick dashes to the border of Pakistan and the nearest 7/11!,I traded it straight across for two Dachsunds!

Society des Humanes; February 14, 2007 4:32 pm (Pacific time)

Oie!(pronounced;we!,translated directly from the original french) the society Des Humanes is now riasing several million dollars to construct a state of the art, or "bark" as it were, canine hostel and finishing school to prepare these lice ridden, rabid vermin.,I mean these cuddly little furballs for adoption! All donations over 500 U.S. dollars will be immediately invested in this noble grand venture soley for the sake of these poor downtrodden doggies!. They have nothing! and are so destitute they don't even know they have nothing! Imagine one of these creatures tucking into a bowl full of warm Kennel Ration horsemeat stew!,they also have a choice of goatmeat! Also as we have a contractual agreement with Kellogg-Brown and Roothog in Dallas, so our cold storage facility for deceased "Rover's","Fido's" and "Spot's" is efficiently located near their rendering plant and "chow halls" serving tha ANA's dedicated forces! Don't forget to send that 500 and feel good about your contribution! we will use it to the very pinnacle of our ability!, trust us to get them doggies rollin', keep them doggies rollin'..,rawhide.,whipcrack.,whipcrack.,raaawhiiide!" only in America would they tink of building a hamane society in Afghanistan. Would the locals laugh or weep?

Give the poor dog a bone February 14, 2007 11:09 am (Pacific time)

Poor dogs. I bet there's no plan for a humane society to be built there! Maybe we could send some dog treats c/o those bases? At least the soldiers have some friendly mutts to keep them company. I'm glad to know that.

wahoo! news; February 14, 2007 2:08 am (Pacific time)

as of two minutes ago this reporter has again been staggered sideways as information afrom another planet indicates a "Feng Shui" practioner has been employed by a large inner city zoo for a fee of $4,500,(as in four thousand five hundred bucks), to enhance the "life force"( I'm tellin' ya',I'm not making this up!), of three golden monkeys now on display in a $7,000,000,(as in seven million bucks!) enclosure! Monkeys are a "gift" from China! Thanks a lot you commies! I think I'll come back as a golden monkey rather than a dog in Afghanistan! wahoo! news out.

agt. 009 2/3; February 14, 2007 1:11 am (Pacific time)

to Fannie May, they actually Did turn me into the Humane Society.,and threw me out with nearly antimagnetic entheusiasm, with an unclaimed litter of red "mustachioed" badgers (an endagerd species!),found in the bottom drawer of the Director of the OLCC's desk discovered years ago when he was sent to prison. You may have read about it here first. After an illustrious military career in which I single handedly won the war in all of S.E. Asia, I turned to smuggling airplanes and helecoptors out of combat zones and converted them to cargo (booty) transport only! (except for occaisional med-evacs) It was because of me basically, that Salem-News reporter Tim King survived his journey to "see the elephant" as he was inordanately fearless, and I had to frequently caution him not to do any more "Iwo Jima" moves.,and he's made it back as proof! Are you married?, I mean I could get you some good deals on bulk Labradore purchases if we had something going, otherwise it's a fixed price unilateraly.

Dr. Jive;severe counsiling pro, February 14, 2007 12:42 am (Pacific time)

Ms. May?.,heve you taken a recent scan to quantify the percentage indices of the actual space involved in " a little peice of your mind"? Are you ready to take responsibility of a "transplanted wild thing" who has no command of English or our intrinsic customs?, would you be ready to support an entire family of "Bahmain Bowsers" strapped with explosives?,(these are not blue ribbon pedigrees, trained in the sublties of carpets and fenced runs!). Have you any conception of the risk involved in transporting these..,mongrels? What if they run amok in an intolerant neighborhod? I only want you to ask yourself these fundamental questions.,or chance getting the hand the feeds them nipped down to the knuckles! My office hours are up to you and I have many famous clients. Trust me and you'll be petting a frozen Bizinjy in no time!

And FYI; February 14, 2007 12:15 am (Pacific time)

to Fannie May, the advantage of a frozen or stuffed pup cannot be overstated, they don't eat!..,they don't leave unpleasnt reminders of..,anything really! they don't require medical attention ever again! add a sound track of your favorite "bark" and chillout with "Spot"attentivly curled in your lap watching re-runs of Lassie, just put the frozen one back in the freezer when it gets too floppy or expressionless! These are sustainable dogs! with low or no maintenance required!

Armor Tofu Products; February 14, 2007 12:01 am (Pacific time)

Fannie May..,Mohammed Karzai and the Bush Poultry and Ham Consortium (Crawford Coven), are my two immediate supervisors but.., they hardly admit any involvment in thie "dogmeat rendering" venture. But there's good news!, we have a limited supply of live ones as I speak, but hurry!,the plane is taxiing down the runway right now!.,oh by the way I fly the C-130's and operate the bandsaw., my code: agent 009 and 2/3. Do you like beagles?.,they sure do in Korea!,ketchup an A-1 sauce with a potato! Excellent!

Fannie May February 13, 2007 11:44 pm (Pacific time)

Armor Tofu Products; Why I never! You should be turned in to the Humane Society, that is not a joking matter for poor little dogs fighting to stay alive, what is your bosses name at Armor Tofu? I'd like to give him a little piece of my mind!

Armor Tofu Products; February 13, 2007 10:03 pm (Pacific time)

Fannie May., I could rent you one cheap! stuffed or frozen.,and what breed?

Fannie May February 13, 2007 9:09 pm (Pacific time)

So how can I adopt one? How do they do it and how much does it cost? Any help is appreciated.

Armor Tofu Products ( Kabul frozen f February 13, 2007 8:15 am (Pacific time)

I must tell you we love our dogs at Armor Tofu Products! Our new, smaller, genetically modified, "hairless ones",(regt. pat. pend., m. chertoff, hmlnd. sec. corp.), make excellent "Cornish Game Hens", the secret is fast freezing in the open bay of the aircaft (a C-130 Hercules is the plane of choice) to save lots of steps and big bucks and then they just plop right off the stern ramp as I come in low and slow trying to control the pattern spread into the shrink-wrap tarpaulian on the airstrip.,simultaneously getting reloaded via special pneunmatic gatling cannon, firing a thousand "hens" a minute into the now empty hold., as I'm airborn! then return to Hellanbak and vuella!.,, ready for market! Shrewd eh? And, the stuffed furry ones about the size of a standard fully grown British hedgehog make xcellent feet warmers on those cozy Pashtun evenings of 80 below zero! Can I get a witness? I didn't learn how to fly for nothing!

James Brown; February 13, 2007 6:32 am (Pacific time)

"This is a Dogs world., da da da da., but it wouldn't be nothin'.,. . . ., without a Sharpee., or a French Poodle.., with a curl"... whew! give me my silk kerchief, Raymo!, that's soo funky!, power-ful man!

Rufus Thomas; February 13, 2007 6:17 am (Pacific time)

"Wok in the dog.,da ta da ta da ta da ta, wok in the dog (ditto)., if ya don't know how to do it, I'll show ya how ta wok the dog"

Elvis; February 13, 2007 5:53 am (Pacific time)

"well bless'a my soul., whats'a wrong with me?, I'm itchin' like I'm rollin' in poison ivy!., Houndog Hotel should've been the key!.,mite'a turned out different iff'n is up to me!" well? what do y'all think?.,pretty funny huh? "houndog hotel"? you get it doncha?

chickenhawk; February 13, 2007 5:27 am (Pacific time)

I'd have commandeered the aircraft, full of "Fido" stew on the hoof, and flown it to Korea!.,returning to Afghanistan for more "puppy chow", (similar to veal in texture I've been told), as market demand dictated. I'm not making this up.

call me slam; February 13, 2007 5:16 am (Pacific time)

gives the term "Chow Line" another dimension.,doesn't it? I can picture myself spooning relish on a "hot dog" with greater reluctance and outright suspicion now! Do you think it's how KBR served up so many free meals?.,do you think that's what they meant by "every dog has it's day?"

the Devil; February 13, 2007 4:28 am (Pacific time)

Sgt. King? I believe I've heard about you., oh well.,later. What I wanted to ask was are you familiar with the conceptual origins of the 70's group "Three Dog Night" and how they chose their name?.,talk about a cold night in hell!, believe me I was there!.,just wondering Sgt., just wondering. Keeep up the good "wok", I mean "work".,(just a little levity), and by the way, I run into Osotan quite often and he speaks highly of you, even if he seems gruff at times., chao!

JAFO; February 13, 2007 3:32 am (Pacific time)

tell me if I'm missing something, but it looks like the humans are the "domesticated" ones!,a metaphysical allegory, of course., not to cast dispersion on the 41st' of course. If I was an Afghani dog,(go ahead readers, run with it!, my X wives would!., call me Rodney if you want!) I'd be waitin' for you guys in front of the gates of hell., with my entire village!, fully confident they would eventually send the Marines there! This really is a great story Sgt. King!.,you could say it leaves your readership., panting?.,barking at the shiva moon?.,star clusters across the valley?? Yes, I think there will be many comments. Don't delete these gems Sgt.

Osotan; February 13, 2007 2:16 am (Pacific time)

Sgt. King, the grin on my face exceeds the grin on yours in past images as the Colors majestically waved and you shook hands with "Iwo Jima team" raising the flag.,Al Frankin.,Gov. Kulongoski.,hell you may even know Albert Marnell!.anyway, the grin on my face is because it's the first "dispatch" in about ten that you didn't get either written up for a medal or just written up for your character flaws inherent to being a Bird. No medals!! Made my day.,oh yes.,I'm off to see the wizard now.,hammocked out grinning away ..,Dogs?? oh, this is fertile Sgt.! Fertile!,rich with potential! how would a commendation be worded to say.., I mean I can't actually think of a more ridiculous operation! Was the CIA in this? go on.,I got clearance! it was the CIA wasn't it?.,of course.,now I get it! you don't have to say a thing Sgt.,I now fully understand. I am grinning to the point of pain Sgt., how about fur lined shooting gloves?

Osotan; February 13, 2007 12:38 am (Pacific time)

Dogs?., Sgt. King?, sent stateside..,? Sgt. King?, have you heard the tune "Smashed"?,circa 1967.,by I don't know who., but about a squad of NVA and US Marines running into each other in the middle of a marijuana plantation owned and operated by Michlen Rubber Of Khe Sanh? The call sign on the radio for us was "smashed squad 3, philly dog!(I'm not making this up, I was the squad leader!),and the NVA call sign was was "smashed squad 324th,"C" div. buda. intel. group",(I am making a lot of this up!)well Sgt. King.,that is what the story triggered in my C-ration mindset. Sgt. King?.,did you use a John Wayne to open the Alpo?,or like John just tear it open w/ your teeth? Did they enjoy their cold ham and lima's Sgt.? send them to The Marcus Garvey,I'm thinking maybe for "D" rats?., say., spiced beagle w/ sauce? spaghetti and ..,? Do I make my point Sgt.,the ignanomy of it strikes me like a broadside from the "Missouri".,you do remember the Missouri I presume? Dogs!.,I can just picture them near the brig of said battleship, MacCarther clenching a pipe in his jaws and thinking how to "wok" the dogs.,cant you? or even like the Navy porpoise's who are trained to blow stuff up! or a plan along that logic.,I mean how many dogs are we talking about? will this lead to a new breed of Afghanapups?, reassure me Sgt., that I am totally not losing it as I operate the keyboard.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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