NOT ALL OUR HEROES ARE HUMAN
IN HONOR OF ALL OUR VETERANS
A FUN CHARACTER/character INTERVIEW WITH A COUPLE OF (fictional) GALS WHO CARE FOR SOME OF THOSE (fictional) NON-HUMAN HEROES
(submitted for Timbrel by author Ronie Kendig)
TIMBREL: Hey, Peeps. I’ve got a special inside-track for you today. I’m meeting up with Aspen Courtland, the other female handler at A Breed Apart. Let’s sit down and lend her our ears.
TIMBREL: So, Aspen, tell us how Talon’s doing, and what makes him special.
ASPEN: Thanks, Timbrel. Talon is sitting at my feet on the couch with me right now, running like mad in his sleep. As to what makes him special—I guess you’re asking about his post-traumatic stress. Poor guy. He was greatly affected when my brother, who was Talon’s handler, disappeared in an explosion not too long ago. Right now, where he’s at, he’s not going to take anyone down the way Trinity probably would, but that’s okay. I’m here to help him remember how to be a healthy, confident dog again. Talon is now very sensitive to loud noises and sudden movements, so he has a few issues that we’re working on.
TIMBREL: Yeah, but don’t most guys have issues anyway? Okay, never mind. Don’t answer that.
ASPEN: Thanks for the reprieve.
TIMBREL: It’s the least I can do—you totally had my back last time in Afghanistan. So, I’ve noticed you in the training gym at ABA on the speed bag a lot. You have some serious skill with that and in the ring. Where’d you learn that?
ASPEN: It should not be that a tough girl like you would notice. My skill, as you put it, came from my grandfather. He was on the Marines, too, but he also owned a gym near the base for many years. And then it was my brother, Austin, who taught me to box when I’d get angry, or when I wanted to work out a problem or too. As my twin, he wasn’t as easy on me as most guys are when they step into the ring and see a woman.
TIMBREL: Yeah, and you totally work that beauty angle to your benefit. I’ve seen it in action. You can stop laughing, because I know it’s true. Let’s move on—why’d you apply to adopt Talon? I mean, no offense, but taking care of a dog is one thing, but taking care of one with some serious trust issues is another. I know. So, what motivated you to brave the hard roads ahead?
ASPEN: When I heard they were retiring Talon because he was so traumatized over that incident that left so many questions unanswered—including where my brother is—I stepped up without a second thought because to me, not volunteering would’ve meant abandoning Austin. Despite what many think, I do not believe my brother is dead. And I think that’s part of Talon’s problem. Besides, I couldn’t abandon Talon after all he’d done for Austin and the other troops on patrol with him. He was a company favorite when he was tracking. That dog had a nose for trouble. Whatever happened with Austin, it affected Talon deeply.
TIMBREL: Okay, so give—what’s on the Love Agenda for you these days? I mean, you have all those looks in all the right places. You turn girls like me into chopped liver. Any significant others? Or a soldier, Marine, airman, Coastie, or other military personnel you’re interested in—besides Talon?
ASPEN: You know how to make me laugh. Timbrel, I don’t have time for a man. I know that sounds cliché, but Talon’s therapy and re-training takes all my time. And seriously—I’m not sure a man would want to step into my life when I have the responsibility to look after and help rehabilitate Talon.
TIMBREL: So wait—a traumatized dog keeps the jerks away? Where can I get one? Okay, okay. Not as funny as it sounded in my head. But dudes are seriously overrated.
ASPEN: Yeah, let’s see how long that lasts if you get another mission with ODA452. . .more specifically, with Candyman.
TIMBREL: Hey, he’s a dude. Dudes are trouble. I got the only guy I want—Beowulf.
Thanks, Timbrel, Aspen, & Ronie! What fun!
Readers, make sure you check out MY REVIEW of Ronie's book, Trinity: Military War Dog as well as MY INTERVIEW with the author!
Image credit, soldier w/dog: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_7446279_soldier-with-the-dog-on-the-ruined-city-background-cross-process-styled.html'>diter / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Image credit, dog silhouette w/flag: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_5882762_a-german-shepherd-silhouette-on-a-us-flag--not-all-of-our-heroes-were-people.html'>deepspacedave / 123RF Stock Photo</a>