We’ve all heard a lot about the dogs coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, but this is a different kind of war dog. This Irish Setter would be useless in battle, but he helped his family through a very difficult time and for that, he’s an honorary mutt.
In a small city like Sarajevo, where people are tightly interconnected and no one can live in isolation, all experiences end up shared. Just as Mek joined our family, my best friend Veba, who lived across the street from us, acquired a dog himself, a German shepherd named Don. Čika-Vlado, Veba’s father, a low-ranking officer of the Yugoslav People’s Army, was working at a military warehouse near Sarajevo where a guard dog gave birth to a litter of puppies. Veba drove over to his father’s workplace and picked the slowest, clumsiest puppy, as he knew that, if they were to be destroyed, that one would be the first one to go. Veba had been my sister’s first boyfriend and the only one I’d ever really liked. We were often inseparable, particularly after we’d started making music and playing in a band together. After my sister managed to get over their break-up, they renewed their friendship.