"LURP" THE DOG
By Jim Regan

Can't remember exactly when, sometime in 1969. A real lazy "Dog Day Afternoon" in Southeast Asia. Thing were exceptionally quiet around the Ranger compound. We had a Company Mascot, "Lurp." His coat was dirty brown, must have weighed about forty pounds, and was the typical mongrel that you saw in Vietnam. He would not allow certain folks, or critters, except for the Rangers into our A/O. I was goofing off, as most Platoon Sergeants did when given the chance. There were several Rangers around the area, cleaning weapons or just relaxing and enjoying the "quiet." We all seemed to look up at the same time and saw Lurp's back was raised up and "bristling!" A dog from a neighboring area, Charlie Troop or some other outfit, had entered the Company area!

Well, the teeth were bared back and the growls started. As I recall, the other dog was dark or black. He was a "Heinz 57" just like Lurp. The dog challenged Lurp and we all backed off to see a good dog fight.

It didn't happen! Lurp made a couple of feints, turned around, and ran! The other dog set out after him in a dust raising chase. Lurp ran through the area and turned into an adjacent motor pool area. He ducked under the barbed wire fence and took off through the motor park. The other dog was in hot pursuit.

We all got up on the sand bag revetments and watched the chase. There was a well traveled "Perimeter" road on the other side of the Motor Pool. Lurp got under the barbed wire fence on the other side and stopped at the road. He stood there looking left and right as if checking for trucks/traffic. Needless to say, the other dog caught up with him. Lurp looked once again, and took off across the road with the other dog right behind him. At the same time, here comes this G I, traveling at more than the approved rate of speed, in a 2 ton cargo truck!!! BAM! Yelp!!!

The dust cleared, Lurp was on the other side of the road. He turned, looked both ways and recrossed the road. I swear, he had a smile on his face. He casually walked back to the Company area, and laid down in the shade, on top of the sandbags. It was many years ago but I can still remember the smile/smirk/look of joy, he had on his face for "baiting" that dog!

At night Lurp would "Patrol" the area, especially in the Southeast Asia Huts that we called home. You could hear him running through the area! Tearing across the cots and bounding over/ through the mosquito nets, as the Rangers slept, chasing the RATS!! The rats in our area were as big as cats. He was a terrific hunter, and if our traps failed, he would exact a toll on the rat population if they dared to enter our A/O. At morning formations, yes we did that in our unit, we would bring the night's catch of rats in the cages and turn them loose. Lurp would make quick work of them. Shake them 'til they went to Rat Heaven, and then drop them in front of the assembled Rangers. We could never teach him to put the rats in the trash cans! He was a Hunter, Guardian, and natural born killer. Seems as if he picked the right outfit to hang out with!

Jim RLTW

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