Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Kirby: Who’s watching out for stray dogs in Sochi?

By Robert Kirby

| Tribune Columnist

First Published Feb 09 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Mar 22 2014 05:36 pm

The 2014 Winter Olympics are underway in Sochi, Russia.

You already know that.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

That first sentence was a test to see if I would be allowed to print it.

Just writing "2014 Winter Olympics" is a potential International Olympic Committee copyright violation. During the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, the Olympics trademark was so aggressively protected that I received two warnings regarding copyright infringement.

One was for the crude Olympics symbol I drew on a cardboard sign for purposes of hitchhiking to and from Park City.

The other was for a private project to supply portable potties to the Games. The IOC wasn’t happy with the catchy toilet seat design.

But that was Salt Lake City. The games are in Russia now. The Salt Lake Tribune sent a team of journalists to Sochi.

I’m not one of them.

That’s good, because Sochi is dangerous for the likes of us.

Unlike television anchors and commentators, newspaper reporters and photographers are a notoriously scruffy bunch. It’s entirely possible that my coworkers will be mistaken for stray dogs and rounded up by Sochi animal control.


story continues below
story continues below

There are so many stray dogs in Sochi that they boldly wander onto training fields and into news interviews. Rather than allow the mutts to embarrass the Games, officials are rounding them up.

Reportedly — and I may be making this up — Sochi hired the Afghani Taliban to capture and dispose of its stray dogs. The coincidence here is too much.

The Taliban recently held a press conference featuring a dog it captured during a gun battle. Although it is not known whether the dog had been shooting back, a rifle captured at the same time also was displayed.

Note: I am NOT making up this part.

The dog, a Belgian malinois named "Colonel," is seen in the video wearing a military/police harness and looking rather confused. At least one report claims that.

the mujahideen who captured Colonel say he was a member of the U.S. military unit that raided their base. The U.S. military says Colonel actually belonged to an ally taking part in the operation.

Either way, Colonel — like the dogs in Sochi — has become a focal point in a debate beyond its limited ken. You can tell on the video that he knows things are not quite right.

Taliban guy: "Withdraw infidels or the dog gets it."

Colonel: "I have to pee."

I’d need a bathroom break, too, if I’d been captured by a bunch of fundamentalists with a Stone Age mentality and a generally poor regard for life. In the Taliban’s "Big Book of Stuff We Don’t Mind Shooting," an American journalist ranks on a par with adulterous women, swine in general and someone else’s dog.

Sadly, Colonel’s lifespan is measured in his propaganda worth. When that’s over, so is he.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.