Saturday, November 25, 2006

Donkey Mascot Enjoying Better Life with Canadian Engineers
Saturday, November 25, 2006

Now THAT'S a care package! :)

Apparently it's providing great morale for the troops.

A Canadian soldier strokes Tina, officially known as Regulator-1, in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, Wednesday.

As Reported by Bill Graveland Canadian Press
PANJWAII, Afghanistan (CP) - A little white donkey has become the apple of the eye . . . for Canadian engineers in Panjwaii. Excuse the clumsy attempt at rhyming but Tina, officially known as Regulator-1 in military jargon, has troops here at this remote Canadian camp wrapped around her delicate little finger - make that hoof.
Tina was purportedly purchased from a local farmer who had beaten her, to help carry supplies such as sandbags to the top of a mountain where an observation post is being built. But her workload has been non-existent, and now Tina has received some interesting news.
"She is pregnant," confirmed medic Cpl. Shannon Fretter of Springhill, N.S.
"The veterinarians in KAF (Kandahar Air Field) pretty much gave us the pregnancy stuff and one of the master corporals has been giving her some examinations and apparently she is pregnant."
Of course being in a "delicate condition" means her workload will have to be lessened.
"She never worked anyway," scoffed Fretter. "They put one sandbag on her just to make it look good. That's what she was for, but we baby her."
Tina is so popular that personnel out in the field regularly inquire as to the welfare of Regulator-1 on the radio.
For troops looking for anything to boost their morale, the little white donkey, who has less than a congenial disposition, is just what the doctor ordered.
"She has a good life right now," said Sapper (Pte.) Jeff Quesnelle, 24, from Perkinsfield, Ont.
"Just having an animal around ups morale. It's something you can give love to and we don't expect anything in return. It's like having our pets back at home here with us."
"Even though it's a donkey and doesn't resemble a dog or a cat at all," he added, "it's something you can love."
Tina is being royally spoiled by troops at the base and was being fed Pop-Tarts during the interviews.
"She's not too happy this morning, but she was happy yesterday," worried Cpl. Jason Dunnett, 24, of Oshawa, Ont.
"But everybody takes care of her and feeds her. She's more of a pet now than anything. She has a pen, we feed her hay and apples and oranges and I think we've given her a few Pop-Tarts obviously," he chuckled.
Some of the engineers maintain Tina is still a working member of the unit, but the truth is out there.
"We'd feel kind of bad if we started using her for things like sandbags and stuff like that. That's what we originally were going to do, but I think we took too much of a liking to her," he said.
Of course if Tina does deliver a healthy baby jack or jenny, his/her regimental name is already laid out for her.
"When the baby's born it's Regulator-1 Alpha," said Fretter.
See story in entirety

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