• Did they even tell the reason why
    Countless sons and daughters sent to die?
    Can you even comprehend the pain?

    Tell me when you're out of time
    In this lullaby
    When your soul is frozen
    Is that enough?

    --Enough, Disturbed

    We remembered. We remembered as we licked each other's wounds. Remembered how life was before the change.

    We'd been normal animals, the way dogs are supposed to be. Four legs, fur, tails, ears. Then the war began. Why they fought, we didn't know. I'd been happy, until...

    They started taking us. First strays, but soon they came to the families and demanded they help the cause. Yes, they could demand at that time. With so many dead, they could demand freely.

    We were taken--my friends, my brother, myself and my family. The people were brought to barracks. The old became advisors, nurses, gravediggers.

    The young went to the lines.

    The experiments began.

    We were to be made into new soldiers, stronger than their dying children. They had a plan--of course they had one. Why not? They had the technology. They could change our genes.

    It took time and much pain. Many died in the first attempts before the process was perfected. After it was...there were so many needles, machines, and just as much agony.

    Our faces shrank and rounded. Our limbs and bodies grew long. Long and naked. The whites of our eyes became visible. We screamed. Screamed in our primal voices--words weren't needed, for we were tools of war then.

    We fought. Oh, we fought.

    We filed our nails and our teeth for ripping and tearing out the throats of those we were pointed toward. We could scent the mines beneath our feet, located hidden enemies, and kill them just as efficiently. We heard the high noises--storms approaching, bombs, conversations.

    We could see the colors and patterns Man saw. Their gift to us.

    We killed, were killed...watched the little ones of our families fall. Our humans--those we were supposed to protect out of some form of loyalty. The war leaders called it a twisted pagan love display, when if we found one of our family we'd clean their wounds the only way we knew and falling on our knees hold them and scream to the sky.

    Another gift of Men: we gained the ability to grudge, to hunt and kill on vengeance's impulse. We lived as always, as Humans would say, in the moment, but not memories festered. More harsh than any wound were the remembered faces of our children, most dying in our arms. Our Human children...

    My remaining Human had become a Sleeper. Put into the care of Sleep to heal, to await the end of the war. The war had ended, as all wars must eventually. The Humans rebuilt a city for themselves. A shining white city from the ashes of their dead, rising up to relieve them of their cares and us.

    What became of us? What of the Dogs?

    We are second. Second and low, worthy of scorn. We became vagabonds, and those who couldn't wander created slums. Entertainment for the Men, their workers, anything they can't sully themselves with is left to us.

    Our hearts and backs steadily broken, and the birds' stomachs are our graves.