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It is hard to know what to say when faced with war victims. We hope our actions help. We want to save them but all they see is another uniform and try to brace for the inevitable pain.
This day, the sole survivor is not human. Behind his rigid guard position are the smoldering ruins of his home, including the burned corpses of his family. The dog is in great condition indicating his place in village life; barely surviving themselves they obviously treasured this dog.
No one can get past the dog. We want to document the devastation in the hopes of justice. But the dog will not stop guarding what was once his.
No one can get past until Gerald knelt down, grasped the grieving dog with one hand on each side of his head and leaned in to put his lips to the dogs bowed head.
No words could touch the dog but someone needed to and did.
(Body of story is 160 words)