but military service dogs even more so

AU where the clones get military service dogs

Because they would need them for stuff, and more importantly, I feel clones generally deserve puppies.

And the commanders all have to be present to meet the animals joining thier units, so Rex,Cody and Wolffe are all present when the Animal handler shows up.  She has several handsome specimens in crates, looking up at the clones with bright, curious eyes. 

“Men, This is Miss Freybug, who trains these animals.” Plo introduces them (Of course it’s Plo who comes up with the idea, and Mace seconds it, even if he is more of a cat person). “Miss Freybug, This is Captain Rex, Commander Cody and Commander Wolffe.”

Miss Freybug turns several interesting shades of pink and white upon hearing their names, quite the feat considering that she is Pantoran.

“Oh, Oh dear,  This is awkward.”  She mutters.

“Is something wrong?”

“Well, you see-”  She gestures to the canines. “Their names are Rex, Cody and… Wolf.”

It takes Rex a moment to actually believe what he’s hearing, then groans loudly and hides his face in his hand.  Cody beings to laugh at the absurdity of it all and Wolffe is fifty flavors of furious and leaves the room to swear loudly in the hall until Plo comes out and calms him down.

Rex’s disgruntlement with sharing his name with an animal soon fades as he comes to realize that the Dog has much better senses than he does, and is quite adept and sniffing out explosives, can hear the clankers coming before anyone else, and can actually chase down and catch probe droids and the occasional pirate.  Soon he’s slipping the animal bits of ration bars and trying to teach him to fetch.

Cody and Cody are immediate friends-  the dog has an unusually gentle temperament and sometimes the clone just needs to sit somewhere quiet and pet him until the shaking and hyperventilating from the panic attacks he pretends he doesn’t have subside.  The dog tends to seek out anyone who’s upset and stays with them, climbing into their bunks if he can get away with it.  it secretly pleases the clone that when the dog has finished making sure everyone is in bed, it climbs in with him.

Wolffe and Wolf don’t get along for quite a while.  Wolf has an independent streak and likes to run off and come back when he gets hungry if he gets off-lead.  Wolffe’s resentment begins to fade when Wolf comes back from these adventures with game and drops it at his feet.  Sure, the Asjibann Viper wasn’t totally dead and Wolffe needed Anti-venom and seven stitches, but it tasted good and he appreciated the gesture.

All three of them have to deal with the new annoyance of not being sure if it’s them being called for when they hear thier name being shouted, but hey, civvies work around it all the time, so can we.  

Whenever I tell people that my family is from South Africa, one of the first questions I’m asked is usually: “Wait, there are Jews in Africa???.” After biting back my knee jerk retort of “WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU THINK EGYPT IS?,” I  say: “Yes, my parents, grandparents, and some of my great grandparents were born in South Africa.”

Jewish immigration to South Africa is a little known chapter in the larger story of the Jewish Diaspora.  Some of South Africa’s Jewish population came when the country was first being colonized from communities in the Netherlands and Portugal, but most Jews came to South Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from communities in Eastern Europe.  99% of Eastern European Jewish immigrants moved West to America and the United Kingdom.  I am descended from the 1% that moved south to Africa.  My family came as refugees.  My mother’s ancestors uprooted their family from Lithuania to save the boys from service in the Tsar’s armies and certain death.  My father’s ancestors came from Russia a decade later, fleeing persecution under the Bolsheviks.  Our story is not uncommon.

The South African Jewish community was, like the rest of Apartheid South Africa, segregated and isolated.  The Apartheid government was virulently anti-Semitic and were Nazi sympathizers.  When my father did his two years mandatory service in the South African military, his dog tags were stamped “JEW/JOOD.”  He was the captain of the gymnastics team and still the coach called him their “little lucky Jew.”  Drill sergeants referred to him as “fokken jood.”  My grandfather had such a difficult time getting work as a Jewish doctor, he briefly moved to London (he moved back because it was even worse there).  So, Jewish South Africans closed ranks and protected their own. As usual, the new world didn’t promise much more than the old. 

The Apartheid government did not actively persecute Jewish people in South Africa. They were too busy murdering Black Africans and they needed everyone who was at least vaguely white passing on their side.  Some Jewish South Africans bought this as actual acceptance. Others saw through it.  Many Jewish people acquitted themselves with honor in the struggle to end Apartheid. ALL of Nelson Mandela’s defense lawyers were Jewish, with the exception of Bram Fisher.  ALL of the white/white passing Rivionia Treason Trialists were Jewish: Harold Wolpe, Joe Slovo, Denis Goldberg, Lionel Bernstein, Bob Hepple, and Arthur Goldreich.  Goldreich and his family hid Nelson Mandela and many others on his farm, Lilliesleaf at grave personal risk to him and his young family.  Joe Slovo’s wife, Ruth First, was murdered by the Apartheid government’s secret police while her husband was in exile.  Harold Wolpe’s wife Ann Marie was a journalist and was badly harrassed by the police and was even briefly imprisoned. Helen Suzman was the lone voice of opposition in the Apartheid parliament, enduring unchecked sexist and anti-Semitic rhetoric on the floor of parliament.  Mannie Manim and Barney Simon created the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. For years, it was the only space in South Africa where the races could mix and make art together.  They also helped Harold Wolpe and Arthur Goldreich flee the country, disguising them in costumes borrowed from the theatre.  We could have done better, but I am exceptionally proud of those who did fight and die to end the centuries of injustice in South Africa.

The relationship between South Africa and the Jewish people is a complicated one. We came as refugees, but too many of us mimicked the colonizers.  My parents left South Africa in 1986, hoping that America would be a land of equality and justice (HA!).  My brother and I grew up hearing stories of the Jewish people who stood up and fought. They were to be our guide.  They said: “May you be like Harold and Arthur and Joe. May you be like Ruth and Helen and Ann Marie.” May we all follow their example.