An Open Apology To D-Dog

An Open Apology To D-Dog

D-Dog. I’m sorry.

You’ve had a hard life. Such a hard life.

When I found you, you were naught but a pup, abandoned. What happened to your mother? I don’t know. Perhaps we’ll never know.

I found you helpless in the Afghanistan desert. I took you in. I wasn’t around much, but Ocelot treated you like his own son. He trained you, fed you. You were well loved by the troops at Mother Base, something of a team mascot.

I wasn’t around enough in those early days. I apologise for that. I neglected you. I heard your yelps in the distance as my chopper hovered high above Mother Base but somehow I blocked it all out. “It’s for his own good,” I told myself, so many times. “He’ll grow up strong without me.” Was I right about that D-Dog? It’s hard to tell. Maybe it’s this shrapnel digging into the nether regions of my frontal lobe. Maybe it’s the dust in my nostrils. In this brutal warzone with the constant scent of death in the air, it’s difficult to know what’s up or down. Nothing makes sense anymore.

Either way I left you alone D-Dog. Too many times.

Before I knew it, you were no longer a puppy. You grew up so fast. One minute you were tiny, scarpering around yelping at everything that moved. Hahahah! Those days. Remember those days? Time is too short D-Dog. We need to grab those moments and hold them close because goddammit those seconds fall through your fingers like so much dust and all that’s left is these wrinkled old hands. Or paws. I guess you don’t have hands D-Dog. Because you are a dog. You are a good dog.

You are a dog. You are no longer a puppy. You are a D-Dog. And I’m so proud of you; of the dog you’ve become.

We gave you an eye-patch for some reason, D-Dog. I never thought about that until now. Do you even need an eye-patch? Is your right eye okay? If so why are we making you wear an eye-patch? If your right eye is damaged then what the hell happened? Were you always missing an eye? Did I just not notice…

I guess it’s all just a symbol. Of my selfish ways. My neglectful ways. Are you wearing a patch because you want to impress me D-Dog? Because you want my approval? There’s no need. This kind of love is unconditional. Take that patch off, fly free. You are a good dog, DD. A good, good dog.

I am a bad master.

After all that — the neglect, the selfishness — I did the worst thing a master can ever do.

We were on a mission. An infiltration mission. You were dynamite that day D-Dog, you sniffed them out. You sniffed them all out. You always do.

Two soldiers were in our way. We needed information. I asked you to distract one soldier while I choked the other. Within seconds they were both out cold — we make a good team D-Dog. That’s when it happened, that moment I wish I could take back. But I can’t.

I wanted to wake up one of the soldiers because we needed information. I wanted to ask those all-important questions. Questions like “speak” and “where are your friends”. I needed to wake those soldiers up. It seemed important at the time. Funny how what’s important can shift in the blink of an eye.

I walked up to the soldier. I pushed the R2 button. I wanted to kick him in the balls. Give him a right old rude awakening. But I didn’t see you there.

That’s when I kicked you D-Dog. The ultimate insult.

“D-Dog has lost his bond with you.”

It was a mistake. I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry D-Dog. I’m so, so sorry.

I pushed the Triangle button. I pushed it over and over again. I tried to pat you, I tried to pat away the memory of that kick I wish I could un-kick. I said ‘good boy’. I said ‘good boy’ so many times and I meant it, because D-Dog you are a good boy, the best boy, and you didn’t deserve that kick from the end of my boot.

The are no words to describe how sorry I am. No nano-machines could contain the emotions I am feeling. I’m not asking you to forgive me D-Dog, I don’t deserve your forgiveness.

I’m just asking for a second chance, to prove myself to you. A good dog deserves a good master and you are a good dog.

Good dog.

Good dog.

Good dog.

Good dog.

Good dog


  • Haha, D-Dog can be so stupid at time. Yes I am sighting up an enemy through my 50cal sniper, it puts big holes in helicopters, it can take the head off a soldier in full riot gear like it were tissue paper but no, step in front as I pull the trigger. “Don’t let your buddies die, I’m getting them out of there”

    • Had the worst just the other day where I was hiding in the back of a truck to do one of the “Listen to all the conversations” tasks.
      D-Dog steps behind the truck as it reverses over him and Kaz has to pull him back to base (Lost 2 bond on that one I think).

  • Happened to me yesterday! I’d placed some C4 on a communications array on the outskirts of a small Afghani town, ran a safe distance away and blew that thing away. It was then I heard the whimpering.

    Maybe he was chasing wildlife, entertaining the call of nature or having a rest from all sniffing out all those soldiers, but he’d been caught in the explosion. And there he lay.

    “D-Dog has lost his bond with you.”

    • This also happened to me. I had just finished placing a row of C4 and decided that they were slightly out of place, so I went to take them back and for whatever reason inputted the command to detonate.

      “D-Dog has been critically injured”

      *restart to last checkpoint*

      • I did not know companions could die or lose their bond.
        Last night I was camped up the back of a base after all guards had been alerted to my location. I called D-Horse in to guard me from line of site and he went down pretty hard on three separate hand grenade related occasions.
        He did not die, but he was not all black to resemble smoke and explosions.

  • Regarding the eye-patch, D-dog is missing an eye. You can see it in that last picture.
    Once you raise his bond to max, you can remove the eye patch (and I think even put in a fake eye).

  • I walked up to the soldier. I pushed the R2 button. I wanted to kick him in the balls. Give him a right old rude awakening.

    It’s official. Mark Serrels is Big Boss.

    • Bet he walks around the Kotaku office doing that all day to anyone who even looks like falling asleep at their desk. With the eyepatch, sneaking suit and everything!

      • As long as they follow-up their kick-in-the-balls with a sharp salute and a “Thank you, sir”, then his transformation into Mark “Big Boss” Serrels will be complete.

  • Wish they’d given him better AI at times. So annoying crawling along the ground, sight in on a target and he just bloody walks in front of the shot I want to make and lands up tranq’d.

    Only time I’ve ever had something like this happen was the first mission in Africa (Infiltrate an oilfield) and he fell off an edge, got stuck or something off screen, and he landed up getting Fulton’d.

    But he’s still my go to buddy for just about everything in the game!

  • I love the little bugger. I wish you could have played with him as a puppy, maybe increase your bond with him early on, or change some of his actions. Maybe along with tapes, they could have scattered dog toys around the maps, squigee Big Boss and squigee Quiet toys…I’m over thinking things, but I do love D-Dog. Here little buddy, have a schmako.

  • He had a glass eye, but his master lost it in a card-game. Jack never forgave him, and so changed his name and went into mercenary work.

    (Spot the reference for 10 points.)

  • oh cool. now I’m legitimately saddened & depressed by a story about a fictional dog in a game I’ll never play.

    damn you @markserrels. damn you.

  • I was clearing out an outpost, and there was a guy I wanted to extract. We made quick work of it together, and it was only our target left. Let the dog take the glory, I thought; I told D-Dog to keep him busy.
    A quick “Ruff”, and D-D runs around to get himself behind the target, and pounces- just as the target pulls the pin from a grenade. That explosion still haunts me, as does seeing a bizarrely happy D-D limp back to me, scorched black, and lying limply at my feet when idle.

  • Quality post – bravo.

    I did something similar when I was busy “raising morale” at Mother Base. I felt genuinely bad and had to restart from the previous checkpoint.

    Plus, taking D-Dog on missions means fewer instances of having to explain away Quiet’s ridiculous outfit to other family members.

  • One of those “Shower Thoughts” on Reddit posited that, because dogs don’t know we’re fallible, they assume we actually get up in the middle of the night just to kick them in the head.

  • I was on my way to Mother Base with D-Dog and got word from Ocelot that Eli was causing trouble, like he often does. We headed over to the platform where he had taken up residence and began subduing the brat.
    When we got there, my number 1 canine, DD, couldn’t get a lock on Eli. I told the loveable mutt to “Wait” on the side, but after a minute, he ran back up to me.
    I tried to keep him out of harm’s way, but I couldn’t. Eli’s Molotovs just kept coming. With each injury DD sustained, my rage burned brighter. But I couldn’t stop him.
    By the time the fight ended the damage had already been done. I’m sorry D-Dog.
    I’m sorry.

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