No, it's true. You get a group of Soldiers together in some far-away land, and I guarantee that before long they're going to have some sort of "mascot" tagging along with them. Dogs, cats, anything. A Soldier I used to work with actually had a pet camel spider. And the Polish Army in 1942 had a bear. (Found the link at Ace's).
Several years ago, I was in training at Ft. Jackson, back when we still wore that damn beret instead of an actual hat. Every enlisted Soldier's beret had their DUI on it (Distinctive Unit Insignia). It's a little bit of Army heraldry, which is still alive and kicking in the military. Some of them are classical heraldry, and some of them.... not so much. But the one that made me look more than twice was one Soldier who's DUI was quite literally a white dog with black spots, standing over a banner that read "Don't Kick My Dog". The troop told me (and this is all second-hand knowledge, don't quote me on anything) that way back in the unit's history, they were fighting the Krauts in WWI, and the unit was getting it's butt kicked. And I mean, kicked, stomped, and just about dead, until the Joes in the unit saw one of the Germans kick the unit mascot, an old hound dog they'd brought with them. The sight of their mascot being abused by the enemy pissed them off so much that they counter-assaulted, pushed the Germans out and ran them back to their trenches, screaming "DON'T KICK MY DOG!" all the way there.
And a unit motto was born.
Soldiers like animals. Maybe we just like having some companionship that enjoys being around a bunch of stinky, dirty dog-faced troops and doesn't demand anything more than a scratch on the head. Maybe we enjoy having something to share the Suck with. Maybe we just like it when something is happy to see us return. But sure as shooting, you find a group of Soldiers, you're going to find some four legged friends there with them.