I’d like to tell you about some dogs that I have met in my travels who have ordinary and yet extraordinary lives. They have all had a difficult start in life, like thousands of other dogs all over the world, dumped or at least surviving on the streets as young pups but these three all are now well embedded into loving families, loved and cared for. And just look at their happy faces for proof!
Piana was born a street dog in a small town in Tanzania and in this picture, she is playing dead, but with a cheeky grin! She was fortunate to be adopted by two teachers, who named her named after a beautiful place in Corfu, where they had once had a wonderful holiday. She has the typical black and tan colours of an African street dog, which blend perfectly into the dusty streets and sunny shady beaches of her homeland. She grew up with one of her sisters for a few months before that pup sadly died. She sometimes meets up with another sister, Rosie for fabulous romps on the beach. Piana has lived by the ocean for about five years now, where she enjoys long beach walks and plenty of wave chasing both in the sunlight and moonlight.
Her hobbies are chasing crabs on the beach and meeting her pals at another beach before collapsing, exhausted and sandy in the shade for a long sleep. She takes her job as a guard dog very seriously as well but once she knows someone they are a friend for life!
Simba was also a rescued street pup from Tanzania and she also landed on her lucky paws as she has had many adventures with her folks.
I met her and her new Dad at a meeting to establish a dog shelter in Dar es Salaam, which has since blossomed into a wonderful organisation called Every Living Thing… More on that amazing organisation in another blog. Anyway, back to Simba; she was found on the back streets near to Jane Goodall’s house (yes, THE Jane Goodall of chimpanzee fame)The theory is that she was the pup of a pair of guard dogs that were allowed to breed indiscriminately and she somehow squeezed out of the compound, since quite a few very similar looking pups appeared in the area every six months or so. She had a fabulously happy couple of years running on the beach in the African sun with her new people and when they moved half way around the world to the Alps, there was never a question of leaving her behind!
Simba now enjoys tremendous expeditions in the snow-covered mountains, accompanying her people skiing. Her dad is a photographer; click here to see some of the wonderful things that Simba gets up to these days!
And before I head out into the sunshine for a dog walk, here is another favourite pup pal of mine.
Meet Fufu, the little Laos street dog! Fufu was born in a small village and either has spinal problems or perhaps was involved in a road traffic accident as is so common in many countries. This means that has a very unusual gait but has a cheerful disposition and sees the world as a beautiful place to be, especially when the lovely people around her stop for a cuddle. This picture shows her with a rather strange look; the local ladies decided one day to touch up her eyebrows – with hair dye. Not to be recommended but it did eventually fade away. It seems that this is ‘a thing’ in some of the Laotian villages, I saw one or two other dogs pottering through villages sporting Harry Potter style sunglasses painted on and one day I even spotted a dog very earnestly carrying a glass beer bottle up the main road - right way up mind you - in its mouth. Fufu lives at the Laos Wildlife Rescue Centre where she schmoozes with volunteers and monitors the various rescued animals from Peter the otter to the bears and elephant. She is, however, at her happiest on someone’s lap.
None of these dogs have a conventional life; in some ways they have a far better life than super pampered pooches with a more conventional two walks a day in the park type life. The most important thing to them is that they are loved and kept healthy. Dogs know when they are loved, and it fills a space in their head and heart. Sound familiar doesn’t it?
Until next time then, be happy and go pat a dog!
Ciao wow! Comma Dot over and out.