Monday, February 06, 2006

My PART 2 life with Dogs.......................




Since someone suggested I get a puppy to love me unconditionally, I decided to volunteer baby sitting this cute pie here and in turn for cheaper rent :-)) syke!..

But dogs can be needy at times like small children, full of energy ......... plus the "westernised" dogs are so needy, treated all to well.They have their own "beds" , winter coats/jackets with matching hats:-)). Ati, at times I refuse to play with him and he droops his eyes and lay down looking at me with pitiful eyes ahhhhhhhhhh but in Africa ati what? there is no petting anyone or even getting good meals(maybe Miss Drummond will understand the dog food outrage) . So let me tell you a real life experience with the Kenya dog....................

My Grandpa had 5 dogs at all times .... dangerous creatures who would have tore you apart if you dared visit the compound without a familiar escort . Manze, the shamba boy used to cook this huge sufuria of uji and if they are lucky some bones on the side or matumbos. Infact, they used to know when there was a "sikukuu" or when Grandpa used to feel generous enough and get nyama from "towni" mainly on weekends.. No Dog Chow or treats for a Kenyan doggy that's for sure....

Then, there was nothing like herbal bath shampoo or bath for that matter. Rain water did all the trick, and I guess the long rain season must have been the cleanest season for dogs then:-)))

Also, the abuse the dogs had to undergo on the hands of the shamba boys if they refused to obey orders such as getting into their kernels after dawnwas not a pleasant one. This encompassed verbal insult such as "kwenda wewe, ingia ndani , "kumbafu wewe ", some kicking on the stomach and some real caning too or hitting with whatever object was at his disposal. Yep, African dogs get no warnings or pat on the back. It is military style treatment and this is called "animal cruelty" in some other worlds:-)

You see those lethal creatures would not be let out during the day for they were mischievous and dangerous to themselves and the chickens. They had no mercy on the chickens and I can understand why. You see, after being fed those juicy chicken legs and bones once in a blue moon, how can you blame the dogs if they are let loose and they see that finger lickin good chicken wandering around? It used to be drama wacha the Madagscar (the movie) drama of turning carnivorous but the chasing that involved the two is unimaginable. There would be the dogs barking, the chicken quacking (yelling help) and us running ( my bro and cousins at the age of 8-11 ) after the dog to stop terrorising our next meal but alas god forbid and the dog decides to subject its wrath to us and takes all its frustration on the back fired hunting spree. The screaming , the barking and quacking was an all to often scenario in our compound

In the evening , the dogs would be let out at six and sometime I think my grandpa used that as a curfew so as to know who was sneaking out or coming in late (my uncles + aunties) . My grandpa was disciplinarian and you had to be in the compound at six and beyond that, you had better come up with a good excuse of where you wandering around at that hour. So by default if you jumped (yes the gate used to be locked too at six) over the gates after six o'clock, the boys would bark mercilessly and of course my grandpa had to come out and with the floodlights all on you, can't hide and seek for the only other entry to the compund was through the shamba with the matope , the nappier grass and trust me the dogs would come after you, for now, you have set yourself up for their lethal tearing by become the real tresspasser. Those baggers would put someone in trouble and you can understand the love -hate relationship afterwards:-).


The following morning was not such a pleasant time for the shamba boy because it meant collecting all that "shit" on the compound- Yes Kenyan dogs have no duty call or a specific corner, it is those of "where they feel it ,is where they dumb it"-)... and it stunk like a skunk damn, well with eating all the junk thye can get hold of during the night, that biogas outcome is to be expected!!!! .Cleaning the kernels was another morning duty as well before the dogs could get back in and of course take roll call.

For some strange reasons, some dogs I guess had a dream too and wanted freedom, some would sneakout and in the process get their skin scratched while going to pledge to the neighboring female dogs only to reappear late morning looking all tired after a rendevous night :-) and hungry but of course only left overs would do - the cold uji and some beating by the frustrated shamba boy who would have been searching for the lost dogs all morning.

At times, we lost a few dogs due to merciless farmer and neighbor's frustration with the chicken terrorism during the night in their compound , the poor dogs would get lethal weapon of poisoning and two days later, they would be no more or at times they would come limping after a sufuria or god knows what, would have landed on their hind legs as they escaped.

Unlike the Western world where dogs actually get proper burial, the dead dog in our compound was not bestowed such honors , there was no ceremony , flowers or tears.. just burying the dead dog on the darkest corner of the shmaba and the next day get a puppy from someone who has too many a puppies for free.

Anyway that my dog life experience as part of my growing up and now I'm living with one,in the same house, sleeping on my couch, shedding fur all over the place. It is still a little bit unsettling for me. I do not mind it as such but one thing the dog better know/recognize is, I will not be kissing or being licked by it .....that ..no way!!!!! I aint got that much "wendo". I think for this reason , Bo(that is his name) is finding me very strange as compared to his owner for when it comes to being all lovey dovey(sp), licking and all , I 'm evading him like a plague and hope one day he shall understand that I was used to the Kenyan dog , the dog that knows no love but a kick and "Kwenda huko":-)))

9 comments:

Whispering Inn said...

Animal abuse! Aspca, quick! lol. You're absolutely right about the stark difference in the treatment of dogs in those two environments. And you can tell a story! Did you learn that from grandpa?

Charlie said...

when u mentioned abt granpa, u did remind me abt those days when all our dogs ,Jimmy, Sloki and Tiger, hey they used to go for like 50km for a dogs meeting during that time of the good month, we had trouble looking for them, then they kuja after 4 days worn out with bites all over. those were the old good days. Now days i guess more guys are taking good care of their pets, from feeding, injections etc.

Irena said...

@WhisperingInn: Yeah animal abuse at its best in cucu's place lakini I used to feel sorry for them...
Yes, I learnt that from Grandpa among many valuable life lesson:-) He will always be my hero!!!!
@Charlie: It is good to reminesce the good ol' times especially in up country.I'm so glad I didn't fully grow up in Nairobi and become like the "BlueBand Generation" as JKE calls it:-). Chags life is much more interesting!!!

jke said...

Hmm, you know, I LOVE dogs but there's this nini with women+their dogs....

Instigator said...

Our first two dogs Alsatians had it rough I admit.They ate well but only got out at night to take care of us.The rest of the dogs after that had a ball coz they were rarely locked up unless we had a guest who was scared of dogs,ate well,went for walks,got dusted for fleas and got baths (once in a while).The older we grew the closer the diff dogs we had got.We had a dachshund aka sausage dog for 14 years.She could understand all the diff languages we spoke and had a distinct personality; she hated kids!Another golden retriever we had loved to eat and was a number one troublemaker and bully!
I guess after living 20 sumthin years with dogs you get so used to them that they become part of the family and part of you but alas maisha in stato is not conducive to keeping dogs esp with apartments and the lack of free time so until I get back to Kenya no more dogs for me!:(

Irena said...

JKE: I need further explanation (in private)the "nini"with women +their dogs" I hope it is not what I'm thinking you are thinking :-)......
Instigator: Yeah I second that, getting a dog in US is another extra expense and time I don't think anyone needs.It is damn expensive to keep a dog not to forget they charge you extra for the Apt that allows pets...
P.S Waoh,your had interesting dogs:-)

jke said...

Ati, let him stay in your place for two months and soon we'll see a post like "10 reasons why dogs are better than men".

Sure, you have to show the dogs who's boss, lakini i prefer to hug them from time to time and even - yes! - kissing them. Oh, I know, give yourself two weeks and we will see you sharing the same bed with him (not that you like it but you know, dogs don't think like in a "if...then...else" way but rather "yes/no"...again, the male side to the subject, ama?).

Wait until he discovers your secret reservoir of Lindt Chocolate...HEHEHE :-))

Irena said...

Jke: You kiss dogs oh gosh , hope not on its mouth:-(.

Oh my lindts is under lock and key, that will make him my enemy if he even looks at it:-)_But isn't au chocolat bad for dog's indigestive system?

Irena said...

I meant "digestive system:-)