A Dog’s Life in Kenya


Last week I was walking my five-and-a-half pound Yorkshire Terrier, Poppy, with the company of Sam and his spaniel, Ginger, in our apartment complex. As we walked past one of the buildings, Sam in the lead, a small boy was peeking out his window at us. He began to “oooh” and “aaahh” over Ginger. When Poppy and I went by, however, he shouted “Ha ha ha! A CAT!” I just couldn’t keep a big grin from appearing on my face as I thought, “Oh, yes, just a very expensive cat on a rope!” It is so funny to watch how people react to our pets. Poppy and Ginger make the highlight of many a person’s day because they stay in the house, sleep in our beds, have little toys, and “love you back.”

Sabra and Mary with Joel in Maasailand

Two weeks ago on Wednesday, our family – dogs included – went for a much-needed day away from the Nairobi hustle and bustle to visit with our friends in Maasailand. The dogs were a smashing success – everyone loved them. Ginger was thought to be quite novel, but Poppy was something else altogether. If we hadn’t had Poppy spayed, I could have made a veritable fortune breeding her. As it was, I almost thought that we wouldn’t make it home with her in our possession! Everyone wanted to know if they could have her and whether such a little “thing” could survive in the hills of Maasiland. To the first much-repeated question, I continually gave a single answer: NO. To the later question I mostly just smiled, thinking to myself that Poppy, while she would love to become part of a herd of mbuzi (goats), she would probably get taken by one of the big baboons that roam freely in the area. One particularly enterprising young lad even wanted to know if he could get “one of those” from his dogs – some of the “wild dogs,” as the people call them, that wander around (which we would probably call “mutts”).

Our dogs adore people – with the exception of “bad people” (those wearing hats) – and love to be stroked and have a fuss made over them, so this is the perfect situation for them. What happy lives they lead!

Sabra with Poppy & Samuel with Ginger

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