Monday, December 19, 2011
Keoki the Dog
They say that dog is man's best friend, and that statement couldn't be more true---feed it, love it, and wammo you have instant unconditional love! I have had dogs growing up, though my adult life has been filled with cats, who always have had the last word, and were nice enough to let me live in their house. When I came to Botswana, there was no way I wanted an animal to tie me down, besides, how fair would it be to keep and love for 2 years, then adios amigo! The other day I went to visit the family in Kanye, who were just given 2 new pups from a neighbor. Immediately, besides falling in love with the little devils, I grew a disdain at the lack of caring for animals, other than cows and goats, in this country. The poor creatures are starved for affection, someone to talk to, rub their ears, and feed them. These new pups live in a little fort outside, and mom gives it her yummy porridge. I come in play with them, talk to them, and when mom turns her back, I pour them milk, and find anything I can that doesn't look like porridge. Believe me pups, I ate the stuff for 2 months--now you're stuck with it the rest of your life, UGH! The pups are so happy at this moment, but I cannot take them. It would be unfair to domesticate them, besides this other crazy puppy, who was just left by someone around my neighborhood, has been hanging with a neighbor, though the dog has decided that he likes me better, and wisely has adopted me. The neighbor asks if I want her kid too...no thanks lady! Yeah I once threw it a steak bone once, yeah I talked to it, yeah I pet it, yeah, why wouldn't it want to adopt me. Now it was screaming at my gate, so the sucker I am, opened it and whalla...a pup is adopted. I really didn't think it would stay, but the next morning the dog is peering it's head through the barred gated door asking, "mom, what's for breakfast?" "Nothing, get out!" The tail wags more--"ok, do you want your eggs scrambled or sunny side up?" "Uh, how about soft boiled mom." "Sure doggie, soft boiled it is, and maybe I'll join you!" As we dine together, I realize that this pup needs a name, so I call him a good Hawaiin-Asian name, Keoki, that's good for an African dog don't ya think? I like it! He's skinny and scrawny, but has personality! But the neighbors are a bit confused! It's ok everyone, you'll get used to it!
So, I have a dog now---the God's obviously thought I needed one to guard me from my nightly intruders, so I'll love it in a detached way. Here is what detachment looks like---I hitch to Lobatse, about a 35 minutes drive in the back of a pickup truck, scrunched over, and holding on for dear life so I don't blow away. I run into another Volunteer who adopted two cats, and was shopping for cat food, so off we go to the store chatting about our new detachments.
Getting home was easier than going, and Keoki gets his first taste of real dog food, and the tail is whipping so hard out of happiness that it's giving me bruises on my legs. I make a bed out of cardboard boxes for him on the porch, and he is smiling away! Wow, a bed too! This is the life! It's dark now and the sky is almost white from the amount of sparkling stars. I lay in my bed hearing Keoki growling at someone---the someone's feet run away, and I peaked out the window thanking my new best friend. Tonight I slept like a puppy!