We have too many dogs. Officially, of course, we just have one. His name is Bwino and he is cute and stupid. He still hasn't figured out how to work our front door and he is easily manipulated by food. All in all, he is the perfect dog. Somehow, though, and without meaning to, we seem to have adopted half of the neighborhood.
|Piro and Bwino playing in the front yard|
The "adoption" process started with Zumbo, who used to belong to Seni. Zumbo is probably between eight and fifty years old, has hundreds of scars, and half that many bleeding wounds. He's Bwino's best friend and, despite his age and aggressiveness toward other dogs, is terrified of humans. Zumbo was disowned by Seni's family about a year ago, and has since been hanging around our yard. Without any source of food, he has resorted to taking handouts, eating garbage, and killing chickens. He sleeps on our porch to avoid getting kicked or beaten.
After Zumbo came Bobinho (Bob-een-yo), then Diana. Both are frequent visitors and a part of the pack, although neither one of them actually sleeps on our property. Bobinho belongs to Dashido, and just comes over to play. Diana belongs to Seni's family, and comes over looking for water. As the only girl in the pack, she is plagued by constant attention.
Piro is the youngest and final dog in our noisy gang of front-porch puppies. Piro (pronounced Pee-roo) technically belongs to Seni's family, too, but, like Zumbo, has been disowned.
"He likes to nip," says Seni. "I don't want to be responsible for him."
Unfortunately, this means that nobody is responsible for him. Without anyone to feed him or care for him, Piro now sleeps in our yard with Zumbo and Bwino. The three of them spend most of their time chasing chickens, following us everywhere, and creating a nighttime ruckus.
There are upsides and downsides to this situation. The good news is that Bwino, Zumbo, and Piro guard our home against thieves. Nobody can enter our property at night without getting and instant earful of threatening howls. Unfortunately, they also ward off everybody, indiscriminately. In addition to chasing off thieves, drunks, and crazies, they have also "defended" us against students, teachers, and toddlers. Some people are scared to come to our house, and have blamed it on "those dogs."
The bottom line is, we have a lot of dogs. Some of the dogs are sleepover dogs, and some of the dogs are just visitors. Only one of these dogs, however, is officially ours, and receives food and vaccinations on a regular basis. We only ever wanted one, and one is what we have. But despite best efforts to chase them away, Zumbo and Piro have been working equally hard to make themselves endearing. Piro has started following me to school and jumping on me when I get home. Zumbo has been sleeping underfoot and trying to get inside. They certainly make life more interesting.
To add to the fun, THIS is what we found on our porch this morning:
|Imagine opening your front door and finding this pile of vomit staring at you!|
Ugh! What IS it? After a few minutes of poking and gagging and squirming, Dan and I determined that this object was, at one point, probably a chicken. Potentially, it could have been a small cat. We will probably never know, however, because we dumped it directly into the latrine. A well-aimed flashlight can still catch the glint of the eye at the bottom of the pit.
We hope very much that this was not Bwino's doing. He eats two large meals a day, after all, and has no reason to kill a chicken. More likely, it was Zumbo or Piro. We'll probably never know which, but the pictures below do give us a bit of a hint:
|Zumbo and Bwino: "It wasn't us."|
|Piro: "Who me?" "I don't know what you're talking about." "Okay, I'll admit it. I did it."|
Just one more eventful day in Zobue!