I have mentioned to most of you by now I think that I have adopted a dog from an (amazing, beautiful, smart) Peace Corps Volunteer. It was, and still is the plan, to get the dog back to America to re-unite him with his mother. For now, that plan hasn’t worked out at all—two different times we’ve prepared and gotten all the paperwork in order, only to be turned down by the airlines which would do the carrying. It looks like, now, the next chance we’ll have to ship him home will be with another volunteer in August. So, in essence, I am a dog owner for another couple of months.
For anyone that would listen to me back in America, ¾ of those people probably heard about my desire to have a dog when I get to my village. I didn’t care about seeing people, doing good….it was all about getting a dog. Getting here, however, and seeing the way dogs are treated by the country nationals…it was tough. I worried about all the detail issues like traveling, having someone take care of him while I’m away, and having to keep him on a leash all his life. In the end I decided not to get a dog; simply too much responsibility, to many worries, and not enough reward.
And now, here I am. Buzi (this is his name: Buzibu, which in Luganda means “stubborn”, which in Uganda means “dumb/ignorant.”) has been living with me for the past couple of months, and will be here for a few more. I have had trips away, been extremely busy with all kinds of different projects, and had very little free time (relatively speaking) at site. He (and only he) is allowed in and out of my house at will; only at night do I lock him inside for us to sleep. He takes the couch.
Everything I thought Buzi would be has come true. He is a big responsibility; feeding him every morning/night, keeping him away from the baby pigs (not to mention the baby cats), and pulling no less than 6 ticks off of him a day are only the beginning of the list. He’s an extremely active dog, and needs to run around at least once or twice a day in order to actually WANT to sleep when its bedtime. One thing I did get wrong, though; the rewards of having this dog with me are far beyond any and all of the responsibilities & worries.
Buzi is loyal to a fault. Whenever I walk out of my room, he’s ready; he’s right behind me. Whenever I go to town, he’s ready; he’s sprinting in front of me (and beats me, even when I’m on my bike). Whenever I need to take a nap, he’s ready; getting the couch to myself is no longer an option. Only one time has he really really gotten angry at another person—when a young man was pretending to run at me to attack me. The guy was kidding, and I had to beat Buzi for taking a snap---but it was also pretty cool.
Certainly, with the loss of the crew that was in essence my group, (the group that came in 6 months before me, who now have all left) Buzi has been a godsend. He keeps me sane, and lets me be insane for increments at a time if it’s necessary. Once we get the big man back home, there’s really only going to be one thing on my mind:
Where’s the nearest puppy?