In Bukoba we don't have the big five safari animals (African elephant, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard), but we do have George and Push. George and Push are my dogs, and I love them. My sixteen year old dog, Shelly, passed away a few years ago, and I decided not to find another dog because I knew I would be leaving for the mission field soon. And, what do you know? When we arrived in Bukoba, Tanzania, we were welcomed by two dogs. They had been hanging around Fr. Spyridon's family and the church property. So I decided to adopt them.
One dog has black hair; his name is Push. As you
might guess by his name, he likes to run into people
and "push" them. I think that is how he shows his
love--either that, or he has a really bad balancing
problem. I would like to think it is because of the
Then there is a multicolored dog named George. (Shikido is the name he had when I arrived, but he looks like a 'George' to me). I am so happy to have dogs around, and I try to care for them. But, apparently there is no such thing as dog food in Bukoba. I get puzzled looks even from other foreigners when I ask store owners if they carry dog food. So, I have to feed 'the boys' white bread. (We eat brown bread). Who could have guessed that I would have two vegetarian Tanzanian dogs.
Of course, Tanzanian dogs are not like American dogs. My mom recently sent me a photo of my brother's dog laying comfortably on my parents' couch. I showed this picture to my friends in the village of Kasikizi last month. They looked at it and spoke to each other in Kihaya (their tribal language). Then Richard, who spoke English, said: "We just have one question. What is the purpose of this animal?"
I didn't know how to answer the question.(And I thought that telling them that, in America, dogs are often dressed like humans would push them over the edge.)