Saturday, September 29, 2012

One More Animal on the Homestead

September 22nd, 2012

My homestead grew a little bit bigger this week.  We got a new puppy!!  One of Addy and Ryan’s dogs on their homestead had eight puppies two months ago and my Babe agreed to take one.  So this week Addy brought over a little brown and black male puppy that we have named King George.

Befitting his name King George has had quite a nice life so far getting car from Ryan and Addy.  He is having a rough time transitioning into being a Swazi dog.  He of course is smitten with me and want to be sleep in my hut on my rug at all times but the fact of the matter is he is not my dog, we are not in America and I can’t raise him like an American dog.  When I leave in year George needs to be fully self-sufficient.  Swazi dogs are not treated as part of the family.  They are rarely fed anything nutritious, rarely fed on a regular basis, always sleep outside or wherever they can find shelter, and are all very skittish toward people because people have beaten them since they were young.  It’s hard at first not to through a fit at the way dogs are treated here, since we are trained in America that this type of treatment would be abuse.  Swazi are so shocked when I tell them that in America they would be put in jail for the way they treat their animals and made to pay a fine.  However, sadly you do get used to seeing emaciated animals covered in ticks and fleas and that is the norm, sad but true. 

Anyways of course I will make sure King George gets fed daily and I give him some attention every day but its hard to not give him more when I know that once I leave he will get zero attention.  My family at least takes “good” care of their dogs compared to most.  My Babe actually buys them real dog food and I don’t see them beating the dogs, but still they are nothing like American dogs.

Anyway it is fun to having something new to wake up to now.  George has learned to escape his shed that he sleeps in and has become my watchdog.  I don’t let him in my hut (fleas are out of control here) so he sleeps on my steps all day.  The other two dogs could care less about him, but Bear (the cat) thinks he is a great new toy to play with.  He is bigger then George for now so Bear has fun practicing his pouncing at Georges expense.  George doesn’t seem to mind, he finds Bear interesting to.

What’s a puppy cost in Swaziland you may wonder?  With the amount of puppies born you would think free, but nope.  One puppy is worth one chicken, a quick exchange.  Addy had the privilege of bringing home the chicken to her Babe on public transport.  How do you do that you ask?  Well its simple.  Tie the chicken’s legs together.  Take a plastic bag and poke a hole in the side.  Stick the chicken’s head in the hole and the body in the bag.  Then tie the bag and carry.  Simple.

Our homestead now consists of 11 people, around 15 cows, around 25 goats, three dogs, one cat, two turkeys, an uncountable number of chickens, and a flock of 20 guinea fowl that seem to find our fields a better place to feed then wherever their homestead is.  I wish they would go home, the only sound worse then a rooster waking you at dawn is the sound of guinea fowl outside your window at dawn.

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