Wednesday, February 26, 2014
“Happiness is a warm puppy.” — Charles Shultz (creator of “Peanuts”)
While Karen and I were in Dar Es Salaam, our mother dog, Hilde, gave birth to seven healthy puppies. Today, they are six weeks old, weaned, and are going to their respective homes. One to a local doctor, one to our vet, one to the woman who cooks for our orphans and students, one to the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church in Tanzania, one to our housemother, Juliana, one to Pastor Festo, and we are keeping one male, named Benjy (photo at right) who will be an inside dog only. We will have three working dogs which is more than enough. One of our security guards, Amos, who has been with us since we first moved here has decided that he is not getting enough money (the decision came after I refused to give him $800 to set his wife up in business) and is quitting on Friday. By law, even though he is quitting, and we have a letter signed by him acknowledging this, we have to pay him three months salary when he leaves, so we will. We had been paying him more than any other employee and paying for his two sons school fees, uniforms, and extra tutoring every month. When you add how much we were also paying social security for him, it turns out we can hire a security company for the same money. They will provide uniformed, trained guards with phone contact for backup should it be necessary every night (five nights in rotation) seven days a week, 365 days a year, and if we suffer any losses while the guard is on duty, the company is responsible for compensation. We also don’t have to pay social security for them, school fees for their children, or worry about them disappearing for four days at a time for funerals. They love working with dogs and are a local company. We sign the contract today and the guard starts Saturday night. We are all very pleased. I’m afraid our security guard has been listening to what we call “bush lawyers” and is going to lose out in the long run, but we talked for a long time and his mind is made up. This, of course, means the other security guard, Francis, only has to work days, and as he is one of the men trained to make filters, everybody wins, and he and his wife are very happy. I also gave him a small raise to sweeten the pot even more. Would have done this years ago, but hated to let Amos go for purely practical reasons. Guess I’m just an old softie.