What's happening at Maisha Na Maji (Living Water), a United Methodist Mission in Tanzania.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” ― Johnny Depp
Hate to write about our new dog two days in a row, but I sorta have to. This is a little dog, and I swore I would never have a little dog. We have always had dogs since we were married, but the smallest was a Bassett and from there up through Border Collie size and on up to a St. Bernard (named Brandy, duh). We now have four dogs that are all the size of German Shepherds which is not surprising since the daddy we’ve had for eight years is a pedigreed German Shepherd. The mommy we got from Norwegian missionaries as a puppy, and she is half Shepherd, half Rhodesian Ridgeback, so a big dog. We also have two of her puppies, a female almost the size of her mother at age two, and a male, Benji, who at eight months is the size of his father—a big dog. I love our dogs and love to play and roughhouse with them. I have always considered small dogs to be yappy and irksome. My grandmother had a Chihuahua that I hated, and it barked all the time. The new dog, however, has captured my heart. She is definitely Karen’s dog. Sissie goes wherever Karen goes and sits under her chair or on her lap. She sleeps beside Karen’s bed and when Karen got up to go to the bathroom this morning, Sissie got up too and just looked at Karen until Karen got dressed and took Sissie outside so she could go potty, too. What a pair! Karen has a new smile on her face and has already read everything Google has to say about Tibetan Terriers, and this morning I found her watching a YouTube on how to groom them. Sissie is not a yappy dog at all. She only barks if a new person comes into the house. Once she knows them, she is fine—and quiet. Our three female workers have all fallen in love with her. Tanzanians in general have never seen dogs like her, only the large cur-like, scavenger dogs that are wild here, or the big guard dogs like ours. I will have to admit that I too am smitten. She is just so cute, and her tail curls up over her back so that when she wags it, it looks like a flag flying. She had showed little real emotion since we only had her for two days, but Karen was gone most of the day yesterday getting dental work done in Mwanza. When Karen came home, Sissie went nuts, jumping up on her and wagging her tail hard enough to create small wind storms. We knew then, she was Karen’s. Karen had to go to the bathroom immediately on returning (she and I are old, you know) but Sissie found she could get her nose under the bathroom door and did while Karen was inside. If Karen just goes down the hall, Sissie will jump up from a deep sleep and stay with Karen step for step down the hall. It is a joy to watch. If you pet her, she will sit down to encourage you to continue. John was watching television last night with his hand dangling over the side of his chair and Sissie started licking his hand, so he started petting her—and stopped about twenty minutes later. We still love our big dogs, but this little thing has taken over our hearts and the house. I have never seen a bond or connection created that quickly and that strongly in my life, but Karen and Sissie are now inseparable. Who knew?