Friday, January 30, 2015

“The poor dog, in life the firmest friend, ’The first to welcome, foremost to defend.’” — Lord Byron

Karen had kind of slowed down and was beginning to focus a lot on her ailments until Sissie came into our life.  At the right, you can see the picture of the flower bed Karen had built so she could sit outside with the dog in the morning and evenings.  That’s a “wandering jew” coming out of the mouth of the water pot.   Immediately below that you can see how cute she is in the nest Karen built for her.   If you go to today’s Facebook entry, you can also see the whole nest Karen designed and built for Sissie out of bamboo poles and discarded awning material.  Now, since we go out early in the morning as the four big dogs have come in from their night’s work guarding the property, they come around to be near us, but Karen has built a fence so they can’t bother Sissie, whom they would probably eat.  However, since they come to be near us as well, Karen always brings treats in the form of dry dog food we buy in Mwanza, and has taught all four dogs to sit in order to get a treat, and Sissie learned just by watching.  Karen brings a basket with her in the morning that is full of a thermos of coffee, dog treats for all the dogs, her iPad, and a cooked egg for Sissie (not that that little dog is spoiled or anything).  Karen and sometimes John and I will sit out there until all the dogs have had their treats and Sissie has done both parts of her daily business.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, we also wave and talk to the people and students passing by as well.  Then, as John and I go in, Karen sometimes takes Sissie for a walk around the grounds (something she can’t do if the big dogs are out) which is good exercise for both of them.  If Karen is having a meeting with teachers or parents, Sissie has to come, too.  Our daughter-in-law, Brenda, is shipping us from New York tomorrow, a dog carrier for Sissie so she can accompany Karen in the car when she goes to Musoma or Mwanza (also a leopard skin leash—now using a chain—and an Amish made, padded color for her).  She has given Karen a new lease on life and has her thinking of the future, not to mention the big smile Sissie puts on Karen’s face every morning when she wakes up.  Sissie is so excited to start every day, it is impossible not to be infected with her unbridled joy.  If that’s not a gift from God, I don’t know what is.
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