Hi friends of Rob & Naomi, this week I (Ed the guard dog) am going to do a guest blog for them – tell you a bit about a dog’s life here in Mwanza, I’ve heard a few other dogs also blog on life here so didn’t want to miss out! Rob took a portrait of me with my ball, so thought this would be a good way to introduce myself.
I live at the teachers flats and am employed as a ‘askari’ (Swahili for soldier or guard – I like it how i Italy they even named a supercar after me – the Ascari A10!) to chase away and guard my residents from any unwanted visitors. I see myself as the best of the askaris at our compound, I take my job very seriously and am always alert to go an fetch one of my fellow workers with their key in the day or to wake up my night colleagues when they happen to drop off to sleep (this is quite a big part of my role in fact…).
I think my favourite thing is when little children come past, I wait until they are not looking and then go running down to the fence or gate and bark my loudest at them – they get so scared and go running off, it is great fun! Really I’m getting my own back for them throwing things at me through the fence which isn’t nice so by barking and scaring them off they won’t come near me again…
I have to live outside most of the time (it comes with the job of being an askari) which can get a bit down, especially when it is cold and wet and I only have a little shelter to hide under. However, my job does have a few perks like when I invite myself up into different peoples flats to polish off their leftovers or search in their bins for some treats, can’t believe these humans don’t enjoy crunching through chicken bones, they are so tasty! I always get excited when people have been out to eat (my keen nose means they can never hide it from me) or when Naomi has been doing a heart and lung dissection at school because I get the meat scraps. I don’t even mind doing some training in return for it – check out my routine below.
As you can see living outside has trained me well and despite having so many people coming and going and going I can sort out the wheat from the chaff. Generally I class mzungus as ok (except noisy children who generally need a warning growl to calm down) but always give new people a good sniff. Takes me a bit more time to check locals out and I can definitely smell their fear…especially that pesky vet who makes me wear a muzzle before he’ll even come through the gate. Earlier this year I accidentally pinned one of the teachers who lives in our compound because I was still getting used to them, oops! I’m also learning what to do when the teachers want to play what they call ‘fetch’ with me. When I get that stick in my mouth I’m not going to give it them back, they were silly enough to find a good one and throw it away, then they go chasing me to try to get it back! I can easily give them a rugby sidestep (maybe they’ll take me to touch rugby sometime) and have got a great turn of pace to get away easily. It’s fun to do a bit of running though and when they do happen to (luckily) get it off me I know they’ll just throw it to me again – they’re not very good eh!
Anyway, better get back to duty although Rob did mention I needed to tell you the answers to his fruit quiz from last week…. Thanks for all the votes! Only you know how you did! I’ll leave you with a photo of me and my favourite co-worker Jumapili.
1) Tangerine (not many orange ones here) – Well done 50% who got this!
2)Lemon (not many yellow ones here) – Well done 50% who got this!
3) Passion fruit (quite shriveled up but nice and juicy inside still!) – Well done 67% who got this!