Monday, August 10, 2009

A Dog With No Name

It's a catchy title, but it doesn't stick.

Likely Needlenose had numerous names. He was, as the pic indicates, a charmer. He wouldn't have been much more than a snack for a leopard. His survival skill set was based on his social graces, and these he had in abundance.

He was consistent. He had his appointments and he kept them. We were just a stop along the route that ended with a safe bed somewhere, but not with us. Like any semi-feral dog, Needlenose had his share of fellow travelers, bloodsuckers all. Unlike Bitch Kitty, whose favorite entrance was the unannounced flying leap through an open window onto a crowded table, Needlenose was not as presumptuous. He didn't shove his way in, having too much game for that.

Having a village dog is a good thing, if you can't have your own, and subsistence isn't exactly welcoming to pets. One more mouth to feed is, well, one more mouth to feed. Sometimes the margin is too slim for anything but family.

It's hard to know the average lifespan of a village dog. It likely varies wildly from dog to dog, village to village. We were only in Kenya for a year, and Needlenose was part of it. He didn't seem to want to be a big part of it.

He sure had a knack for choosing his spots, though.

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