I was going to write about my lack of understanding of how people could bring a dog into their home, love it for a while then dump it onto the street and leave the country. Instead this is a happy story of a sweet dog and her shaggy coat getting a trim.
Here is her transformation video & story with photos below!
We have loads of street dogs here in Addis Ababa and there is no ‘official’ program to try to control the issue. However, in our neighbourhood the street dogs are generally in great shape. They have worked out where the best locations are to find love and be fed by locals from construction sites, schools and restaurants. They are in general good health and friendly but this isn’t the case in all places around the city.
The first time I met Scraggles
Scraggles (the name we gave her) has lived on the street for around 6 years. She has her own grassy knoll she has claimed between the school gate of a local school and some shipping containers. She doesn’t move far from there its her home she found but she is happy there and while she won’t let you pat her… if you approach her she jumps up and her tail starts wagging!
A scraggly mess
This is her short story from the last few months…
Vet Dawit trying to capture Scraggles – highly recommend him. Patient, calm and kind nature with her.
It took a lot of work & people but we finally got her to settle
Sedated so we could trim her
It took a team to complete the trim – this was just a few of the many people who helped
Dreads off and trim almost complete
One of the dreads – super thick, stinky & heavy
Some of the community who helped – while Scraggles is back on her grassy patch to wake up
She has a tail which is now up most of the time she runs around
She was sitting in a doorway in a back alley in Udaipur (one of my favourite places in Rajasthan, India). Once you get off the main streets and start exploring you can go all day wandering around alleyways that lead through homes and small businesses. Its a maze of fun, faces and invites into homes for chai and meals.
I always try to engage people in a small conversation before taking their photo but she didn’t speak any english so after a small exchange of smiles, a few words in different languages, head and hand movements she motioned that she was happy to have her photo taken. I clicked a few shots and then sat down on the ground next to her to show her the images. As always others gathered for a look as well and she smiled and buried herself in her head scarf as others made comments. Then we just sat, no words just the odd glance and smile and watched the world go by for some time. I’m not sure what it was about her but I just loved being in her presence. I tried to explain to her that I would bring the photo back in a few days but she just looked at me with her half smile and continued to sit content with life.
SOUL – how you live on in others memories
A few days later I went back with her image (something I have done for a long time and will always continue to do). This for me is usually more exciting than taking the photo. However, this time it was very different I walked up to where I had taken her image and she was sitting in the same spot wearing the same outfit. I was so pleased I had been able to find her and sat down next to her and opened my bag to get her photo, which I promptly put in front of her. She looked at it for a short while, smiled and then handed it back to me. I tried to hand it to her again and then asked one of the men who had gathered to explain to her that I had printed it so she could have a copy. After a short conversation he told me that she wanted me to keep the photo so I could remember her as she had no did not need it being so old. She looked at me and smiled – I moved back and took another photo of her (below attached) hiding her smile – touched her hand and walked on. I may have only spent a short time in this woman’s presence but there was something about her that was just soulful and I will remember.
Even a short presence in someone’s life can have a long lasting impact!
Hiding that smile
There were so many beautiful souls on the streets and alleys here are a few sights and people I met.