19 August, 2008

Update: Bringing up Bubba

Yes, once again, I bring a little of the South to the East. First, it was Mardi Gras and gumbo...

After trying out a roster of names including Kunafe, Mejnoon, Deeb - and Tarkan and some Chinese names courtesy of Nichole - I settled on "Bubba". I sort of end up calling things Bubba anyway and it suits him.

However, I also made the difficult decision to find a permanent home for Bubba. The landlords are not happy about the dog, people here are aghast that I would bring a dog into my home and my work schedule means he's home alone on my balcony, our only space to keep him in, most of the day. It all adds up to a bad situation for him. Luckily, the vet said he's in good health and raved about what a great dog he is (of course!). He was trying to help me place him on a farm, but on a whim - actually out of desperation - I emailed the professors of the local university's vet school, explained the situation and begged for help.

Much to my delight I received a warm response saying they would love to take him at their farm facility and that he will be well taken care of. So, now I just have to arrange taking him there. Though I know it's the best for him, I'll be increadibly, sad to see him go - despite his puppy habit of sometimes biting me in rather inappropriate places. He's made a good bit of progress in three days. I was able to get him to "do his business," as my mom says, outside on a leash for the first time today. His "leash" at the moment is actually lots of shoe laces tied together, but it works. Funny how elated you can feel at the sight of a small animal taking a dump; I was like a proud parent. We, of course, plan follow-up visits to make sure the vets know how to take proper care of our Bubba. I jest - the tone of the email was warm and welcoming. I am thrilled for the little guy. But, still, a bit sad.


18 August, 2008

Bringing Up Baby

Much to my surprise, I have acquired a puppy. I was spending the day at a friend's house and heard a terrible whelping coming from across the street. A group of teen-age boys was crowded around some tall weeds surrounding a phone pole. They had a dog cornered, a few had sticks and were whacking at the source of the sound. If I see you hurting a child or an animal I may end up hurting you. So, I went over to try to talk to them and get them to leave the dog alone. I asked what the problem was and why they were bothering the dog. As soon as I reached into the weeds for it, shushing it, the dog started licking my hands and let me pick him right up. The boys were pretty surprised I cared this much about a dog. One tried to sell it to me, but another just said they would give it to me, which is mighty generous since it wasn't theirs to begin with. We ended up having a relatively nice talk; I even gave an impromptu English lesson. In the end, I walked away with the dog. A barber across the street asked what had happened and when I explained he agreed I'd done the right thing and that the boys were in the wrong. My friend's husband and I bathed him with Johnson's baby shampoo in their yard and we picked up some dog food on the way home.

So, I have a dog, which is really unusual for this city. Not sure how old he is, but can't be much. A vet's going to take a look at him today. We don't have anything for him to chew on except a pair of men's tennis shoes one of the summer volunteers left. Right now he's asleep on my floor, curled up with his shoe. I "crated" him in my room last night with an overturned table and he did fine. Now I just have to start paper training. Oh, and he's well into the wild stage of teething. Haven't picked out a name for him, though. Any suggestions?