Meet Ginger: An African Village Dog
My name is Princess Ginger Popsicle-stick, aka Ginger, Gingy, Gingy-Pop, Miss Popsicle-stick, Princess Pop, the list goes on (this is what happens when you are named by a committee of 10-year-olds).
I’m not like the dogs you’ve met in America. Besides being exceptionally cuter, I act a little different and I am treated a little different.
Most people in the village are scared of me (although my human tries to teach kids to love me, which I appreciate). Even when I was a puppy, little kids would run scared from me.
Unlike American dogs, my friends and I aren’t allowed inside the house, but I like to test my limits 😉 I have yet to convince my human to let me stay in the house through the night, but I’m working on it.
This is my bed. Who needs an expensive dog bed when you can have a comfy spot in the grass that you flattened yourself?!
I’m not sure about dogs outside the village, but my favorite food is raw egg (yep, in the shell) but sometimes I like to hit up Café Trash Pit for a little extra snack. I’ve never tried traditional dog food, but I prefer the natural stuff 🙂
My human gives me clean drinking water, but for some reason, I prefer this jug of collected rainwater. What can I say, I’m resourceful.
My human is (trying to) teach me how to play this weird game she calls “fetch”. Honestly, I just prefer to chew the balls and hide them in my grass bed.
You may have a fancy dog park, but I have free rein of an entire village. I can go anywhere I want, whenever I want. The world is my backyard.
A few weeks ago, a man in the village accused me of killing one of his sheep. This is a crime punishable by death for village dogs, eek! Luckily, my human sorted it out. Honestly, I’m scared of that dark spot that follows me around when the sun is out, so no, I wouldn’t take on a sheep. I may like to chase chickens, but I’ve never killed one (and a sheep is a lot bigger than a chicken)!
Because my human is from the States (wherever that is) I get a few benefits that other village dogs don’t get, like cuddles, belly rubs, table food, and indoor playtime!
Adorable pictures aside, what does this all mean in regards to cultural differences?
I used to be sad that people in the village are scared of me, or shoo me away when I get too close, but I’m starting to learn why they act that way.
Village dogs are typically pretty dirty (to be honest, I’ve never had a bath) so we can carry diseases, fleas, ticks, etc. In an area with limited access to medical care, avoiding my fur might be beneficial.
If people in the village can’t afford enough food for their own family, why would they spend money on a dog? Also, vet visits are a luxury most people in the village can’t afford (which circles back to my previous point).
Traditionally, dogs were kept around as a necessity to guard from neighboring tribes, not as pets, and I guess that practice has stuck around.
Also, we have sharp claws and even if we don’t mean to hurt people, sometimes we get so excited to see someone, we accidentally scratch them.
My human likes to compare having a pet dog in the village to having a pet tarantula in the states: The tarantula is harmless, but people still get creeped out that people have them as pets; I’m harmless, but people are still creeped out that my human keeps me as a pet.
All in all, I’m pretty sure a dog is a dog no matter where we live; my life just looks a little different than the life of a dog from the States.
P.S. “If you have a village/Peace Corps dog, I would love to hear about your experience and any stories!” – My human
I decided to take a light-hearted approach to this week’s blog challenge because I already address culture A LOT in my blog. I hope you enjoy nonetheless 🙂
This post is part of Blogging Abroad’s 2017 New Years Blog Challenge, week three: Cultural Differences.