I’ve been nervous about leaving Hugo alone. He’s still a puppy and I don’t want him to get hurt. The Beninese people have very different relationships with their dogs than we Americans do. Dogs aren’t usually seen as companions. People own dogs here but they don’t go out of their way to feed them. My host family’s dogs scavenged for food from what they didn’t eat or what they could find in the neighborhood. Beninese also seem to be afraid of dogs. They think dogs will bite them, which is particially true because they also hit dogs… Rabies is more common here as well, so people are afraid to be bitten by any animal really. We made sure to get the Hugo vaccinated and have his vaccination card just in case he bites someone. I still remember how important it was to my host mother in Lokossa to show me the proof that her two dogs were vaccinated.
Anyways, I was saying that I’ve been worried about leaving Hugo alone when I am away from post. I have to go to Cotonou for banking and to get mail so I am gone at least once a month. Most of the time Jeff and I have kept Hugo in the back, but lately we’ve let him loose a little. Dogs here roam wherever they want… no leash laws here! Hugo seems to have taken to coming and going… although when i’m home he is almost always in mysight. He is a true guardian.
Well Wednesday, I decided to let Hugo walk with me to the Yovo store… he followed me the whole way and then once I stopped he took off and disappeared. I was so worried he wouldn’t be able to find his way home or that the mean spirited little boys who were taunting me on the way there have caught him. My imagination went wild and I was so worried I’d lost him. Well when I got home, what did I see but Hugo sunning himself on the porch! He made it home and was relaxing. I guess he wasn’t interested in the shopping I had to do.