August and September have been topsy-turvy months. August brought the start of the final trimester and a string of canine-related incidents, while September brought the regional Science Fair and the dreaded arrival of summer heat. I’m holding out for October, which brings the end of classes, Halloween, and most importantly, my birthday. But first, here’s a rundown of August and this half of September.
One Saturday afternoon, Erica and I were walking to a nearby shop and suddenly heard a dog yelping as we passed an empty lot. We looked over and saw a group of young boys beating a stray puppy that was hanging upside down from a tree, tied from its back two legs. We immediately began furiously scolding the children, and set out to find a knife to cut down the unfortunate creature. Within a minute of reaching the safe ground, it died. Erica wisely tried using the incident as a teaching moment to tell these boys that even if the puppy was causing problems and stealing food, there are better ways to cull animals. The boys laughed amongst themselves as we walked away. When peoples’ lives are so difficult here, why worry about a dog?
Yet just as I was beginning to slide into a jaded, pessimistic funk, a friend gave us a replacement puppy, and although it didn’t leave much time for the death of Shingove to stop smarting, our new puppy, Havu (Shangana for “monkey”), is adorable and oh-so-affectionate. One would think I’d learn to stop being so attached to cute puppies, but what’s the use? Why fight it?