Cris in Ethiopia

And Then There Were Four

Posted by Cris on April 23, 2007

Friday was beautiful- sunny and blue skies, no clouds in sight. I decided, since I had tons of time before class started, to walk to school and use the internet, then go to class. I wanted to walk a new way though, not on the busy busy street I usually walk on. Partly to avoid breathing my daily dose of exhaust, and partly to recon a non-traffic plagued route to school in the off chance that I get a bike here.

Well, somehow I got lost. I walked and walked, and eventually ended up on the same street I started on, but about 1/4 mile behind where I started. How I did this I don’t know- but that isnt today’s story.

While I was unknowingly walking in completely the wrong direction I heard a funny sound coming from the garbage pile/ditch. When I looked, I found some puppies that had been abandoned. Now here is my disclaimer: I dont necessarily like dogs too too much. Certain dogs (Blacky) are cool, the others I can usually take or leave. My mistake lies in the naive belief that finding puppies in the garbage was a singular occurance, not something that happens often. Like many people here there just isnt any place for some animals to go, and without any real population control measures (besides trash bins) there are too many animals born all the time. Anyhow, I was upset with the idea of little puppies crying their eyes out and eventually dying in a trash pile, nobody to help them. They were mewling up a storm, trying to attract some benevolent attention, and they got me. So, after some deliberation, I decided the only thing to do was to get a box from a store, go back, and take the puppies home with me. This decision was made on the assumption that there were four or five. There were eight.

So then I walked home, every once in a while talking to someone:

Them: “What do you have?”

Me: “Some puppies! I found them in the trash!”

Them: “You want to put them in the trash? Its this way…”

Me: “No no no- I FOUND them in the trash (incredulous look).”

Them: “Oh- how many?”

Me: “Eight.”

Them: “OH- (smirk) good luck!”  

 I got home, left them with the guard (who shook his head in the unmistakable what-is-this-stupid-farenji-thinking look) and hightailed it to school. After class I fed them from a baby bottle I bought at the store, and waited for Amy to come home. We looked at them, fed them, and gave them a bath. We debated what to do with them (eight were too many for us) but by the end of the night six hadnt made it, so we were left with two strong ones. Now “we” are four.

Their names are Backa (which means “enough!” in Amharic) and Besu (which means “many”). Backa is a boy, all black with a white spot on his chest, and Besu is a girl that is white with brown/black spots. Theyre small- eyes still closed- so Im guessing they were 1-2 days old when I found them. Suddenly our lives have broken up into 2 hours segments- stretched to 4 at night, when I get up about once or twice to feed them. They sleep the rest of the time, snuggled up with some water bottles we fill with hot water to keep them warm.

Theyre cute and make lots of piggy noises when eating, which they have to take turns at. The pup who isnt eating spends his/her time looking all over our laps for other nipples, every once in a while suckling a pinkie or wrist. They make incredibly loud smacking noises when theyre hungry, which is how Backa woke me up last night- he decided Besu’s hip and foot were good replacements for teats, so she was crying and trying to get away from him while he was sliming his way around her haunches.

Hopefully their eyes open soon, and then we will know theyre about a week old.  Wish us luck, and for those of you who will, enjoy chuckling at your visions of me feeding puppies from a bottle at 4 AM.

3 Responses to “And Then There Were Four”

  1. AD said

    Hah! if it isn’t a chick, duck or goose, you have to find something else to nurture. Good luck…suckas! {erupting into peals of laughter}

  2. mom said

    honey, this is turning into an education for you as well as us (your readers), first dr. quinn medician man then dr. dolittle. how are you going to backpack around europe with two dogs? have fun:)

  3. Aunt Shannon said

    Well congrats, I guess dogs are better then kids
    Now you guys and Nicci and Keith will have lots more to talk about

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