Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Death of a Dog and the Treatment of Animals Here

My dog, Lion, used to follow me everywhere, even to school. Sadly, he was recently poisoned to death by one of my neighbors.

   My host mother kept calling his name.
   "Lion!" She'd scream in her nasal voice. "Lion!" 
   I told her that our family dog, Lion,  had probably ventured off with the boys, who’d gone down the mountain to grind maize early that morning. It’s not unusual for Lion to follow the family when we leave the house.
   “Don’t worry,” I reassured her. “He’ll come back.”
   But my host mom knew differently. Lion had not eaten his breakfast or drank the water she pumped for him that Saturday morning.
   “Something is wrong with Lion,” she said.
   A little while later, she found Lion splayed out on the ground nearly 30 feet away from our home. He was sick. Poor thing had vomited, excreted and blood was streaming out of his testicles.
   My host mom tried to nurse him back to good health with milk and a mixture of alcohol and water (a common way to cure poisoning out here.)
   Unfortunately, Lion did not make it. He was 8 months old.
   This wasn’t the first time he was poisoned. Several months ago, he was poisoned but he survived that bout.
   It’s common here for some people to poison dogs, cats and other animals, especially if they are angry or jealous with someone.
   And animal abuse is rampant in Lesotho. Some Basotho beat their animals to keep them from venturing into other peoples’ yards, where they could potentially be poisoned.
   That’s what my host family thinks happen to Lion. We even suspect who did, it but with no real proof, nothing can be done.
   “God will take care of them,” my host mom said of the perps.”And I will get more dogs.”

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