Sunday May 18 2014

O MY!The gaunt German Shepherd

By Rogers Balamaga

I once bought an eight-week-old German Shepherd at Shs50,000 from a roadside vendor along Acacia avenue. It wasn’t meant to be mine, but for my mother back home who had accidentally poisoned her seven- year- old dog in an attempt to teach the village stray dogs a lesson for eating her calf.

Before going home to my mother, I made it a point to add dog shampoo, a collar, dog food and a metal bowl to my shopping list. I arrived at home with a list of instructions on how to feed, treat and take care of my dog now named Roger. He was to be fed four times a day strictly on the food I’d bought that was not to be shared with the other dog I found at home that had a six inch nail for a tail. Roger was to stay in my former bedroom and his beddings were to be aired out on a daily and washed on a weekly basis. But most importantly; their flea-infested dog was to be kept far away from my German Shepherd.

While my mother assured me she would not partake of any baby-sitting responsibilities, my sister was more than willing to help until Roger started looking less like the dog we thought he would grow up to be and more like the monster dog in the backyard. She would send me whatsapp photos of my dog and my heart would bleed a little with every new picture. I went back home after a long while and I didn’t even want the thing near me. It is very heart breaking to look at what you believed to be an German Shepherd now wagging a tail that looks like a straw with a sharp muzzle like that of a fox.

I regretted all the money I had wasted on this lanky local bread of a dog passed off as a German Shepherd. I asked everyone to even stop calling it by my name. “Call it Max, or whatever generic name you may choose and let it join its cousin in the kennel, I want it out of my room.” I decreed. Two months later, I was relieved to hear that Max died of poisoning together with his cousin after another village member went to pick his goat from grazing and found bit of the skin instead.