I’ve gone back and forth the last six months or so about whether to get a dog while we’re in Kenya. My heart yearns to share my life with a dog again—it really does feel as though something is missing. However, I know I’m not emotionally ready and neither is J. But, maybe someday?
Or, maybe not. We’ve discussed it a few times. J. has also gone back and forth on this, but he came to his conclusion a while back. I’ve now come to the same conclusion: we won’t get a dog while we are in Kenya.
The reason has nothing to do with being in Kenya. You can totally have a dog here and give that dog a wonderful life. In fact, many of our neighbors have dogs, which helps give us our canine fix. But, having a dog won’t work for us.
It comes down to lifestyle. Yes, I am home more. Yes, I could play with the dog more. Yes, we have a housekeeper who can help with the dog when J. and I are both out of the house during the day. But that’s really not enough.
We don’t live in an area where we could take a dog out for long walks. There is no dog run where a dog can go off leash and interact with other dogs. Our yard isn’t big enough to allow for enough space for running or enough stimulation to keep the dog busy. (Not to mention the resident birds of prey that roost nearby, which could be an issue with a smaller dog.)
In New York, it was easy to take Daisy almost everywhere. We had Central Park nearby. We could take her on long walks, even along with us on errands. She had a lovely doggy daycare place that she went to (Finishing Touches if you are on the Upper East Side and want a great daycare/boarding/grooming place). It’s just not the same here.
Also, we’re traveling more. We want to explore as much of Africa as possible while we’re lucky enough to live here. We go away a lot. We do a lot of weekend and day trips. We wouldn’t get a dog to just leave him or her behind when we go away. Daisy used to go on her own vacations when we traveled—which she loved. (Dare I say, some of her vacations were better than ours!) But, we did that only once a year. It’s a different travel pace now.
Emotions aside—hearts mend and someday we’ll be ready—the practicalities and logistics don’t make sense. It wouldn’t be right to take in a dog now.
For now, Laila and Tusker next door, and Argos across the street will keep us happy.