A while back I posted about how J. and I decided to not have a dog while in Kenya. We were still grieving for our last dog. We were also unsure about giving a dog a good life while living here. We are now rethinking some of that.
What changed our mind? To be clear, we haven’t made the decision yet. We are still thinking about it. But, these are the factors that are making us consider sharing our life with a dog again.
There are more services than we thought
It turns out that there are indeed a lot of services for dogs. There are great groomers and dog spas and excellent boarders. We just hadn’t known of them…which leads to the next factor.
We met good dog owners
We didn’t think there was much in the way of services because many of the people we knew with dogs didn’t use them. That had nothing to do with Kenya but rather the quality of the owners. These were the dogs we felt sorry for…
…we saw a lot of dogs that just sat around all day. They got walked (rarely by the owners, in fact we only knew one couple who walked their own dogs) and the rest of the time did nothing. There is one dog we know that doesn’t even get walked. Basically, all we saw were people who had others look after their dogs and we rarely saw any dogs interacting with people or with other dogs. We didn’t want to do that to an animal.
Then we started to meet good dog owners and happy dogs. We not only learned about the services but we saw how there is plenty an owner can do to give a dog a fantastic life. We met people who care properly for their animals
In our last house, there wasn’t much of a yard for playing. More important, there wasn’t really any area where we could safely walk a dog (no sidewalk, matatus speeding crazily down the road and sometimes on the dirt path alongside the road). Now we have a huge yard and are in a large estate with sidewalks.
Between that and Karura Forest not far away, both doggy and his/her owners can get plenty of exercise. Plus, knowing some great owners and great dogs, we can have some playdates.
Not there yet
There is still a lot to think through. I have a lot of research to do. Some of things on my list:
- Talk to a vet to get an idea of how much care a dog needs in Kenya. I’m thinking mainly about flea/tick and any other regular medications that might be needed here.
- Research boarders. I want my dog to be able to have his/her own vacation when boarded, not just sit in a kennel.
- Think about rescue versus breeder. I just don’t think I can do a puppy again. It was so much work. But, I also want to make sure I get a dog that I can keep. It may be that I go through some people who foster rather than KSPCA. I don’t know. We’re thinking through all this.
It’s a lot to process and it should be. Adding a member to your family is a big decision. We are going to take our time and really think this through. Also, we don’t want to do anything before our home leave in August. Nothing is happening before the latter half of the year.
That’s fine. This is a big life decision. There is no rush. If we decide to go for it, then we’ll to responsibly.