Sunday, January 17, 2010

Man's Best Friend?

The stray dog which my husband has been feeding in an alley since July last year. Note the terrified stance

When I arrived in Khartoum in August last year, my husband told me that he and his technician, Marcell, were feeding a dog their leftover sandwiches. This pathetically starving and terrified stray lived in the alley at the back of the workshop.

As soon as I knew about the dog, I began to keep table scraps flavoured with leftover oil or gravy in a plastic container. The dog had no name until one day I used a container which had previously stored curry(vindaloo). I had written the word "Curry" on the lid with a black marker. When my husband took the container from the fridge that morning, he said: "Love, I've taken Curry's food" The name stuck.

Painfully thin and starving, but ever watchful while eating

My husband took the photos (two above and two below) at my request a day before we went out on break in mid-September. We didn't have to ask Marcell to continue to feed Curry in his absence. He just carried on doing it. He had seen what I had saved from the dinner table and followed suit. The company night-watchman also fed Curry scraps of bread when Marcell was off for the weekend.
Curry gobbles his food

Curry was terribly nervous and would only creep along to the container of food if all the humans stood stock still.

Above is the handsome, well-padded and relaxed Curry enjoying his food on a dinner plate! In these scraps I had added the fish oil from last night's fries

This week when my husband fed Curry, he once again took photos for me. Can you believe the difference in this lad? In the "before" photos he is virtually skin and bones. You could also see how terrified he was - utterly suspicious of humans - jumping at the slightest noise.

Today however, I was delighted when I downloaded the photos to see, not only has Curry gained a considerable amount of weight but his whole demeanour has changed - for the better.

Ca you hear him say "mmm"?
He confidently approaches the plate (he progressed to a dinner plate - hubby found an old one here at home), sniffs at it and begins to eat sedately. His ribs are not at all visible anymore and his shoulders and haunches have set out incredibly.
Curry's stance at the food bowl is one of calm confidence and enjoyment

The men still only get within arms length of Curry; as they put their hands out, he shies away. Meanwhile, they continue to feed him and hopefully will, in time, gain his confidence.
Note: On Friday I accompanied my husband to the workshop to feed Curry. It was the first time I'd seen him in real life. I can honestly say that he actually looks even better in the flesh than he does in the above "after" photos. Also encouraging was the fact that the dog came running up when he saw the vehicle we were driving. He obviously knows it's the "food van"!
Second Note: I've decided that Friday 15 January is Curry's birthday.
Happy Birthday Lad!
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  1. Bless your heart, Jo--you and your hubby and Marcell. It's amazing the difference in Curry after getting some good food into him. Poor dog... He must have had a hard life.

    Pat yourself on the back for hopefully saving one of God's critters.

  2. Your so kind to befreind the stray dog Curry, he looks so good now, a healthy weight and no longer so scaredy. We all need someone to care.

  3. A lovely story of human kindness. Unfortunately it might have been unkind people who made Curry so nervous and untrusting. he is a lucky dog to have found you and the boys.
    A great picture story, clearly showing the change in the dog's appearance and temperament.

  4. Reading about Curry and the kindness of all of you in nourishing him back, body and soul, really warmed my heart! Thank you for being such a loving person, makes the world a better place!

  5. Happy Birthday Curry, you are so lucky to have found a very kind person.

  6. Thanks Betsy;) it's quite amazing how he has filled out and become more confident.

    Yes, Glennis;) we all need someone to care for.

    Thanks diane;) I hoped the pictures would help tell the story and they have.

    Hi Merisi;) while we cannot help every neglected or abused animal, wherever we go, we normally find ONE to take care of. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Hi Al;) I've seen you on Misalyn's blog? Curry says thanks! He's very happy to "belong" well, sort of...

  7. A total make-over! Curry says "Woof!Woof!(Thanks!Thanks!)"
    Ek dink jy gaan hom voor die einde van die jaar 'n vryfie kan gee! ♥I

  8. Dankie Ida, ons wil graag en dan probeer bad. Die werkswinkel skuif heeltemal en ons wil hom probeer saamneem, maar daar is nog tyd. Lekker week voorentoe.

  9. Oh - how kind of you all to feed Curry. He does look so much better these days!

  10. How wonderful of you, Jo and your husband to befriend Curry! He does look so much better and I know he feels better. Poor fellow, he had indeed had a hard life it would seem. A big hug to you all from us!

    Sylvia, Sam and Mojo

  11. Hard to believe it's the same dog. Nice that hubby continues after you. Love the sunny sunflowers below.

  12. Hi - we saw Curry and Pet Pride and immediately swung on by to check him out. What a wonderfully heartlifting post! The difference in Curry is wonderful to behold - you and your husband have made such a difference and you can actually see that Curry is no longer terrified either, great stuff! Happy Birthday Curry, you handsome hound you! Schnauzer snuggles - JD and Max.

  13. Oh, Jo ! I had tears as I read through this post - what a WONDEFUL thing you and your husband have done - bless you, bless you, bless you a hundred times and more !!!

    You know the starving dogs I've helped here in East Africa, it gladdens my heart to know that there are more people around 3rd world Africa doing the same.

    Please do keep your readers posted on Curry's progress (& I love how you got his name !)

    I also just wondered - and you have probably thought of this already - if you have dewormed him by putting crushed deworming tablets in his food ? Some of the strays I feed battle to gain condition until they have been dewormed, as most here are teeming with parasites. Fresh garlic also works well (in the food) if you can't get hold of deworming medicine in a hurry.


  14. Such a heartwarming story. God bless you for looking after one of his beautiful creatures. I'm sure, in time, Curry will be running up to greet the humans in the "food van".

  15. Thank Ladify, he does look a lot better

    Hi Sylvia, Curry woofs thanks for your kind wishes and I send you big (((hugs))) as well.

    Hi Carol, I was also pleasantly surprised when I saw the difference in the dog.

    Hi JD and Max;) It was lovely for me to see that he had lost his terror over the months. My husband says he almost could pat him today - but not yet.

    Hi Lynda, thanks I will keep everyone informed on his progress. He's the only dog I have here in Khartoum! (I have two cute budgies in the flat) No, I had not thought of deworming him. I think it's because at home i administer the worm tabs easily and knowing how skittish Curry is, I didn't think about one of the most important ways to improve his health. You are a STAR! I've discussed this with hubby and tomorrow we will try the supermarket or pet shop on the main street. The supermarket owner speaks Dutch so we speak Afrikaans to him! He is a mine of imformation. He will know where the vets and animal clinics are. Yesterday the SM manager explained where we could find a hairdresser (for "guess who") and following his instructions, we FOUND it! Needless to say, as soon as I have had my hair cut and coloured there in three weeks' time, I will do a post! Hugs Jo

    Hi Joyful, good to see you on my blog. Yes,Curry WILL become tame. We'd like to bath him and apply flea/tick meds so need to catch him. We'd like to take him to the new workshop later this quarter. I'm off to see your blog!

  16. Jo you are such a dear heart. Curry looks much better after, a handsome lad indeed. Soon you'll have an apartment full of rescues to keep you company during your husbands work days. All God's creatures need love.

  17. What a heartwarming story. God Bless you for helping Curry, what a difference you and your husband have made, Marcell too.
    Sunny :)

  18. I just stumbled upon your blog and have been enjoying reading it! I especially love this entry about Curry. He's one lucky fella! His meals sound delicious and he really is looking so much better! He's a handsome boy!


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo