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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Dogs of MEF

Like most developing countries you find dogs all over the place. For the most part they are filthy, starving, feral animals usually found rummaging through garbage looking for food. But, there were three unofficial "pets" who hung around the encampment. Winnie, Collin and Stumpy. The funny thing is they, as a group, were slavishly devoted to the volunteers. Wherever we went, they followed. We would be toiling under the blistering sun in the Eco-garden and they would be sleeping in the shade nearby. If we were in the office, they would be sleeping under the desks. If we were in our bungalows they would be hanging around, not necesarily looking for food, but just companionship. Indeed, unlike the too-civilized Saps here at home, they rarely took handouts. They just wanted to hang.

On Sunday nights, when our group would return from a weekend excursion, as we alit from the Tuk-tuks, here they would come running, yelping and howling greetings of delight. They were always glad to see us.

This was Winnie. My personal favorite. Wherever I went, Winnie went. She always escorted me to and from my bungalow. A nice little mutt.

Collin. Always covered in ticks. But very loveable.

Good ol' Stumpy. Appropriately named, legend has it Stumpy tangled with one of the many three-wheelers (Tuk-tuks) that operate throughout south Asia. Now he's a tuk-tuk himself. It didn't slow him down much. He was one tough hombre. Sadly he had to submit to the daily humiliation of squatting to pee, because with only three legs he couldn't balance himself on just two to do his duty.

There was one other dog of note. We called it "Scabbie Dog." It is a candidate for the world's ugliest dog. It hung around the restaurant across the street from MEF. I was always more than a little relieved to see Scabbie AFTER having a meal containing meat.

Hey, you never know...

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