- My role model was a man aptly named Njenga of Dogs.
- Rumour had it that he was a dog charmer, and he had started with just one dog.
I wanted to be a dog breeder when I was five.
Although the tough breeds of dogs like the German Shepherd had not arrived in our village, I still harboured a dream of owning many dogs as pets and for sharing with the other villagers.
You could only share your dogs because there was no chance of breeding the dogs for sale.
No one buys dogs in the village and therefore no price tag is attached to the same. Dogs are communal pets and if your dog brings forth newborns, it is your duty to share the new members of the dog family with anyone who is in need of a pet.
My role model was a man aptly named Njenga of Dogs. Rumour had it that he was a dog charmer, and he had started with just one dog.
But as he roamed across the village doing his business, he charmed other dogs that followed him like faithful disciples. By the time I knew him, he had a pack of more than 30 dogs following him wherever he went.
People admired and feared him in equal measure. If he passed by your homestead and he liked your dog or your dog liked him (we were sometimes not very sure which), that is the last you saw of your dog.
There was no way of keeping your dog away from him if it wanted to be converted into his disciple.
Because the shops in the village do not have a section for dog food, dogs are always let loose to look for their own food from the homestead and externally.
The dogs that don’t have the knowhow of rummaging for their food grow as thin as exercise books, and you can actually count their protruding ribs from a hundred metres.
Subsequently, the dogs do not feel obliged to secure the household or act as any formidable deterrent to intruders.
Even when the naughty mongoose pays your homestead a visit with the intention of annihilating your chicken, the dog will be caught flat footed either asleep or away in another ridge looking for food and new friends.