Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog: Some Fine Tuning for a Street Dog

Although when with Anwar I was fully trained at least by Egyptian standards.

What do Fay and Bob expect of me knowing I may be a bit rough around the edges because of the tough time I spent on the streets of Cairo? Can I deliver and be the perfect Canadian dog that I really want to be? Canadians have been so good to me it is my duty to show them Egyptian dogs can be as good as Canadian dogs. While it is my duty to be a good dog it is also a matter of pride for me. These Canadians have done many favours for me so I must not let them down. Dillie has been so nice to me too and as he is my elder I respect him and I also feel I owe a duty to him.

So what does Reggie have to do to be a good Canadian dog?

  • Going to the bathroom

While with Anwar in Cairo he taught me that I must poo and pee outside. Yes I had a few accidents as a puppy but I learnt to go to the bathroom outside according to a regular schedule. But when you live on the street as I did in Cairo the rules change as you can pee and poo when you like and where you like. Coming to Canada meant I had to be the dog I was with Anwar. Bob and Fay take me for regular walks and sometimes very long ones which I love. Dillie and I like to sniff and pee to tell other dogs we have been there! But I have had a few accidents at Bob and Fay’s home. You see sometimes I forget where I am and just pee like I am on the streets. Then I realize what I have just done and don’t know why I have been so bad. I am ashamed and hide. Bob and Fay call me gently and tell me softy that I am not a good dog for peeing in their house. They say to each other that my time on the street has caused me to forget my manners but they do not hit or curse me. Their kindness makes me try hard to please them and show them I am smart and well mannered and after a few weeks I am perfect with no accidents.

  • Being crated

Sometimes Bob and Fay go out shopping or to see friends and they leave me and Dillie behind. When they leave they put me in a cage they call a crate. They tell me they are so sorry they have to do it. I feel a bit better knowing Dillie was caged when he was young.

The first time they did it I went frantic yelping and crying. I have always been free and I am so frightened being caged. But strangely after a few times of being crated I begin to feel safe in my home. In a way it is like living in the cardboard boxes I lived in on the streets of Cairo. I stop panicking after being crated a dozen times because I know Fay and Bob always return and let me out and give me hugs and pats on the head telling me how good I am. I think I was so frightened when Bob and Fay left I thought they would never return and I was being crated for being a bad dog. But when they left after being crated I wasn’t frightened as I was in my own home, Reggie’s home!

  • Being nice to other dogs

I knew that being nice to Dillie was my most important job for Bob and Fay. Being my elder and being a friendly and loving dog, we get along like best friends. We are best friends. He has never lived on the streets like me but he has lived with Bob and Fay and their son Drew and daughter Lexis for all of his 13 years. He knows humans much better than I, well at least kind and good humans, and I have much to learn from him.

I do have problem with bigger dogs like the Rottenwhiler that bit me in Cairo when I tried to steal his food from his bowl. I lunge out and growl like a crazy rabid dog. Something makes me do it. I get dreams in my head that the big dog is the Rottenwhiler that attacked me. Dillie also lunges but not at all big dogs, just dogs that threaten him by moving quickly towards him and barking at him. Bob and Fay have a trainer that is working with me to stop this lunging. I get liver treats for not lunging so I associate treats for not lunging and it works. I am beginning to like the bigger dogs that Dillie likes usually oodles of some sort!

The trainer tells Bob and Fay that I am “making progress” but that the dog attack I suffered in Cairo left “deep scars” in my mind that may never heal or take much time to heal. I am getting better. Really I am. The more time that passes and the safer and more loved I feel the more I trust Bob and Fay will never let a big and bad dog bite me.

  • Being nice to people

The trainer told Bob and Fay that while living in the streets of Cairo people were mean to me which is true but there were some humans that fed me and gave me water. The people in Canada are all nice although watching the news I heard that there are over 100,000 homeless cats and dogs in Canada every year so Canadians can’t be perfect. The news report also mentioned “puppy mills” where puppies live in horrible and cruel conditions.

Dillie has a good soul and when you know him not a mean bone in his body but when the door knocks he goes a bit nuts. He doesn’t much like Bob and Fay’s cleaning lady. So he is crated when she is in the house. She is a nice lady but I sense she does not like dogs so I stay away and keep Dillie company outside his cage. We both bark at the postman but Dillie says this is a tradition for dogs so I bark too. The postman smiles and says hello to us.

Both of us love chasing and barking at squirrels which Dillie tells me is a dog tradition! There were no squirrels in Egypt only rats.

Bob and Fay’s daughter Lexis had a new baby Peggy. Everyone keeps a close eye on us when Peggy is over for a visit or we go visit her. Babies are strange but I like them but no one seems to trust us. These humans can be strange.

  • Being obedient

This means doing what humans tell you to do. This is not a problem for me as isn’t there an expression don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  • Going to school

Going to puppy school is a bit strange for me as I am not a puppy. But for eight weeks I go to puppy school with Bob and Dillie. Dillie has been through it and admits he wasn’t the best student! It really is about doing what you are told and that comes easy to me because of all the BBC television I watched I understand English so very well. What is new to me is the hand signals we should know like “down”, “up” and “stay”. No problem for me but these puppies are so silly I feel embarrassed to be with them!

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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