Hello. Let me introduce myself. My name is Reggie and I am the luckiest and happiest dog in the world. Please read my story and find out why I am saying this.
If you are reading this you are human. Do you really know what it is like living the life of a cast-off dog on the streets of Cairo? No you don’t as you are not a dog. You would have to had led the life Karim and I lived in Cairo to understand what I think you humans refer to as “Mean Street”.
Please understand not all Egyptians hate dogs. There were many families in Cairo that had small dogs as pets but due to COVID-19 many Egyptians lost their jobs and any could no longer afford to pay for dog food or animal doctor bills so many of us cast-offs were a product of COVID-19. The lucky ones were accepted by animal shelters but many were just left off in a street far away from their home so they would not know how to return.
This was very cruel to dogs that relied on humans for love and protection. Many dogs became angry and mean against humans as they felt betrayed. Imagine being in a caring and loving home, like me, then poof you are a street dog surviving to live. Can you imagine the terror of being alone with animal control trying to shoot or poison you? Here in Canada they let you live and put you in a shelter. Allah help you if it is a kill shelter. In a kill shelter you are put to sleep forever if no one comes to adopt you but at least you have hope. Street dogs often have no hope.
Street dogs often loose their manners and forget their training. They poop and pee wherever they want. They fail to obey most commands from humans fearing it is a trap to grab and kill them. One day a group of teenagers were smoking hashish in a back alley and they held out a piece of chicken for me and my tummy was so empty it was hurting. As I walked over to the boys I heard a couple of them chanted in English “KILL”. Thankfully I understand English so I ran off. Street dogs learn not to trust humans as they are dangerous. But some humans were good humans and fed us and gave us water to drink. Most simply ignored us but we will never forget those that tried to kick us or hurt us. For many of us that stays trapped in our minds.
So we come to Canada with bad attitudes toward human beings. And a long trip on an airplane to a new country we know nothing about. Please don’t expect us to be like many happy Canadian dogs who are loved, protected and so well taken care of. I was on the street for what I think was close to a year and felt, angry, mistreated, abused, hated, threatened and most of all painfully unloved. Can you expect me to jump up and wag my tail and thank those who rescued and adopted me?
I told you before I saw a BBC documentary when I was with Anwar about British soldiers in Afghanistan who returned home with post traumatic stress disorder which they call PTSD because they keep reliving some of the horrific situations they were in. Yes I think many of us street dogs of Cairo suffered from PTSD. The longer a dog is on the street the more the chance of it developing PTSD. Me? I think my daily prayers to Allah made me strong and hopeful but do you remember that VERY STUPID MISTAKE I made of biting Bob on my first day with Bob and Fay. I was frightened of humans even though I knew Bob was a good human. Something in my past just made me do it but after I bit Bob my vision went gray and I saw Anwar’s spirit giving me a smile saying that he missed me so very much and that my prayers had been answered about being safe and being loved and that I was to go to Bob and nuzzle him and ask for a belly rub. Anwar said he would be watching me and guiding me in my new life and to trust and be nice to Bob, Fay and Dillie.
Karim was I think a few years older than I was and although a cute white Havanese he was on the street longer than me. I persuaded him to be nice to Bob, Fay and Dillie and he saw quickly how right I was. But there is a trainer that comes to Bob and Fay’s house a couple of days a week. She says Karim suffers from fear and aggression lunging meaning where he is in situations with strange people and dogs he might try and lunge at them although it is not anger or meanness that causes him to do this but just because his experiences on the streets of Cairo have taught him to be fearful of most humans and dogs.
Dillie, Bob and Fay’s West Highland Terrier and I lunge at joggers when they run too close to us, skateboarders, rollerbladers and sometimes big dogs but Fay and Bob put up with it because it does not happen often. Karim goes nuts with almost all dogs and humans he sees if he does not know them. The trainer left Bob and Fay a video how to make Karim more relaxed and part of the training indicates lots of liver treats and kind words with encouragement help. Dillie, Karim and I watch this video and laugh at ourselves for being so silly.
After three weeks of training Karim has relaxed so we can on our walks swaggering like a FRIENDLY dog pack which is both proud and free. Karim is on track! He has gone to the animal hospital and Dr. Furby laughs and says Karim, like me, is “fit as a fiddle”. Karim has found his forever home. Dillie has been so understanding of me and Karim. Without the support of this wise and kind dog we’d be back for adoption. Even Karim treats him as the leader of our pack. A Scottish dog and two Egyptian dogs. We are one big happy family. The cruel days of Egypt are fading away slowly for Karim and Reggie! All three of us dogs would love some goat bones. Do they eat goat in Canada?