“Reggie The Egyptian Rescue Dog” :Karim Tells Us About Himself

My name is Karim and I think I am about three years old. I was born in Egypt like Reggie. I am part Havanese and weigh the same as Reggie which is about 18 pounds.

I was bought in a marketplace by a family with a little girl. I forget their names. This may because I do not want to remember my life with that family. They fed me and gave me water. The little girl was nice to me in the beginning but the parents soon changed their mind about having me as a pet. I spent most of my young life in a crate even when the humans were around in their home. They ignored me except for that little girl who was too young to properly care for a dog. Although she was nice to me most of the time she pulled my tail really hard and that made me squeal in pain.

You might want to say I was ignored. Can you imagine a dog being locked in a crate almost all the time? I was sad and lonely and grew to really hate these humans. A dog likes to move around and be as free as a domesticated dog can be. These humans were cruel and the man smoked cigarettes a smell that really bothered me. His wife thought I was dirty and cursed at me for being a filthy creature. I was locked up so much I never made any friends with the neighbourhood dogs. In fact dogs began to frighten me.

Then a terrible disease like a plague hit Egypt and it was called COVID. The man and his wife owned a small local restaurant and because people were afraid of catching COVID they stopped eating out and the man and his wife had to close their restaurant. They became mean with me claiming I brought them bad luck and one day they took me far away from my home on a bus and left me in a very run-down part of Cairo. They returned home without me so I became a street dog.

Reggie has already told you what it was like for him. It was really the same for me. But instead of being frightened I felt free. I felt what I think a dog should feel like. But food and water was hard to come by. Like Reggie there were kind people that sometimes would give me food and water but a dog had to learn how to steal food to live to see tomorrow. The big dogs were not nice to us smaller dogs so I formed a pack of small tough dogs to defend ourselves and steal and hunt for food including rats.

After living on the streets for over a year my fur was matted and I was covered in flees. Like Reggie I was injured and found myself in an animal hospital. It was the same hospital Reggie was in. I was not bitten by another dog but hit by a motorcycle on purpose and for fun as when I lay on the street with a big gash on my scalp I heard laughing. Like Reggie a policeman took me to the animal hospital. It might have been the same good policeman. I am not one to pray to Allah like Reggie because Allah deserted me the moment I was born. Humans deserted me except for the kind policeman and animal doctors. I had much anger toward humans. The same Canadian rescue society that brought Reggie to Canada brought me there too to Toronto and I ended up with Bob and Fay.

Bob and Fay have shown me nothing but kindness so much so I began to trust them quickly and of course Reggie was in and out of my pack so I could trust him. But for dogs and humans I do not know I become frightened and lunge out at them. They have done nothing wrong to me so why am I so bad?

Reggie tells me it is post traumatic stress disorder caused by my past life. I don’t understand these complicated words but Reggie puts it another way saying I had such a terrible life in Egypt I lose my head and lunge as a way of forgetting those terrible times but a special person has been working with me every day for awhile now and I have just about stopped lunging except for humans on skateboards, rollerblades, scooters and joggers. Dillie and Reggie do the same thing so Fay and Bob are willing to live with a little bit of lunging.

Speaking of Dillie I think he is a spoilt dog that knows little about life and I snarled at him a few times when I arrived at Fay and Bob’s house but Reggie set me straight that was a stupid thing to do for a rescue dog. I recognized this and apologized to Dillie who understood enough about my past to forgive me. He is a true leader and from a tradition of great and fearless Scottish hunting dogs. He comes from a noble tradition but I am from the gutters of Cairo. Being street smart, I let Dillie be the leader of the pack. I also like him as he helps me understand humans that care and respect dogs. These are not humans I have much experience in dealing with.

I love my life in Canada and the snow is so much fun. Reggie and I love rollicking in the snow but Dillie prefers the warmth of inside the house. After two years on the street and homeless and hungry If I believed in Allah I would thank him. I think of my brothers and sisters in Egypt and hope they are well.

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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