Lessons From a Village Mongrel.

Lessons From a Village Mongrel.

There is always something interesting about village mongrels. I don’t know if I said so because I haven’t seen a poodle anywhere close to our ‘ushago’ or not. Again, this should not attract any ridicule as to where my village is but that should simply tell you that ours is the real village.

If there are poodles everywhere in your village, then that is no longer a village. Move on. Villages are synonymous with those funny and interesting dogs of which calling them mongrels is akin to promoting them in a really big way.

First of all, let me tell you the difference between a mongrel and a poodle. Simply said, you go endearing a poodle to follow you. You have to hold it and keep talking to it. Mongrels on the other hand don’t need any of those. As long as they know you, they will simply follow you.

Poodles are washed, manicured, pedicured, shaved, refreshed and all that. Mongrels are the free guys. They are often on their own. If you try to do any of those to a mongrel, the next moment you will be in the hospital being treated for rabies.

Some other times, I see poodles being clothed and at other times I hear they have comfy beds. On the extreme, some sleep with their masters on their master beds. This is changing innovation around pampers such that dogs are beginning to be catered for too. Sounds funny, I guess.

Trying to clothe a mongrel will result in a mad dog. What if you tried nearing it let alone having it on your bed, fleas will feast on you until you become sick. It is a known fact that mongrels and water are big enemies. They are only near water if it only means drinking.

Should you embark on teaching a mongrel some poodle mannerisms, it will take time and be hard until all you will have left with is losing hope. Yet with all this negativity, mongrels are very great animals. You can enjoy their company and get to learn great lessons especially if you find where there are two or more.

Some short time ago, while in the village, I decided to watch the mongrels we have and see what lessons I can draw from them. The most important thing I noted is what I can call loyalty. I observed keenly that when I went even on a walking spree, one of the dogs we have, a smaller one often followed me faithfully irrespective of whether I had something to give it or not.

My thoughts now drift to a different path albeit briefly, the aspect of women calling men dogs. At some point, if we look at it on a positive note, then it may mean that men are very loyal creatures. It all depends on how one relates with them.

For a dog, if you relate with it well, you can always be good friends. It only needs to trust you fully. Should the dog at any point feel threatened, that is the point your relationship will start to be strained. Dogs are very good creatures, unlike cats which can be termed convenience-based animals.

Secondly, dogs can co-exist quite well. Funny thing though, hierarchy is not often observed. It all depends on which dog is the loudest, bravest and most intimidating. For example, I noted that with our very small dog and our other bigger one.

You could expect that the small dog would automatically fear and plead its allegiance to the big one, far from it. The small dog is the reigning king. It is proactive, tough, ‘arrogant’, ready for defence and very intimidating.

The other bigger dog is fearful and unsure of itself. That means getting less food, no wonder the smaller dog has a big lovely body whereas the bigger one looks a bit skinny. Just like for the human population, it is often survival for the fittest. You have got to have stamina if you have to survive.

Arguably, that stamina needs to be checkered well. That is to mean, as a person, being reasonably humble but aggressive enough to ensure you don’t get trampled on and become forgotten. Always remember that this life is full of injustice and that you may end up as the big dog even after putting in your very best. But the truth remains, no one ever promised us that life will always be fair.

Another great lesson from the village mongrels is about knowing your place as well as your role. Whereas it is very possible to find poodles around the dinner table and mingle freely with visitors, it is not the same with mongrels. For a village mongrel, its place is away from the dinner table and understands its work very well; that of making sure the compound is very safe and that there is no trespassing.

In a nutshell, I developed a good liking for the village mongrels. Theirs is learning life the hard way and knowing when, where, how and in what manner to carry themselves lest they be disciplined in a village manner which is often punitive.

Word of caution though, not all village mongrels are good. Should you travel next time and want to start a long-lasting relationship with a village mongrel, take care so that you don’t end up being bitten by the wild dogs which are far more dangerous.

Lastly, a good relationship with a village mongrel can last for a long time; very many years precisely. Those are relationships built to last. Go for two years and when you come back, the mongrel will be up in arms to you. If you want to build a lasting relationship with other people, try to learn from the one that dogs have with the people they know very well. That will be lesson 102 for you. Lesson 101 is that of you and your God.



Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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