Providing refuge for a stranger

· 1 min read · kenya dog

In Loiyangalani, next to Lake Turkana, I had a rest day because I still felt dehydrated from the previous day's ride.

Lying in my tent, I was disturbed from nodding off to sleep by something rustling outside my tent and right next to my head. I immediately shot up and delivered a swift whack to what looked like a white rat. It yelped—it was a small dog! The dog ignored my whack and continued to snuggle up to my tent, inches from my head. The dog was young, whimpering, and seemed vulnerable, so I provided refuge for this stranger inside my tent. Naming her Ratty seemed appropriate!

Ratty, the young dog I provided refuge for in my tent.

Sunrise revealed that Ratty was in a bad condition—thin and wounded.

I left Ratty outside my tent before heading into town. She had fled when I returned.

Ratty appeared later that day, and she cowered and yelped loudly whenever someone approached. Later, I saw her again and she was staggering and falling over. She looked like she was on death's door. Hotel staff and guests expressed no interest.

It was a struggle to encourage her to open her mouth to feed and drink. She could barely hold her head up. She eventually drank water from my camp mug and cupped hands. I tried feeding her food that I had—peanut butter, spiky melon, and mandazi—but it didn't work.

The hotel served enormous meals and Ratty gobbled up handfuls of rice and fish. A huge relief!

The next morning, before hitting the road again, I found a staff member who agreed to feed Ratty. I really, really hope Ratty survives.

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