Bingo is obviously a dog, right? For what parent in their right mind would call their child Bingo?
I never wanted a dog, or maybe I did way back on a brief sunny weekend of my childhood, but definitely not now when I have a clean and ‘proper’ home. Unfortunately, I have not been successful in shaking off the idea of a dog my daughter has been harbouring for the last 5 years . . .
A few weeks ago I walked into her room, she stood up from her bed and burst into tears. Not the whining crying or in pain kind of tears but the heartbreaking sobbing tears only deep loss evoke. ‘I need a puppy‘ her voice barely audible; ‘I need a puppy, so bad, I don’t even have a sister, but I need a puppy more‘. I embraced her in my arms and cradled her on my lap, just like I did when she was a baby, stroking and rocking her, whispering; I hear you honey, I hear you. and that’s when I knew it was time for me to do something I didn’t want to do. An act of selfless love.
Now, I thought we’d get a cute little Bacon Fries that we would train and make ours, but that’s not the case when you live in Maadi (or Cairo for those who not familiar with the land). Over here, and I’m sure in many other parts of the world, farming cute little puppies is BIG business . . . and a desperately sad storey I will not go into here.
Following the day of the heartbreaking sobbing tears I started the search – on Facebook, – well of course! Putting up a few adds with our cute puppy quest. I was amazed at the response and heartfelt pledge of people, I will never know, who wanted to guide, advice and help us bring Bingo home. DON’T BUY – ADDOPT! they pledged and the more they taught me the more I realised . . . . that cute little Bacon Fries was not our next family member.
A week went by, a few gorgeous dogs where adopted before I even got my ‘Like’ in and then my name was tagged in Bingo’s post. I quickly fired off my comment; “I think Bingo is supposed to come live with us” – a few moments later my inbox pinged with a substantial questionnaire, – What?
Here I am willing to adopt an 11 month old mutt and you want to know all this? – Do I lie or tell the truth? My daughter really need a furry friend so maybe I’ll lay it on thick and say we are a perfect adoptive family . . . But I still didn’t really want a dog and deep down I knew that only honesty would bring Bingo home, and if being honest wasn’t good enough – then so be it.
Honest was good enough and within days we had arranged to meet Bingo. In the morning before our meeting his foster mum rang me for the 2nd time to say we could met but maybe not take Bingo with us. She was in tears, obviously not ready to give him up at all. This conversation gave another dimensions to the whole ‘I need a puppy so bad’ plea. . . suddenly I’m dealing with a daughter who is getting to visit a dog she might love but maybe not get to bring home, as well as a foster mum who loves the dog so much she don’t want to let him go.
My hear started beating faster – skin tingling – awareness heightening, – this wash’t just a story about a girl wanting a dog any more – there where strange forces swirling around and I took a moment to sit and listen; ‘This is too crazy, give it up now, – walk away and never look back’ – really listen – ‘This is so crazy, what the f**k am I doing? I don’t know the first thing about dogs?’ – really, really listen – ‘This is so crazy, there has to be a bigger meaning to this, – go see what it is’ – So we did.
I put my trust solely in the Universe (or God if you prefer) and when Bingo’s foster mum called again, moments before we where leaving for out visit, to say her ‘dog guru’ had advised her to let Bingo go if we where the right family, I ensured her we would not take him unless I cold ‘feel’ the right connection between Bingo and my daughter . . . I could literarily hear her reaching for the Kleenex as we rang off.
We parked up and WhatsAppe’d our location to the foster mum. Soon we saw 2 young women through the windscreen, one carrying a huge fluffy dog, walking down the hill towards us; ‘That’s him!’ I said and got out of the car – ‘That’s not him’ he said ‘he’s too big!’ still he got out of the car and before we knew it all 3 of us where patting and stroking Bingo, while his foster mum where spinning her well rehearsed lines. I sent the kid and the dad off behind the car for the serious talk while I staid with Bingo and his foster mum – mostly to sooth her obvious pain, because I already knew what their answer would be.
As we loaded the big fluff ball into the car his foster mum dissolved in tears and my hear broke for her; ‘What have I done?’ Already I wanted to give him back. Mostly, maybe, because I didn’t want a dog. Why on earth would I take a dog form someone who obviously loves him, when I don’t really want him? – But this wasn’t about me; – the Universe told me to go, to drive, to get out of there quick as we could.
My daughter loved him up in the car and as soon as we got home we flung the door open and let him run wild and wild he was! We hooped and cayolted and ran after him and though he was so much fun till he started humping everything in sight – that’s when I realised he was totally stressed out . . . . another f**k escaped me – what had I done?
Eventually sleep prevailed and the following day Bingo and I walked my daughter to school, – after cleaning up numerous puddles of course. Back home I felt exhausted and though introducing Bingo to the back yard and getting a few moments rests myself was in order. He whimpered and cried and scratched the kitchen door – driving me demented till I let him in, upon which he quickly ran around puddling and pooping in every room before I got him back out again, – catching him was not an easy task. By this time I was a nervous wreck cursing God and the Universe before my husband rang and I dissolved in tears on the phone. What in God’s name had I done? Do I really love my daughter so much that I’m willing to traumatise myself and a dog in the process? ‘For God’s sake! He’s a dog not a baby! Just leave him out there‘ she said and promised to take the following day off work.
So a dog is not a baby?
A baby we swaddle and love and cuddle and love and feed and change and never put down unless they are completely and utterly asleep, then we feed and love some more before introducing (very slowly) some structure and training and if, by the time they can tootle about and start to ‘misbehave’ we reprimand gently to teach them wrong from right and when that don’t work we ignore them for a few moment by giving them (or even better ourself) a short time-out.
Dogs are the complete opposite! First we exercise then we ignore them to teach them who’s pack leader, then we feed them and if all goes well we might cuddle them . . . Man was I in for a steep learning curve!
Today is 3 weeks since Bingo arrived and we haven’t killed him yet, nor have we given him back. What we have done, and it might feel like punishment to him, is to give him a sever shave (to get ride of all the ticks he picks up from our garden), a tick repellant colour, getting him nuthered (Jesus can you imagining such cruelty done to your child?), injected him with a micro chip and rabies vaccine and curbed his joyous walks into a tight rope performance – not to mentioned the multitude of puddles we’re whipped up after throwing him out the back. This kind of treatment would give a human baby rickets – funnily enough Bingo thrives on it!
Don’t get me wrong, we are loving him up, caring for him and feeding him the best of chicken, mince, spuds, veggies, porridge, fruit and organising eggs. We cuddle and play with him and take him for walks twice a day as well as making sure he gets more ‘good boy’s’ than ‘NO Bingo!’s’ I have made a million mistakes with Bingo already and I am due a million more. He embarrassed the life out out me the day he peed on a puppy and even more when he peed on my friend – I’ll get him back for that one day. But within the tapestry of our daily family life with our new furry member there is a bond growing stronger between us all. He is changing us as a family and my daughter dramatically – every day. She have found her assertive voice as well as her BIG heart with Bingo around. She scoops the poops and makes his meals. She loves I’m to bits – she was so right – she really needed a puppy!
Even more than Bingo we have gained a new friend in his foster mum, whom we are in daily contact with. Letting her know all that he’s up to, including all the mistakes we make. And when the going gets real though, I ring her in despair. Even when I expect her to give out to me for mistreating her dog, as I did when I had him shaved, she praise my effort and tells me I’m doing a great job!
DeeDee fostered Bingo for 4 months, – when she got him he was practically hear-less, he had cigarette burns and was a mer skeleton, – he was the kind of dog I could never have taken in. She nurtured him back to life and hope and joy and happiness, back to a place where he could come live with us.
He is the happiest of dogs, a thrill and joy to have around, – when he’s calm 🙂 He is the topic of many conversation, a reason strangers in the street smile, kids stop to pet, a big part in my daughter’s play dates and the reason I get to have conversations with people I wold never have meet without him. On top of that we are 4 days puddle free and 2 weeks poop free in the house 🙂
Let’s see what’s install for us next . . .
Love & Light
Vig 💖 🐶
Are you thinking about getting a dog? Then join in the chorus of ‘DON’T BY – ADOPT!‘
If your family have room for a furry friend look for a foster parent, not a dog. But where do you find a foster parent? – well . . . first you find the ‘dog guru’. I found mine on Expat Woman in Cairo – They are the most extraordinary people, – to me she is the lady who pinged me that scary questionnaire message. She keeps messaging me for updates on how Bingo is doing, she’s not scary any more, she is a fount of knowledge and she too a comfort to me when I make mistakes. She translate vaccination documents into understandable language, she answers every questions I have, no matter how stupid and every time I thank her for being there for me she pours out her gratitude to me for giving Bingo a home. When you foster in Cairo your pup – whether brand new or a few years old – comes with an amazing network of wonderful people to cushion you and your new furry love-ball, – they know you will make mistakes and they applaud you for the love you give their ‘babies’. – So please join in the chorus of all who sings DON’T BY – ADOPT!
Did you find the way we brought Bingo home strange? Well, you’d be right there – we made all the mistakes we possibly could – here is the right way to do it 🙂 Bringing your new dog home
Bingo loves I-Vet Clinic – they love and care deeply for dogs and cats on a small budget – and if you have a bigger budget, you can make a contribution to their #TNR program – that’s what Bingo does after his visits 🙂