The Beach Dog

The first time I met poppy was about eight months ago. I was halfway through my morning jog on the Malindi Beach.
It was about 6:30 am, and there she was, chained to an uprooted tree trunk.
You see poppy is a dog and at the time she was a five-month-old village mongrel with the best of intentions at heart, poppy wouldn’t hurt a fly. you could turn your back on poppy and sleep easy in the confidence that she wouldn’t stab you in the back the way humans are prone to do.

The promise of a refreshing swim after the jog

Poppy was yelping and pulling at her chain, which was tied to a tree trunk, I wondered why a seeming perfectly normal canine was trying to commit dogicide by weighing herself down and dragging out into the sea.
But this is the coast and stranger things have been known to happen, so I tried to keep to myself and mind my own business, its a tough life for everyone, especially a dog, who I’m I to judge?

I watched her struggle and pull until the log finally came off the sand, poppy got braver and ended up moving the log and herself down to the water’s edge. Since there was no cat to be killed, curiosity got the better of me and I sat down on the sand, ruminating upon what had driven this dog down this destructive path.
Was it love gone sour? 
Had master brought home one of those bitchy, fluffy, shampoo consuming dogs? Had she forgotten where she buried an unfinished bone and lost the will to live without it?

Should I be facing the beach?

My eyes followed poppy’s trajectory path and saw the cause of the dog’s insanity, his name is Mwambire and he is poppy’s human.
He is a fisherman and early mornings, he and his friend cast their net in 
the shallow waters in a wide semi-circle between themselves as each holds on to one end, then they walk in the water,
tightening up the net circle and trapping the fish inside.
They were just about to haul in their net, when poppy splashed towards them, tree trunk and branches in tow, yelping and 
howling and quickly started drowning.
I could see Mwambire’s beady eyes dart between the splashing fish trapped in his net and Poppy’s impending demise.
he and poppy must have been through a lot together because he finally sighed, made a “what can I do” shrug to his fisherman buddy and abandoned the mornings catch, it was a good catch.
he started towards poppy, who was barely afloat, anchored down and thinking maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, but I’m a dog, what do I know? where is a human when you need one?

No ‘hoomans’ in sight

When she saw her savior splashing through the sunrise and all but walking on water to save her, Poppy quickly forgot about trivial things such as her life and started wagging her tail and yelping. Every time she wagged her tail, she went under, every time she bobbed to the surface, she yelped and every time she yelped, she gulped a glass of seawater.
Mwambire finally got to her, managed to subdue her long enough to unchain her and they fell in a bundle of wet fur on the white sand. You should have seen the glee on that hound! have you ever seen a dog wag its tail so fast that it blurred and became a peacock? I was afraid it would break its spine.

while Poppy was celebrating by jumping her human and coughing saltwater all over him, his fishing partner made it to the beach and threw the empty net in disgust towards poppy’s general direction. Poppy started to stand up for herself but thought the better of it and scampered behind her human. 
Now I am yet to understand the Giriama language that is spoken in these parts, but I know abuse when I hear it, and the 
abuse that the other fisherman threw towards Poppy was a rhyming one, it came in rapid bursts of melodious staccato and must have included poppy’s ancestors and all future descendants.
That fox eared mongrel must have got the message because I could no longer see its tail as I finally resumed on my jog.

Poppy is now a three-year-old avid swimmer and comes to the beach most weekends.
Her human leaves her at home when going fishing.
You see, work and dogs do not mix

Written by Kevin MK

The views and opinions expressed in this guest blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Bora Bora Travel.