Pet Tips 'n' Tales

African Dog's Culture Shock in Oregon

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Kate and Dave with their Anytime Fitness staff Azah 20 weeks old, and Beau, a 2 year-old rescue dog...from West Africa who is having culture shock with Oregon's rain!


How many people in Cottage Grove (population 9,444) were born in Africa?  The odds are slim that any are, but slimmer if you are a dog! 

Beau beats the odds.  He was born in a mud hut, in a small village, in West Africa where Kate served in the Peace Corps.

Dave stayed state side, waiting for Kate, worrying the entire year.  Kate, left her job as a scientist because she felt strongly about serving others less fortunate.  After she completed her volunteering, she and Beau came home to their dream house in Cottage Grove.

Beau's breed is very common in the village, because village dogs are interbred. As you have already guessed, he is not a purebred as no one is tracking a dog's pedigree in a mud hut! He looks to be part Basenji. 

Beau is a sight hound, he loves hunting and he did a lot of it in Africa." Kate describes the hazards of village life for dogs, "Beau almost died as a puppy.  Having full access to the village, he brought back small rodents or the birds he caught. Then, before I could take them away from him, he would gulp them down...much to my dismay.  Once he ate a poisoned mouse - it is common to put out poisons to keep the rodent population down.  He was unable to eat or drink for several days. Beau only survived because of the strength of his biology."

Beau was just as spoiled in West Africa as he is in Cottage Grove!  He had the first and only doggy door in West Africa.  Kate explains one amusing incident, "I was sitting on my living room couch, looked up and saw a very young African boy who had crawled through the doggy door to investigate it."

When describing her unique dog, Kate proudly smiles from ear to ear, "Beau is both intelligent and stubborn.  When excited, he makes a hilarious growling-roar sound.  His most unusual Basenji-like trait is that he cleans himself like a cat.  And like most cats - he HATES water and will not go near it!

Every morning, with out fail, he 'checks the weather' by poking his head out the doggy door and sniffs the air.

Beau won't go outside if its raining or looks like it might rain.   As you know, this is a problem in rainy Oregon!

When we run the bath water he positions himself next to the doggy door so he can make a quick exit if need be. Our new puppy, Azah, loves water and thinks he's crazy!"

When asked, Kate admits that Beau is going to try 'swim lessons' at Cottage Grove lake this summer. You might say, he is about to immerse himself in Cottage Grove's culture and its two beautiful lakes!  If the water is cold, that would amount to 'culture shock.'"

As you can imagine the sights, sounds, and freedoms of Africa are drastically different there than here in the USA.

"After a two day journey of traveling from West Africa...flying through Paris, and Detroit we finally landed at the Los Angeles airport," explains Kate.  Her love for Beau is evident, and her face shows great concern as she recalls, "Poor Beau was over whelmed...his acute senses trying to absorb everything.  Beau had no references to understand what he was seeing. The lights, the noise, the flashing advertisements, pavement, grass and the vast number of people.  Not one thing, not one smell...nothing was familiar to him.

Upon arriving in Los Angeles, he was confused to where to urinate.  He must have a cast iron bladder! He had not 'used any facilities' during our airplane breaks and the 18 hour air trip.  He saw grass for the first time, but was so confused where to go potty.  He finally went, but the oddest behavior remains.  Beau will not use our yard as his potty.  We have to take him outside of its parameters for a walk. This behavior has us baffled."

Hey, wait a minute! What a smart dog! He is the only dog on the planet who learned how to make his humans take him for a walk on demand!  Brilliant Beau! Brilliant!

Beau had never seen a car!  And it took him exactly .02 seconds to fall in love with car rides!

These days, Beau loves playing with his new baby-sister Azah, a Border Collie mix.  Dave and Kate recently rescued Azah from a bad living condition, and the two dogs are the best of  friends, even though they were born a world apart.

Dave and Kate's next adventure is opening Anytime Fitness in the Safeway mall. 

Stop by their gym and ask questions about the dogs, Africa, the Peace Corps, or their Anytime Fitness club. And remember; there is nothing as fit, as running with your dog...or after them, as in Beau's case when he takes a 'fast' stroll down the block!


Pesticides and herbicides are dangerous around pets.  Whether you use them, or a neighbor, the 'cides' enter rain puddles that pets drink from, and are absorbed through their paws--causing health issues. 

Our family boils water, then pours it on the weeds.  It works wonders! The weeds cook to death! An added benefit is that boiling water also kills the surrounding seeds and hot water leaves no toxic residue. Be careful when pouring boiling water, make sure your pets and children are not around.

"Reading Tips 'n' Tales this week, well, it is - again - beyond a happy meal feel!" writes Adrienne a faithful Tips 'n' Tales reader in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Yup! Yup! Yup!

Phone and email your editors and publisher friends and family and tell them how much you love this column and that it is available for their publications to attract, hold and uplift their readers.  Pet stories captivate reading audiences.
Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
Tips 'n' Tales Newspaper Columnist , Mary Ellen with Miss Wings
AngelScribe AT msn DOt com 

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Nymbus, the Silver Persain cat swimming
If Cats Can Swim! You Can Do Anything!

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