This morning I was jamming out to Katy Perry on the home stretch of my run when four dogs came tearing of out a yard surrounding me and barking at me. I yelled at them and kicked two of them and after a few seconds they drifted away. If you had told me two years ago that I would one, hate and be terrified of dogs, or two, ever kick a dog, I would have thought you were crazy. But I didn’t know Mozambican dogs.
Speaking of dogs. When I took Amendoim (our dog) in to get his annual vaccines, I mentioned that we were looking for another dog, and if the people there could keep an ear open for us and call us if they heard anything we would appreciate it. The guy who works there called us last week and said he had found a dog and we should come into the district office of agriculture (and animals, I guess). When we arrived he didn’t have the puppy, but told us to come back the next morning to pick it up. When we returned the next morning he was not even in Namaacha, so the woman who works there said to return at 3:30pm to meet him. But he hadn’t returned to town by that point, so I told the woman that we would meet up again the following week (because this was right before we left for the beach). We got a call while we were at the beach that the puppy was there in the office. We explained to the lady that we actually weren’t at home (and asked her to please not publicize that fact) and we would meet Monday morning at 8am. Monday morning I showed up and—yay—there was actually a puppy there! The man gave it vaccines, filled out the paperwork, explained to me how to apply the medication for the infection it has, and I had managed to calm it down by petting it (seriously what do people here do to dogs that one can be so terrified—shaking and whimpering—of humans at only 3 months?). We were good to go. Until the man said “okay, that will be 1,500 Meticais” (about $55). I had asked other Mozambicans beforehand if I should expect to have to pay for a puppy—I didn’t want to pay, but I also wanted to be aware of what is the norm here—and they told me no. So I told him no, I didn’t want to pay for a puppy, and there was no way that I could pay something like that. He explained that it was because of the puppy’s breed that it was so expensive, so I explained that we had no interest in a particular breed, but only wanted a dog to protect our house. So then he told me of another person who had a dog for 300 Meticais. I was tempted, but Anna put her foot down, so I told him we didn’t want to pay for a dog. I told him that Mozambican dogs are always having puppies nobody wants (none of the dogs here are neutered/spayed), so we just want one of those. So he said he would keep an ear open. I was retelling this story to the woman from Peace Corps who works in the Namaacha office three days a week. She agreed that 1,500 Meticais for a puppy was ridiculous and then told me that her parents’ dog had puppies that were about 6 weeks old and she could bring one to the office with her on Thursday! So cross your fingers that that works out.