So if you like dogs, read on; if it’s not your thing, well, this is your warning: gushing ahead.
Sam, Tarzan and Max are the three dogs that hang out around Malae Town (where the Uma Kiik is located) and our neighlords’ place. Sheila (one neighbour) looks after Tarzan, Sammo gets nominal care from Marg, Anne (other neighbours) and now me as well I guess, and Maxie is a puppy who is looked after by Senyora Eva’s family (so I don’t know him very well). Tarzan looks German Shepherd-ish, Sam looks Labrador-ish in the body, and Maxie looks poodle-and-Labrador-ish. Of course, they are all mutt-ish as well.
I love Tarzan and Sam because they act exactly accordingly to the reasons I adore dogs generally. They are super friendly and affectionate – Sam has a particularly endearing habit of coming up and rubbing his head against my leg. Tarzan’s also picked up this habit in the last couple of days, though; I guess he wants to share the love. They also act as guard dogs, and actually bark at people or things they don’t like to see in the yard, without barking incessantly the rest of the time (this is SUCH a rare thing in Dili).
As dogs go, they are also very polite and good company. They don’t seem to come into the apartments. They don’t fight much. They sleep on the verandah of whoever is home and I’m just chuffed that they now do this on my verandah too. I first caught them at it the other morning, after it had rained – there were little muddy pawprints all over my verandah. As I type right now, they are both companionably stationed at my doorway, curled up, snoozing (in the same manner as our old family dog Belle used to enjoy sleeping at our front door, right in everyone’s way when they tried to go through the door).
I’m a bit surprised they haven’t knocked the boxes off the lounge on the verandah so they can snooze on that, too, as they are smart dogs – Tarzan also likes to kip on a Timorese table in the yard, with his legs hanging off the edge, it looks quite hilarious. I can only put the avoidance of the lounge down to their good manners, i.e. that they are patiently waiting for me to remove the boxes (which would thereby subtly signal the invitation in their minds, I suspect).
They are both also very enamoured of my doormat, which is actually a handtowel. I am completely accepting of the fact that it is going to remain absolutely filthy from their taking turns napping on it each day. Having two dogs come up and lay their head against my leg after another hard day is so nice, it makes me smile when I see their guilty little muddy paw prints all over the place! Never mind the doormat, lovelies