Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Lazaroo, Lazzy, Lazoo, and Lazy are just a few names by which we call our new dog Lazarus. After Rob accepted the job in Pennsylvania, I begged and pleaded for a dog to keep us company in our new apartment in Lancaster. My pleas were to no avail; and soon enough we were on our way to Rwanda with hopes for a dog forgotten in all our pre-departure hustle. Lazarus; however, was eagerly anticipating our arrival. Our 4th welcomer to Rwanda came from this howling yellow lab whose claim to fame (at least for Rob and I) is his ability to open the front gate for people of his choosing with his front paws and snout. We witnessed this trick as we arrived in the pickup truck and the door swung opened with no guard present. Seconds behind the yelping dog, the guard released the second door for our vehicle to enter the compound. We ignored Lazarus for the most part until we noticed his hungry whimpers after his owners' (our next door neighbors) left shortly before we moved into Hope house. I asked Janet who fed him and she waived her hand around the compound and said, "oh everyone." Unconvinced, I began preparing Rob that somebody had to feed him and it was going to have to be us. We started slowly trying to detect if he was actually being well fed and merely begging for more. I found an old bowl and began using it as a water dish. The next evening I gave him my takeout leftovers. The next morning, I walked down the stairs to find him sleeping soundly at our front door. Good guard dog. I was hooked; I have a dog. Now in the evenings I try to scrounge up something for him to eat, open the kitchen door, whistle and listen for him to come pounding down the grass alleyway to our back door. Rob says he feels very southern; he often comes home in the evenings to a yellow lab that runs alongside his silver stick shift pickup truck and a wife outside taking clothes off the line. As I greet him I often have to talk over his exaggerated southern drawl belting out country gold.

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