Over the last six months we’ve discussed a lot of things about how we want to live when we move, but whatever you plan, sometimes the place you live chooses things for you.
Animals were a common topic of conversation, from chickens, goats and fish being reared on the farm, to having more typical household creatures around like dogs and cats.
Both the domestic animals have benefits and causes for concern.
Each of them are likely to be a problem for chickens - both cats and dogs are known to kill them in the area, but I suspect this is largely through pure hunger. No-one feeds in the village and they generally feed in scraps. Would well fed animals still be an issues for the chickens?
Dogs also send to dig and rummage, which isn’t the best when we are trying to grow trees and plants. They might just dig everything up.
But they can also be good guardians against unwanted guests, both of the human and animal type. Similarly, cats will keep rodents at bay. Mice, rats and snakes may all see the house as a nice place to set up home, so having extra eyes and noses that seek them out could be useful.
We toyed with the idea of pups and kittens, although Hana has gone off the idea of cats, it seems. But as I mentioned sometimes a place has a way of deciding things for you.
These two guys belong to a neighbouring farmer, one of Hana‘s uncles. He lives on the land likes us, but in a bamboo hut with two walls and a little solar-powered light. He chooses this, as he has a recently built house in the village.
The main issue is he doesn’t feed them, at least not enough for growing puppies. It’s not hard to work out what has happened. They come looking for food, we give them what we have - usually left over rice and fish - so they keep coming back. The house balcony also gives them a good shelter during this week‘s heavy storms.
We tried to make a decision, knowing continuing to feed them would make them dependent on us. And basically if you are feeding the dog it’s your dog. It’s either all in, and you take care of the dogs, or all out, and you chase them every time you come.
We still haven‘t decided on this, although we do show signs of weakness. We bought some chewy dog snacks yesterday in the hope that we might train them not to come on the balcony, which they have become increasingly confident in doing, and we’ve kind of given them names to differentiate them.
Dudley is on the left. He’s cheeky, an eejit, and a pain in the arse.
Rodney is on the right. He’s a bit smarter
and seems to learn faster.
The thing is, Dudley has had a few beatings, probably from other dogs, possibly from his owner. One ear permanently flops. And Dudley tends to visit more.
We are still working out what to do, and over the course of time the decision will come. But for now it seems we have part-responsibility for at least one dog.
And he may be adopting us.
The two eejits as young pups in March