Monthly Archives: July 2012

Give Me Dog

Today, while out for our afternoon run, no less than five, FIVE, people yelled at mom, “Give Me Dog” or variations on that theme.  For the entire loop we were serenaded by, “Nipe mbwa” “Give me mbwa” or “Give me doggie”.  Come on people, if you want something, at least say please!  If one of those people even tried to touch me or mom, you know I would have bitten their dumb hand off!

I mean really, what was this guy:

Tanzanian guy

or this guy:


Other Tanzanian guy

gonna do with me?  You better believe he wouldn’t let me sleep on one of those mattresses (not that I would even want to since they’re the crappy TanFoam variety).  They’d probably make me sleep outside with all the local dogs and feed me ugali, DISGUSTING!  I’d say that most Tanzanians, except for Ellen of course, would have no clue how to take care of me.

Me and Ellen

So, I’ll be sticking with my mom, sleeping on her memory foam bed, eating my healthy and holistic American dog food, and drinking bottled water, thank you very much!

1st-world living in a 3rd-world world

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I’ve Got a Lump

So here it is, I’ve got a lump.  I didn’t want my mom to know since the first thing that comes up when you google lump is “cancer” and I didn’t want her freaking out.  But of course, mom pays close attention to my health and she saw it right away.

The lump is about the size of a marble, and you can move it around under the skin.  During our Olympics Party, mom’s friend Karl, who is a human doctor, felt the lump and decided it seemed like a lipoma.  Apparently this type of benign tumor is common in both humans and dogs.  My grandma also went to the vet in the US and asked the doctor there, and he said that it’s possible it could be a parasite since there’s so many weird diseases over here.  Here’s a photo of my lump for all you animal experts out there:

Here’s my lump. Apologies for the x-rated photo

Over the course of the week, mom continued to check on my lump.  Towards the middle of the week, it changed shape slightly and we thought it was getting better.  But no, a few days later it went back to the original shape and now my skin is red on the area where the lump is located.

Mom decided to consult her book, “Where There Is No Animal Doctor” to see if there were any ideas on what to do about my lump.

Our reference book

There is a section called “lumps and bumps”, but mom didn’t really want to biopsy my lump herself so we gave up on the book.

Ok, enough with this book

Finally, mom decided to call the Tanzanian Veterinarian.  He came over yesterday and determined that the lump was not screwworm, which is good because that would have been totally disgusting!  However, he also had no idea what was wrong with me.  Obviously, he decided to throw the kitchen sink at the lump (metaphorically, of course) just to be on the safe side.

So, yesterday, I got my first of many injections.  If I thought yesterday’s single injection was bad, then I had no idea what was coming today.  The vet showed up with not one, but THREE syringes and proceeded to give me a shot of antibiotics, a shot of antiparasitic, and a shot of an anti-inflammatory drug.  I was SO angry after the second shot that I up and ran away and hid.  But, alas, mom found me and dragged me back for more torture.  She even tried to trick me with a treat of peanut butter, but I’m not that stupid.

Finally it was done and I went and sulked for the remainder of the afternoon.

Still sulking…












This dumb lump better hurry up and go away or I’m going to force mom to take me back to America to figure out the problem there!

April 6, 2013

Following up on the lump saga:  I never did get a firm diagnosis, but mom is pretty sure that the Tanzanian Veterinarian was wrong and that I did actually have a screwworm.  The lump got better after the shots of anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic (also a de-wormer) and then one day, my mom pulled this out of my skin right where the lump had been:

Yup, this nasty thing came out of my lump

Yup, this nasty thing came out of my lump


Ever since, I’ve been lump-free!

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An Olympic Goodbye

It’s happening again: more people are leaving Mwanza and I’m NOT happy about it.  This time it’s my Miss Courtney, Jason, Ethan, and Amber, to name a few.  In just a few short weeks (although not too short for me since I’m a dog and 6 weeks in my life is like a year and a half in your life) I’ve come to really love all these people.

Miss Courtney has been living with us for 6 weeks now and the house will seem so empty with her gone.  She’s kept me company while mom’s at work and has been helping out at Kuleana Street Children Centre too.  I’m sure all the kids there will miss her almost as much as I do, I mean, look at all the fun they’re having:

Courtney and the kids at Kuleana

Ethan has been keeping mom and Aunt Amanda occupied with all his awesome movies and has also been keeping them in shape with his Insanity work-outs, so here’s hoping they don’t get bored and fat in his absence!  Ethan and Amber are students at Cornell University (the same as mom and Aunt Amanda) and they were here to work at Bugando Medical Center, which is one of the biggest hospitals in Tanzania.  Here they are going into work in the morning:

Amber and Ethan heading into Bugando Medical Center

Lastly, there’s Jason.  He and I have been friends since Day 1.  For some unknown reason, we just clicked from the beginning and now we are best buddies.  Jason works at NIMR like mom and Aunt Amanda, but he’s more of a computer guy.  Look how much fun I’ve had with him and Miss Courtney:

Getting a little lovin’ from Courtney and Jason

So, of course, we did what we always do when people we love leave: we had an epic going away party!  This time we decided to have a party in the spirit of the Olympics since the Opening Ceremony is just a few days away.  I’ve never heard of these “Olympics”, but mom tells me that people from all over the world get together to play games and the winners get treats.  Sounds like my kind of event!

No party is complete without decorations, so Aunt Amanda and Miss Courtney made flags to represent all of our friends while I stood by to supervise.

Party Decoration Time!

We thought it would be fun to form teams, like they do at the real Olympics, so mom and I represented Denmark (mom’s Danish after all, which makes me Danish by default even though my breed lineage is German.  Lucky me, I got to wear my big sister Greta’s old Denmark shirt that she outgrew long ago, it’s pretty special since my big sister Greta was named after the Queen of Denmark!) and Miss Courtney and Aunt Amanda represented Rwanda because they’re both traveling there this week.    Coincidentally, Rwanda is mom’s favorite country in Africa, I hope I get to go there someday!

Team Rwanda and Team Denmark

To get the party started I decided to play DJ and put on some fabulous dancing tunes, such as Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe“, which happens to be one of Ethan’s (and mom’s) favorite songs right now:

Spinning some tracks

And of course, no going away party would be complete without having a good cuddle with the people who are leaving me.  I love you guys!


Courtney Cuddle Time

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Suri ‘n Me

I was trolling the internet today while mom was at work and I came across the most fabulous website EVER (except for mine, of course.)  It’s Suri Cruise’s (aka Tomkitten’s) blog, called Suri’s Burn Book.  I highly suggest you check it out:

I have decided that Suri and I are soul mates.  I mean, we are both super honest about how we see life and we don’t hold back when we’ve got an opinion.  We’re both super stylish, have popular blogs, and fun moms too (although it seems I’m a bit more fond of my mother than Suri is of hers, see the photo below.)


I’m also the perfect size for Suri and would make the ultimate accessory, since I know she’s so fond and discerning of her accessories.  The only problem is that I live in Tanzania.  I honestly can’t picture Suri, in her high-heeled glory, visiting me here in Mwanza (Zanzibar perhaps, but definitely not Mwanza.)  That means that I’ll have to wait until next year to start my friendship with Suri,  I can imagine us going everywhere together…

What did I tell you about accessories?

Trotting through NYC in matching red outerwear





















Taking New York by storm

Suri would take me everywhere, like she does currently with her stuffed animals, and I’d be her biggest advocate, protecting her from those pesky paparazzi.  I mean what little girl doesn’t want the cutest little dog as her best friend?

Suri, call me maybe?

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I Need Your Help!

I’m trying to decide on the color for my new halter.  Mom has a friend coming to visit Mwanza at the end of August so it’s the perfect time to change up my look, but I’m a horrible decision-maker.  You see, there are no dog apparel stores in Mwanza (in fact there’s not many stores of any kind in Mwanza) and there’s also no addresses so we can’t get anything shipped here either.  That makes it really exciting when someone comes to visit since we can get all kinds of cool stuff from America.

I’m enlisting your help in trying to choose the best color for my fur-tone.  If everyone votes then I’ll be able to pick the very best color.  Here’s a photo of me in my current red halter for reference:

My red halter

Here are the colors I’m choosing from:

Sky Blue








Royal Blue









Thanks for voting!

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My mom is getting kind of fat here in Tanzania, probably because she can’t go to the gym and all they ever eat here is carbs (pasta, rice, bread…)  But, she’s finally decided that enough is enough (I’m inclined to think it’s because she can’t fit into her favorite clothes anymore).  Therefore, my mom has embarked on a new workout plan with some of her friends.  I’ve decided to join her too, partly for motivation and partly because, who doesn’t want to be in shape?

The workout started with a warm-up run.  Running in Mwanza is a bit like parkour.  There’s so many giant ditches, huge holes in the road, and tons of cars, buses, motorcycles, people, and other animals.  It’s crazy out there!

Heading out for a run on the crazy Mwanza streets













After our run, it was really time to get down to business.  Mom’s friend Ethan brought over his computer so that we could all follow along with a workout program call ‘Insanity‘.  And here I thought that the only thing computers were good for was blogging and online shopping!  Oh the things I learn as I grow up.  Anyway, Ethan started the video and we began our warm-up outside in our huge back yard.

Here we go with some kind of plank kick things.

Here’s what the video looked like

This is what we look like










Mom and Ethan continued on the ground, but I really needed some more cardio so I ran some laps around them to get my heart rate up.  I was the youngest and fittest one at the training, so I felt I had to push myself extra hard.

Running, and running

Gosh, they stayed on the ground for a while.  Mom says that these exercises are good for the core.  I guess I must have an amazingly strong core since I’m basically constantly in the plank position.

Planking with mom and Ethan

They kept going and going.  Sweat was pouring off them.  I feel lucky that I don’t sweat when I work out, I just have to stick out my tongue and breathe a lot, which is way more dignified than nasty sweat.  They worked out for so long that even the Maasai guard came and watched what they were doing.  I bet the Maasai has never seen anything like it before!

Me and the Maasai watching mom work out

Finally they were done and it was time to get a drink of water, stretch, and relax.  I’ll have to admit our group is pretty hardcore!  Bring it on, more INSANITY!

Watch out now!


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I Love Sundays

This is why:

Me + Mom + My Pig = Best Day Ever

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4th of July in Tanzania

I was born in America and my mom is American, therefore I suppose I’m American too, but what do you do when you’ve lived longer in a foreign country than your home country?  That’s my dilemma.  Technically I’m American, but I FEEL Tanzanian!  I’ve come up with a better term to describe what I am: a Tanzamerican!

I’m a Tanzamerican!

On Wednesday, Americans celebrate their independence and apparently it’s a big deal.  Since I’ve never experienced Independence Day in the US, I don’t really know what I’m missing out on, but mom tells me people have barbecues, and there’s fireworks too (I’ll just pretend I know what those are…)

Mom, Aunt Amanda, and Miss Courtney all really wanted to do something for the 4th of July so they invited some people over to have an Independence Day celebration.  Mom dressed me in “patriotic colors” for the occasion.

Here I am in red and blue

My outfit got even better when mom’s foreign friends showed up.  They really got into the spirit of Independence Day by making hats with dollar bills on them!  I tried one on, but it was too big.


I also played soccer with a Canadian and a Brit, which was super un-American, so then I went and chewed my American cow hoof next to Jason, who is American and was sporting a shirt with the American flag on it.












Then finally, I got to learn what fireworks are all about.  Mom said that these were only tiny fireworks, so maybe I’m glad that I had my first 4th of July in Tanzania, because I was already scared.  Mom showed me a photo of real fireworks and I can’t even process how scary they must be!

Our Fireworks

Our fireworks, in a pineapple!




















I’d say I had a pretty good introduction to the 4th of July even though I was in Tanzania.  Next year I’ll be ready for the real thing, IN AMERICA!!!

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Goodbye Hintons

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s leaving season in Mwanza and the next group to follow Mr. Marcel was the Hinton family.  I first met John Hinton at the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) when I was there to eat lunch with my mom.  NIMR is where my mom works every day and they also have a canteen there, which is how we all got to know John.  The first thing he said when he saw me was that he would like to take my leash, which was connected to my red halter, and whip me around in a circle for fun.  That sounded cool to me, but mom vetoed this idea and John may have been kidding anyway!

John worked at a place called Bridge 2 Aid.  This organization helps people in Tanzania who don’t have access to dental care.  Specifically, John worked in the community helping to organize income generating activities like sewing.  I think this is a great idea and would love to buy some custom-made couture dog clothes in Tanzania!  Here’s a photo of John playing guitar at his going-away party:

John Hinton, playing guitar

I met John’s son Jimi in Mombasa when I went to support the Mwanza Tossers frisbee team while they played in a tournament.  Jimi worked at a place called Forever Angels Baby Home.  Forever Angels is a home for orphaned and abandoned babies.  It’s so great that these little cuties get so much loving and care at Forever Angels!  Here’s a photo of Jimi, and his awesome mohawk, at the frisbee tournament in Mombasa:

Jimi’s awesome mohawk

Of course John and Jimi couldn’t leave Mwanza without a big party for all of their friends and I was lucky enough to be personally invited to the Hintons’ going-away party.  I think John likes me 😉

So many people showed up to say goodbye to the Hintons

I wore my special Maasai scarf, styled fashionably by mom for the occasion:

I think I’m looking pretty fiiiiiine

There was lots of yummy food and great entertainment at the party.  First, John and Jimi and their band, The Mosquitoes, played some songs for us.

John on guitar and Jimi on drums

Watching The Mosquitoes play












After the music, John decided to unveil his new magic trick.  This was all so exciting for me since I’ve never seen a live band or a magician!  The magic trick involved an imaginary deck of cards, which I didn’t really understand, but the crowd seemed wowed by it and so I was impressed too.

John performing his magic trick with Austin

Watching the magic trick with Aunt Amanda












The whole party was so much fun that it made me even more sad that the Hintons were leaving, but I guess that’s just how things work here in Mwanza.  Mom and I are here for another full year, so I’m just going to have to get used to saying goodbye 😦

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Goodbye Mr. Marcel

In the past few weeks, several of my good friends have left, but I’m most upset about the fact that Mr. Marcel is leaving Mwanza.  Apparently, he got a fancy new job and has to move to Moshi, which is another town in Tanzania.  On a side note, I don’t like this “job” thing that humans do.  My mom has to leave me every day because of her “job” and now Mr. Marcel is leaving me forever because of his “job”.  Moshi is very far from Mwanza and this means I won’t get to see Mr. Marcel on a regular basis.  If dogs could cry, I probably would.

Because Mr. Marcel is leaving, he decided to have a going away party.  And because Mr. Marcel is so classy, he had an extra fancy party, with caterers and drink servers.  I wore my party t-shirt and matched Mr. Marcel for the occasion.

We match!

Rocking my Party T












Mr. Marcel has a ton of friends in Mwanza and so lots and lots of people showed up to say goodbye.  This included Aunt Amanda and Miss Courtney, my favorite girls in Mwanza.

We’ll miss you Mr. Marcel!

Mr. Marcel’s house is very dog-friendly for me and Farley because he has a lounge with mattresses and pillows on the floor instead of big stuffy couches.  He also has fancy sheets made of Thai silk (which he clearly did NOT buy in Mwanza) that I love to roll around on.  A dog could get used to the finer things in life!  Perhaps if I sprawl out on Mr. Marcel’s Thai silk sheets, then he won’t be able to leave!

P.S. Can you tell that “fancy” is my new favorite vocabulary word?  I really am my mother’s son 🙂

Mmmmmm, Thai silk, I like!

Speaking of dog-friendly, I’m really gonna miss Mr. Marcel’s awesome yard.  I’ve had so many good times there with Farley, at doggie daycare and playing in the pool.  OH MY GOD, do you think that Mr. Marcel is going to take Farley with him to Moshi??!!!  I don’t know what to do without my best friend…

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