Our new best friend

Last week, Cormac played soccer with some of the guys from work.  I went along to watch and cheer on the team.  While I was sitting waiting for the game to start (over an hour late…), I spotted a litter of puppies playing on the other side of the housing compound.  I nudged my neighbor, who’s husband was also playing soccer, and insisted that we go take a closer look.  When we got near enough for the puppies to notice our presence, they immediately sought shelter under a fallen banana tree.  Five sweet pups trembled and cried as we discussed whether or not they had an owner.  We decided they probably didn’t.

We walked to the nearest house inquire whether or not the pups belonged to residents.  The family confirmed the puppies were strays, and told us, “If you can catch one, you can take it!”  To which we thought uhhh, if we can catch one?

So when the soccer match ended, we employed the help of extra sets of legs to corral a puppy.  I had originally set my mind on a pup that looked remarkably like a yellow lab.  She was too quick to catch, which I took as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be.  Cormac and I reevaluated our choices, and decided on a little boy with markings similar to a German Shepard.

We started our hunt by circling the fallen banana tree, but our pup quickly evaded us and made a bee-line for a vegetated trench.  It didn’t take long to corner him in the trench and grab him.  When I picked him up, he immediately tried to bite me, and when that failed, pooped on me.  Smart boy!  We had a winner!


He spent his first day at our house hiding his face in the corner of his make shift kennel. Yes, that is a hamburger bun. We eventually found some dog food.

He was so full of worms, he had hardly enough energy to walk, let alone play.  A quick call to the only vet on the island, and he was back on his way to being a healthy dog again.  The vet didn’t actually see our pup, but sent medicine through our neighbor and decided our dog was too small for his first vaccine based on his estimated weight.

We noticed that he was covered in lumps, which we thought were infected mosquito bites.  After searching the internet for alternative diagnoses, we determined our dog was infested with bot fly larvae.   Thanks to YouTube, we figured out how to remove them ourselves.  You don’t call the vet over something as silly as bot flies in E.G.!


A bot fly larvae. We removed so many we lost count.


The aftermath of boy fly extraction

After our puppy regained some of the strength the worms and flies had stolen from him, he turned into quite the ball of energy!  It took us several days and iterations, but we finally named him Murphy.  Little Murph’s keeping us quite busy and entertained.  We’re pretty lucky to have found him!


Family photo! Murphy was still unsure whether or not he really liked us


Starting to regain some strength and personality


There’s no PetsMart in Malabo, so we have to make-do with my homemade chew toys


Worn out after a long game of tug of war


4 thoughts on “Our new best friend

  1. We got a puppy in Mozambique. To this day his favorite toys are coconut shells. You can keep a bit of the meat on the bottom or smear on peanut butter – homemade kong. You can get a few and put a treat under one and mix it up and have your dog find the treat. The also work as ‘soccer balls’ on tiled or cemented ground.Great chew toys (with supervision) and 100% biodegradable. Can you get coconuts there?

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