Upepo (née Monsoon) Diaries – Part I

The story of an adopter

Our decision to adopt a dog was not a difficult one for my family. We had recently arrived in Nairobi and our other very sociable rescue dog (rescued from Spain) was bored and lonely in our compound. We had promised the children that with a larger garden we could accommodate a new puppy.

I was desperate to find one that suited our requirements (under 6 months and female) as quickly as possible. I know that puppies can be destructive, so hoped to find one before our shipment arrived with our furniture. By then I knew (with training) I could have a puppy house trained – so no peeing on our rugs and hopefully she would be less inclined to chew everything!

Having contacted the TNR Trust to find a suitable dog – Monsoon was suggested as a match.

The strict verification process, as well as insisting on a vaccination and sterilisation programme, including a home visit, reassured me that the TNR Trust would help me adopt a dog with the dog’s best interests at heart. I’ve always believed that it’s important to be a responsible and able dog owner – or not one at all.

When Monsoon (now renamed Upepo – which means ‘wind’ in Swahili) arrived at home she was terrified and sat shivering in a cupboard in the kitchen refusing to come out. I left her to sleep until she felt comfortable in her environment and when the children arrived home, I gave them bits of chicken to give her – giving them the opportunity to interact with her by giving her treats, rather than overwhelming her with cuddles.

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