Numerous sources will tell you to beware the many marauding dogs that line the streets of Samoa. Wikitravel.org and Lonely Planet both allude to this. The Palagi see them as a flea-harvesting colony, impending danger and nuisance; the Samoan don’t seem to see them at all.
This proposed an interesting dilemma for Dennis who found a wee puppy this afternoon on the road outside the SWAP headquarters. Home alone after his fearless team took the afternoon off to test their bravado at the Papaseea sliding rocks for boasting rights (more about that later), The skipper strolled out to the road to investigate what cars were swerving around. He found himself staring into the big brown eyes of a tiny little bundle of fleas and fly eggs, clearly abandoned and desperate for intervention of any kind. What to do?
In Samoa, dogs are at the very bottom of the chain. We fear they are a breeding ground for ticks, lice and fleas. They pillage the rubbish on the side of the street looking for food, they meander along the road without collars. They ‘chat’ with each other at night, where in the cover of darkness they bark from their respective areas about the day’s gossip. They also know their place. They do not enter houses, beg for food or sniff passer-bys. They seem to be largely ignored by humankind in Samoa.
Meanwhile, merrily cruising home buzzing from their afternoon endeavours, the SWAP crew arrived back at headquarters to find the SWAP ambassador number 7 awaiting them… Who knew it would be a dog!?! Dennis did the Palagi thing, scooped the wee mite up, bought him into the SWAP lair and spoon-fed him milk. The SWAP crew arrived back to see the chief contentedly brushing the little guy with
Ben’s a toothbrush.
We spent the afternoon fixing him up with flea powder, making him a two room apartment (two boxes taped together) and convincing him to drink. It was unanimously decided that he was a keeper, a very cute keeper! After a lot of deliberation, with Woofita, Pijoux (Mandarin for ‘beer’) and Vailima (the local beer of choice) also in the running, our newest resident was christened; Welcome to the team Oscar the SWAP dog!!!!
UPDATE Friday April 30, 2010 Samoan time: Sad to say Oscar the SWAP Dog didn’t make it through the night. So long our little friend!