It’s a night-time ritual here. The compound guard dogs taking on the street dogs in a battle of bark!
Mwanza has many street dogs – by day they rest up – under cars or in the shade. The raid the rubbish tips in search of food. These scrawny yellow-brown hounds many with swollen teats a vestige of the pups they have no doubt recently borne.
By night they roam the streets, another reason for not walking out at night. As the roam they inevitably wander past the compounds where the wealthy and the expatriate live. Our compounds behind locked gates and high fences are guarded by Askari (Security Guards) assisted by guard dogs.
So when the street dogs wander past the guard dogs react from all the different compounds along the way – as each guard dog barks, as do the neighbouring guard dogs, as do the street hounds resulting in a cacophony of howls, woofs, yaps and yelps as the neighbourhood barks away. This can go on for a long time – for instance the barking has only just subsided (it started before I started typing this piece).
We have three dogs on the compound. Macy who is the actual guard dog. She is getting on a bit but barks well at anything walking past – she is a big dog, but friendly to all who live here. She has recently been joined by two puppies Kili and Nala who are still young and a bit of a handful. I am hoping they will calm down under Macy’s tutelage but for now they steal shoes left outside and break down bushes etc.in the garden as they run. I fear they have probably gnawed through / ran through the wires on our solar lights too so that they are broken. I hope they will make good guard dogs in time but not yet.
So as the barking restarts it’s time for bed – you can get used to the sound and it does at least prove the guard dogs are doing their jobs.