Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Mad Dogs And Englishmen

Today has presented me with an amazing hash of experiences. This morning I took a couple of Italian women out riding in the countryside. One of them is essentially a non-rider so the ride itself wasn't exactly taxing. We ambled along happily in the winter sunshine enjoying the fact that there wasn't a cold wind whistling down our necks as there was two days ago.

On our way back to the paddocks I noticed a large dog standing in a corner of a field in a rather awkward position. I couldn't really put a finger on it, but the dog looked very odd. As we approached the corner of the field, I could get a better look. It was a tall sort of German Shepherdish balady dog, a male and he was definitely not well. I've never seen a rabid dog before, but it isn't something that you would miss or forget. He had light eyes and they were jittering around in his head like the marbles in a pinball machine. He was also salivating like mad, great streams of saliva.

I got on my mobile phone immediately and called one of my neighbours to warn them as the dog was wandering in an area with lots of livestock and kids. He called another neighbour who owned a gun to go out and shoot the dog as quickly as possible. As it turned out it was the same guy's dog. I need to try to find a way to get rabies vaccines out here for some of the farm dogs. There are three year vaccines that would make a huge difference. The main problem is that the people really, honestly can't afford the LE 60 or so for the vaccines.

After our ride, I went to try out a new chestnut mare that I'm thinking of buying. She's from upper Egypt, a lovely sane Arab. We went out for a round of the desert with three other riders and had a wonderful time. Our trail took us past the pyramids at Abu Sir, Sakkara, and Mastabat Pharaon, as well as several of the Seti's pyramids (there were quite a number of Seti's). The sarcophagus in the photo is in the same area, marking a spot where riders cross a railway track to ride to Dahshur. It's a favourite photo spot for visitors, and I can't count the number of shots that I've taken of friends lying in it. The weather stayed brilliant and the mare is adorable. Merry Christmas to me.

Tonight I'm invited for dinner at my old house in Maadi by my tenants. They are actually Scots from Edinburgh, but that's close enough for the title. It's going to be very strange to be in my old home as a guest. I think that I'm looking forward to it, since I really enjoy Mark and Jane. But there are going to be a lot of memories jogged tonight. Still, the four years that I lived there after Diaa's death weren't exactly the greatest. I do believe that I'm much happier out here.

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