It was Nala’s 7th birthday a few days ago. Am I a little dog crazy for celebrating her birthday every year? Perhaps, but when your dog is as important and meaningful as Nala, it makes sense!
Nala came into my life 7 years ago when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. As a high school teacher in Kenya, I knew immediately that I was ready to have a dog of my own (something that I couldn’t do in my college years). One of my colleague’s dogs recently had puppies and she agreed to give one to me.
The day I took Nala home she was covered in fleas and her belly was bloated from worms. I took her on a matatu (shared bus) to the nearest town to get her seen by a vet, and she threw up all over the man sitting next to me (who unfortunately, was on the way to a job interview). Despite all this, it was love at first snuggle.
Nala’s company got me through some very difficult times of loneliness. More than a few times, I wanted to return to the comforts of an American lifestyle and would call David tearfully wanting to come home. In times when I was too sick to walk or too exhausted to cook, Nala would keep me company and offer warm snuggles to get me through the night. When I was lonely and had no one to talk to, Nala was a great listener. She’s more than a dog to me, she’s a companion who got me through some of the most challenging (and rewarding) years of my life. She’s a special companion who has impacted my life in a way that no dog will ever do again, and for that I celebrate her birthday and every other special day I get to spend with her.
She’s a special dog who has impacted my life in a way that no dog will ever will again, and for that I celebrate her birthday and every other special day I get to spend with her.