I’ve recently acquired a few new friends. The most promising include my new five-year old sister, my awesome counterpart, and a dog. Now most Mongolians have dogs to guard their khasaas. Unfortunately, they are not treated as pets. Instead they are treated so horribly that they snarl at any human that comes near them for fear of having large objects hurled in their direction. I’ve seen a seventy year old woman punt an adorable blue-eyed puppy halfway across a large yard.
My new guard dog is oddly different. The first time I encountered Freya, she charged. Afraid of getting bitten, I yelled at her “яав чи!” (go away!); I wouldn’t have been the first Mongolian Peace Corps volunteer to get sent to UB for a series of rabies shots in the behind. To my surprise, I was bulldozed over, my face thoroughly covered with dog saliva.
Now that I’ve moved into my new ger, Freya has taken it as her mission to guard my person. At all times. This includes walking a few paces in front me, wherever I go. Unless of course she’s busy rolling around or getting her butt sniffed. Leaving the khashaa now entails a dog announcing my presence to any threatening (aka all) children, adults, dogs, cats, cows, horses or moving plastic bags that dare to come within twenty feet of me. I will never again have to worry about anyone bothering me on my walk to school. So look out world- Ariel’s got a new body-guard, and she’s adorable.
*Written in late December, 2014.