We're in Senegal, But Where's Jack?
Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
32Trip End Ongoing
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If I recall correctly, my last chapter ended with the loss of our shiny, strong, silent and faithful, red long and high lift Jack who used to hold on to the tail end of Landy. Many an hour we spent re-sniffing and beady eyeing our tyre tracks but there wasn't even a little glimmer of red to be seen amongst the Yellow Labrador sand (my mistress says the colour of Josh of Norfolk who left us for the land of perpetual woodland seaside trots aeons before I glided in to this land of humans) and Weimarana (dear Augusta who also departed before I glided in) silver bushes.
All claws were crossed that we wouldn’t have an injured tyre without Jack to provide a fifth leg and paw for Landy. However, all of our claw power was not up to girl power standards on the morning of our last Westie’s leg (yes, dear Alec and Angus, like one of your tenacious diminutive legs) of the piste to Senegal. Thus, inevitably, less than twenty minutes in to our matinal excursion, one of the Rottweiler gods in the sky scratched his bellyful of breakfast and the belly of one of our tyres went pop
Four full tyres carried us onwards (still without Jack) to a clip-clop-clappety bridge, stretched as far as a bridge can go, across the cerulean waters of the River Senegal to the isle of Saint-Louis, reminiscent of the floating city of Venice. The water lapped habitat prompted ruminations from my master and mistress concerning a certain Habana Vieja. As I pointed my nose up in to the air I observed rhythmically writhing black snakes of iron wrapped around those viewing galleries in the air (called balconies) clinging precariously to the face of the human kennels. Down below I peeked at clandestine cool courtyards tucked away inside the arms of the kennels, sheltering humans from Unrelenting Ray in the street. A pirogue (not pierogi), driven by a standing human with a long stick (like a gondolier), was weighted down with humans trying to get from one side of the waters to the other. Young humans were sailing their Lilliputian pirogues in the waters near the resting place of the body of my friend Mr Goat who must have forgotten how to doggie paddle
Oh my, what fine horns, wobbly humps and frilly neckerchiefs the Senegalese cows parade! They liked to saunter about the rose coloured waters of a lake not far from the hugest human habitation in the land called Dakar. It was in Dakar that we hunted for a new beautiful red long and high lift Jack but got stuck instead amongst a herd of automobiles, beasts of burden with their carts and motor bicycles with the buzz of a plague of mosquitos. We left Landy under the shade of a tree while my master and I went for a bit of a wander, on our feet and paws, to find a hole in a wall which would give us some dosh, and my mistress went to a hospital for wounded green men with very long sticks which kill you. Here is what she told me all about her adventure:
‘Well my darling Maxwell House, I went to see ‘Dakarthérapie’ which one of the books in your library tells me is a ‘Best in Show’ of ‘works by psychiatric patients at the hospital, created during artist-led workshops organised by the association Nit Nitey Garabame.’ The green man with the very long stick at the hospital gate, the female human at the Information Desk and various other humans in white cloth had never heard of this ‘Dakarthérapie’ but they all waved their paws to the Pavillon France‘Dak’art 2012’ written above. Surely this must be it I thought! The gate obligingly opened to my touch and I entered a fairly elongated and shady passageway. A large empty easel (for painting large paintings upon not like the small and usually full easel which you gave your dearest niece) lay propped up against the wall, then, down some steps, there were some remnants of a Best in Show. I stood with tongue out and ears perked up at bold and brave paintings of bright pirogues and mermaids, all with painted frames made by the painter (called the artist). At the end of the passageway I was able to spy in to what I thought must be the place where these paintings had been painted; a room with an ivy pot plant hanging low from the ceiling, a long row of sinks and cupboards, a big table with the tools of the artist upon it (brushes and paints) upon it, one wall covered with little shy paintings of birds and marks of peace and love, another wall proudly wearing larger, rougher paintings with string entanglements which I thought to be like the art works of a female artist known as Eva Hesse
So, dear readers, we left Dakar without the right art and without the right Jack
Thank you for your readings.
Love and licks
Max x x
PS Paw Notes
Protein – I get enough of this from my dried pellets but my master and mistress need it badly. Every morning they place some dried pellets of peas, lentils, beans or chickpeas in a plastic bottle with some water and by the evening they are soft and large and ready to be cooked for dinner.
Tool Box – we have already used most items in this large but essential tool box for Landy injuries such as his broken top bracket of the rear shock and flat tyres, upgrading and changing his electrics, his general maintenance and grooming.
Another Book Lover - a great lover of books (he had such a large library you could barely set a paw in to his kennel), Habana Vieja, the feline as well as the human and a tolerator of the canine like me - well he departed to the land of perpetual dancing and lapping up of fine spirits while we were on this bit of our journey. You can read about his amazing doings and see his wonderful naughty smile here, a Dear Friend.