The street animals and a juice man

When I first came to The Gambia, one of the first things I realized was that there are many street dogs here. And my love for animals cannot be destroyed over some fleas and nasty wounds they have.
I see a lot of people pushing the dogs away or feeling disgusted by them because they are not taken care of and look sick. I realize many people are afraid of them and sometimes throw rocks at them to keep them away, so some of the wounds they have are probably caused by humans. No one stops to help them. It gave me more reason to stop and check them out, show love to them.
I would always look around for them. I was wondering what they eat. So, one day when I was walking from the beach, I had three dogs following me because they love when someone pays attention to them. A juice man from the beach showed me where he puts the food for them. This was big for me. I couldn’t believe someone cares enough to do that. They had a plastic bowl for water and a plate for food there. So, it seemed the juice guy was doing it often.
At a time, it made me smile and confirmed my belief in the kindness that I know still exists among us. He stayed in my mind with the animals. So, one day, I went to the store and bought a bag of dog food to bring to him and help him out. It didn’t seem like a big deal at a time. When I gave him the bag, he was super happy.
I went with him to feed the animals. He showed me five different places where he has the bowls ready and the animals waiting. He knows the animals by name and has one for every one of them.
Some of the places we went to were set for cats. There is a three-legged cat named Shepard who lost a leg fighting a monkey. He takes special care of him. And he makes sure they all get clean water and food every day.
A dog named Blacky is also a special case. He used to belong to people who don’t know how to treat a dog. He was beaten and locked up all the time. He ran away one day and hid in the forest near the beach. I could see that the juice guy named Abdoulie loves him very much. He is coming to the furthest station, and he always goes there in the morning.
I got up one morning and went with him to meet Blacky. We filled his bowl with water and put food for him there. He called him Blacky, Blacky, Blacky… It took some time until we saw him peak from the bush. He didn’t know me, so he was a bit scared and wouldn’t come out just yet. I stepped back a bit to show him I am a friend. He slowly came closer and started to eat. I like Blacky too. He is a good dog, and he needs help just like the other street animals.
There is not enough Abdoulies in The Gambia. And even he needs help. I decided to bring food to the animals as long as I am here. And I will continue to help feed them whenever I have time. I realized this is a big deal for me when I saw Abdulie’s work. He does it from the heart, for the animals. He expects nothing in return. He inspired me to do more. And I think more people should care. And we should teach people how to have compassion for all living creatures.
So, I want to invite you in because we can do more together. If you want to be a part of this story, you can join us. We can all contribute to this and make sure someone here always cares. I just want to let you know how it is, and if anyone wants to help and feel the same as me, you are welcome.
If anyone knows a place where the animals are fed, let me know. I want to find more people like Abdulie. I know they are there somewhere.
The world is full of darkness, and our hearts are often filled with sadness, problems, pain, or hate, but I know there has to be a piece of goodness and love left in every one of us. I’m going to look for it, and I’m going to find it.
Join me
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