From Cairo to the Key peninsula: A dog finds a fur-ever home

Staff writerApril 9, 2014 

Chance Anubis was found last April at just 8 weeks old in a landfill in Cairo, Egpyt. Now, thanks to rescue and fundraising efforts, he makes his home on the Key Peninsula with a new “pack.” The two women who found him thought he was a rat. He ran scared back into the bags of trash.

Today, at a year old, Chance makes his home on the Key Peninsula with his new mom, Dani Scott, and his 9-year-old sister, Madelyn. The pack includes two cats, also from Egypt.

Chance is a Baladi dog, which is Egyptian for “of my country.” He is native to region.

Scott said he’s likely a mix of Basenji and feral hound, but he could have other breeds.

“As a Baladi, (Chance is) a mixture of everything,” she said.

Chance is a slender, athletic puppy. His tall ears perk up, and little tufts of white hair accent his chest and the tips of his toes. He’s afraid of strangers, but that’s to be expected since he was born on the streets.

“Over in Egypt, the street dogs and cats are considered lower than rats,” Scott said.

It’s not just neglect that puts Baladi dogs and cats at risk, Scott said. There’s abuse and risk of physical harm to the animals that live on the streets.

“There’s no government-run shelter there,” she said. “(The animals are) outright victims of horrific violence and abuse.”

Emily Wallace, who taught English in Egypt from 2008 to 2013 and is now based in London, said Chance was the first baladi dog she arranged to be adopted.

“He is a wonderful specimen of the native Egyptian breed, absolutely stunning and with a sweet and loyal temperament. But, sadly, there is no way he would have found a home in Egypt.,” Wallace said in an email. In Egypt, Wallace said, black dogs and cats are considered “vermin, or creatures of the devil, in other words, beings that should be destroyed,” she said.

When Chance was first rescued, he had matted, patchy hair. He had fleas and worms. Pictures show him curled up in a tiny ball.

“He looked like a drowned rat,” Scott said. “It’s a miracle he even lived.”

There was a risk that he wouldn’t make it. At first, his “guardian angel” rescuers chose not to name him, but, as he grew, a foster eventually began to call him “Chihuahua” and, finally, “Chico.”

When he came to live with Scott, he became Chance Anubis. In Egyptian mythology, Anubis is a god with the head of a jackal.

Scott met Chance at SeaTac International Airport in October. His trip to his new home was made possible by an online fundraiser. Scott said it wouldn’t have been possible without contacts in Egypt and the help of the Internet.

Since he moved to the United States, Chance has had lots of adventures with Scott. Last month, he went to Pike Place Market in Seattle and had his picture taken with the gum wall. He’s also been able to go to off-leash dog parks in the area.

Seeing the look on Chance’s face when he realized he was able to run free is a memory Scott treasures. She said Chance is the fastest dog in the park.

So far, one of the best adventures was when they searched for a Christmas tree on the Key Peninsula. Chance and Madelyn raced in and out of the trees on a farm, Scott said.

Adopting Chance has been a learning experience for both Scott and her daughter. Madelyn said she’s thinking with a wider worldview, thanks to her wonder dog from Cairo.

“I love that it’s got her thinking really big,” Scott said.

Scott hopes Chance’s story will inspire people at home and abroad. She wants people to know there are loving dogs looking for homes from all over the world, and she also wants people in Egypt to know that Baladi dogs, with love and care, can make good pets.

Wallace founded Anubis Bastet Adoptions in 2013. The group sets up adoptions abroad and within Egypt for Baladi animals. The small organization is rapidly growing and now has an adoption assistant in Germany, Wallace said. A website is under construction, but Anubis Bastet Adoptions is active on Facebook.

Wallace began rescue efforts when she noticed about 40 cats and 12 dogs living on her small side-street, dying from starvation, diseases, poisoning or car accidents.

“Some were also beaten or shot by people who wanted them out of the area,” Wallace said. “Children would like taking little defenseless puppies and kittens away from their mothers as toys to play with, and ended up torturing them with ropes around their necks and beating them with sticks and stones.”

Scott and Chance are one of many success stories for Baladi overseas adoptions. Wallace said the reward outweighs the risk.

“It takes a lot of effort, patience and commitment to adopt an animal from Egypt, but it is totally worth it - knowing you have saved that animal’s life,” Wallace said.

Adopting a dog from overseas is something anyone can do, Scott said. As a single mom, she was able to get Chance here thanks to a fundraiser. A Baladi dog recently was adopted in Scotland thanks to a fundraiser as well.

“I believe that there’s pretty much no borders when it comes to animal welfare,” Scott said.

Scott said Chance protects her and her daughter. He sits with Madelyn at the bus stop. He greets her when she comes home, and the two enjoy walks together as brother and sister.

He’s come a long way from pulling himself out of the landfill a year ago. He’s settled down with his new human family.

“In his mind, we’re his pack,” Scott said.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155 Twitter: @gateway_karen

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