This is a story that will touch the heart of any animal lover out there. For those of us who are living in, or who have lived in Egypt, the abuse that animals are subjected to here is not a new matter. Seeing a dog being beaten on the street, horses who are thin to the bone, donkeys that are worked to death and still beaten to take that one extra step, it's all heart breaking. Many of us who have lived in Egypt long enough have learned to grow immune to this horrific treatment of animals, but sometimes there are stories that you just cannot overlook, that remind us that there are people out there who really do still give a damn, and will act selflessly just to ensure that an animal has a better life.
As a dog owner myself, specifically an Egyptian Baladi dog owner, this story really warms me. As much as Orien can be an asshole sometimes (and really, sometimes he takes the cake - and eats it too haha ), I would never ever dream of letting him grow up in the streets. There are times when I am walking him, (and he is on a leash!!) and I've had little kids throw stones at us, or grown men chuck buckets of water at us. The same thing used to happen with our family dog Mirella, who couldn't hurt a fly, would also get pelted by rocks when down at the stables with us. Fortunately for Mirella, I was usually on horseback when this would happen, and you should SEE those kids scatter when you chase them down on a horse. lolol. Hopefully soon I'll be able to do the same thing with Orien, until then, it's only me shouting and chasing these kids down...I should carry my own rock supply with me lol.
When you take all this into consideration, you'd imagine that the street dogs here would be vicious, aggressive, biting any one who comes close to them. But this couldn't be further from the truth. Most just want a kind word, and if you show a baladi dog the slightest bit of affection, expect a companion on your walk. It can be heartbreaking to have to say goodbye to some of these poor animals.
Josh felt the same way. After staying in a hotel in Cairo, he noticed a stray dog that was living outside on the street by the hotel. He befriended this dog, but unfortunately his stay in Egypt came to an end. Josh did not forget this dog, and he made every effort possible to ensure that he would at least be able to save one street dog from Cairo. His quest began with a youtube cry for help.
His story was seen by a pioneering animal rights group in Egypt, the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals, or ESMA. They found the dog, now known as Sphyncus Nagat, and began the process of getting her to Josh in the U.S. After months of efforts and fundraising, Spyncus Nagat is one of the lucky few street dogs in Egypt whose story really does have a happy ending.
Josh, with the combined help of ESMA and their dedicated volunteers, has brought Sphyncus Nagat to her new home in the United States. Their reunion was even broadcast on the cable channel that Josh works for. This story just goes to prove that if one person were to commit themselves to making a difference in the life of one animal, think of what we could do if we were to all strive to do the same thing. And take a lesson from Josh, next time we see an animal being unfairly abused in the streets, DO something about it.
Nagat and Josh, I wish you all the best for a happy and long life together!
To see the video of Nagat arriving in her new home, check here.