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It was 10 years ago on June 3rd that my African Queens flew from Nairobi, Kenya to their new life in America.

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Naturally, we had a party last week to celebrate their anniversary birthday.

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My beautiful girls.

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Still so polite.

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Happy Birthday, Kike Coyote. Happy Birthday, Suni Lou Who.

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Kike Suni

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Having my mom; aka Memaw, here for a visit is always a blessing because she helps us with so many things. On Saturday, she helped me give the girls and Whisky a bath.

Kassie’s favorite part of getting a bath is being dried off.

She loves being rubbed dry.

Giving Whisky a bath is a dream. He loves water, so he walks right into the tub when he’s asked… and stands quietly and calmly while he’s being washed.

Enzi and Suni share the same philosophy about baths. They do everything they can to convince themselves that, “This isn’t happening to me,” while they’re being bathed, but they love the end results.

Both Enzi and Suni always have an extra spring in their step after a nice bath.

And Kike. Sweet girl just loves to be loved, no matter where she is.

Even in the bathtub. ♥

A while back, Cathy asked if I would share some of the story about how Kike and Suni came to America. When I came across this newsletter over the weekend, it reminded me that she had asked.

You can click on the newsletter to embiggen if you’d like.

It’s really hard for me to believe that the African Queens have now been here for almost seven years.

I was in Nairobi, Kenya when I met Kike and Suni. My business partner was the Chairperson for the Kenya SPCA, and so each time I visited, a trip to the KSPCA was in order.

It was love at first sight when I saw Kike. She was the spitting image of Enzi, who I rescued while on a business trip to the Bahamas in 2001.

When they told me that Kike had a sister, I knew that I couldn’t take Kike and leave Suni behind… exactly as was the case when I knew Fergus had picked us… I knew we couldn’t take Fergus and leave Nigel behind.

The requirements to bring a dog through U.S. Customs are: 1) a valid rabies vaccination; given at least 30 days earlier, and 2) a certificate of good health completed by a doctor of veterinary medicine. (There is no quarantine period once they arrive in America.) Because Kike and Suni had only just been vaccinated for rabies, they were not able to fly home with me from Nairobi to Washington. (I lived in Maryland at the time.) Instead, we had to wait three weeks before they could fly.

While I was very unhappy that they wouldn’t be able to fly home with me right away, the time lag actually ended up being a blessing. The wait allowed the KSPCA staff to get Kike and Suni accustomed to being in crates, which was necessary for their long flights.

The KSPCA staff was wonderful in helping with all the necessary paperwork, helping to book flights for the girls, teaching them the names that I had picked for them, working with them to get them ready for their big journey, taking them to the airport, and so on. I’ll always be grateful to those wonderful and caring people. 

Interestingly, we had the option of having Kike and Suni fly either with KLM through Amsterdam or British Airways through London. It was an easy decision to make based on the fact that had they flown with British Airways through London, they would have been in their crates for the entire 24-hour door-to-door journey. With KLM, the girls were taken out of their crates in Amsterdam, taken for a walk, and fed and watered, which I’m sure made all the difference for them.

I think I arrived at Dulles International Airport at least two hours before their flight arrived. As I watched each plane land, my anticipation grew. I couldn’t wait to see the girls in America! Naturally, those last moments felt like forever. When I finally saw them, it was a powerfully emotional moment. I was definitely in a hurry to get them out of their crates, but for safety reasons, I wasn’t allowed to take them out while we were still in customs. Who really wants a dog running down an airport runway?

Once I finished the required paperwork, I drove a short distance to one of the airport hotel parking lots. I remember feeling so happy taking them out of their crates and watching them ecstatically explore their new surroundings together. New smells! New sights! New sounds! To me, it was as if they had just been born. It was a beautiful June day and they were home.

If you’d like to learn more about the KSPCA, you can visit their website here. Interestingly, they do a tremendous amount of work with donkeys in Kenya. I vaguely remember donkeys at the KSPCA, but unfortunately the last time I was there was BD (before donkeys at Morning Bray Farm), so I didn’t give the donkeys there a second glance. You can bet that the next time I’m there, I’ll notice the donkeys. ♥

Suni’s middle name is Lou Who because she reminds us so much of Cindy Lou Who from Whoville.

Suni Lou Who loves to dream.

Fortunately for us, when Suni dreams about donkeys, we can consult the following notations from 10,000 Dream Interpretations, by Gustavus Hindman Miller (1901):

  • To dream of a donkey braying in your face denotes that you are about to be publicly insulted by a lewd and unscrupulous person.
  • If you hear distant braying filling space with melancholy, you will receive wealth and release from unpleasant bonds by the death of some person close to you.
  • If you see yourself riding on a donkey, you will visit foreign lands and make many explorations into places difficult of passage.
  • To see others riding donkeys denotes a meager inheritance for them and a toiling life.
  • To drive a donkey signifies that all your energies and pluck will be brought into play against a desperate effort on the part of enemies to overthrow you. If you are in love, evil women will cause you trouble.
  • If you are kicked by this little animal, it shows that you are carrying on illicit connections, from which you will suffer much anxiety from fear of betrayal.
  • To see children riding and driving donkeys signifies health and obedience for them.
  • If you lead one by a halter, you will be master of every situation, and lead women into your way of seeing things by flattery.
  • To fall or be thrown from one denotes ill luck and disappointment in secular affairs. Lovers will quarrel and separate.
  • To dream of drinking the milk of a donkey denotes that whimsical desires will be gratified, even to the displacement of important duties.
  • If you see in your dreams a strange donkey among your stock, or on your premises, you will inherit some valuable effects.
  • To dream of coming into the possession of a donkey by present, or buying, you will attain to enviable heights in the business or social world, and if single, will contract a congenial marriage.
  • To dream of a white donkey denotes an assured and lasting fortune, which will enable you to pursue the pleasures or studies that lie nearest your heart. ♥

Aww, Suni. Suni, soon, soon.

Suni’s name is pronounced Sue-Knee, so we call her Soon for short. When Suni’s around, Don and I always ask each other, “How soon?”  The answer is always, “Pretty soon.” She’s so pretty. ♥

Lord have mercy.

The girls love their MeeMaw.

On Tuesday afternoon, my mom arrived from Maryland for a visit. As always, a madhouse erupted when she walked into the Hairy Hacienda.

Why is the Baby snarling at Whisky?

Once Kassie was out of range, Whisky decided it was okay to join the welcome celebration.

Which naturally led to Whisky and Kike playing. Their idea of playing is Whisky pretending to chew on Kike’s snout.

Of course, everyone eventually calmed down and Enzi gave MeeMaw a hug.

And then Enzi and Kike gave MeeMaw a hug.

We love our madhouse.

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mommy!

You might recall Enzi being described as the diva of Morning Bray Farm.

We lovingly call Suni our princess in training because she often seems to emulate Enzi’s behavior.

I think Suni is currently closing in on mini diva status. Oh dear.

The girls and Whisky were treated to Frosty Paws after having their nails done yesterday.

Enzi stressed that I simply wasn’t moving fast enough.

Whisky did his best to mind move the ice cream from my hand to his mouth.

Enzi Diva is never shy.

My goodness Baby Kassie, what big eyes you have!

Various methods are employed to enjoy the tasty treat. Whisky prefers the quick extract method.

Simply remove and eat the ice cream whole. In less than 30 seconds.

Enzi and Kassie are our dainty lickers. Takes a lot longer to finish, but they seem to enjoy every lick.

Suni loves her unique scissor method. Very quick and efficient. She’s a bottom line kind of gal.

And then there’s Kike, who gets the award for innovation in technique by using the top lip over cup method. Maximum output with minimum effort. Nothing wrong with that.

In case you aren’t familiar with Frosty Paws, you can find them in the ice cream section at the grocery store. This pack highly recommends them.

Suni is affectionately called our meermutt.

Mom and Dad say that Suni reminds them of a meerkat,

 but she’s actually named after one of the smallest antelope found in East Africa; the suni.

Suni is Kike‘s sister. They are inseparable.