some might wonder...

at my focus on the "African/Sahelian" aspect of the azawakh...but for me this IS the main aspect of the breed. Of course they can be appreciated, loved, admired, etc. by people for just being what they are: dogs. But it is important for me to try to see them "in context", since for me this is vital to truly understanding and appreciating them for what they really are. For me they are more than just creatures that guard livestock and hunt prey in the Sahel...they are the poetry of the nomads, the quixotic and beautifully eerie plaint of the amzhad, the noble white chamelle, the terelilit of the women during the night, the air so dry one feels one's bones turning brittle in the mid-day heat...the goats, the cattle, the tribes vying for dominance...the sook...the women so beautiful and strong one turns one's head in deference...the men mysterious, veiled, friendly yet threatening; a symbol of time losing itself to itself.....the azawakh are all these things and more and yet only a part of this...and soon "this" will pass. Take care...it will all vanish in the blink of an eye. Mash'Allah.

1 comment:

Brian Reiter said...

I love the pictures and stories from the Sahel. Keep them coming.

For me, it was the Sahel that brought me to the dogs. After we brought our not-exactly-azawakh-but-related "senji"-type bush dog back from West Africa, I spent a lot of time online trying to figure out if there were other similar dogs in the USA. I found azawakh.com. This was 1998 or maybe 1999. I was so excited to see that the dogs were here! I would never have found the connection through a breed book or something.

The dogs are a small piece of Africa that stays with me. They carry that wild/reserved, intense/calm spirit of the Sahel with them. Without some understanding of the Sahel culture, I don't think it is possible to fully appreciate them. And I think it's unfortunate that we have to call them dogs because I'm not sure that label is very appropriate. They are something different and apart from the rest of the world of dogs.