I had to dogs in Nara. Both were indigenous African dogs.
One of them was a male Azawakh. I had received him as a puppy as a gift from a man in one of the villages we worked with. His skin was of a beautiful unusual white golden color, that reminded me of snow, when he was young. I named him Alaska because of that.
The Azawakh is an indigenous African dog found in the Sahel and in the regions of the Southern Sahara. Azawakhs have evolved and adapted to the harsh and unforgiving environment of the Sahel over hundreds and hundreds of years. Due to the isolation of the Sahel and Southern Sahara regions an amazing and beautiful species developed. They are true desert dogs and capable of supporting extreme heat. Azawakhs have long legs, very slim, elegant and lean bodies and a relatively short back. They can run fast and for long distances.
Traditionally they were trained as guardians and herders for the cattle of the people of the Sahel and they are excellent hunters as well. Hunting is in their blood. A troop of several hundred cattle accompanied by four or five Azawakhs and their nomad masters is a very beautiful and memorable sight.
Alaska was soon known all over town, not only because of his name but because he followed me everywhere.
Of course I was asked what his name meant. After my explanation, the continent of Alaska became even a discussion topic in Nara including the Bar Kouame. Many were fascinated by the fact, unheard before, that there was a region on our planet as isolated and as vast as the Sahara but it’s surface was covered in snow instead of sand.
Azawakhs love to bond with one person and if you care about them and show love they develop a deep and very intense relationship with you that lasts forever. But he only obeyed half heartedly others members of my family and never listened to anyone else. The fact that I lived close to the bush in a vast open space tempted him very often to go hunting to the bush with stray dogs and catch the occasional sheep or goat for which I had to pay for of cause because everybody knew Alaska.