For those of you who don’t know me- my name is Coney. I am JBFC’s mascot and everyone’s favorite thing in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. There are so many of you out there who have not come to Tanzania to meet me yet, so I thought I would paw a quick letter and let you know about all the awesome things I get to see on JBFC’s campus every day and why more than 100 volunteers come to our campus every year to see ME! And, hopefully after reading this letter, you will want to come see me, too.
Morning is the best time of the day- because all of the people wake up and are just so excited to see me… and pet me… and play with me.
Also, Mama Mary comes in the morning- she is the one who cooks my food (which is amazing). She cooks for everyone in Dad’ house, but I think she likes me the best.
I get so excited every day to see all my friends wake up. The girls wake up first. They have to sweep the dirt and water the plants every morning before school, even though I know they all secretly just want to play with me. After checking on them, I typically go up to my house, Dad is awake. SO EXCITING!
The volunteers take the longest to wake up- I wonder why they aren’t like the girls and get up early to see me? But, seriously, they really, really like their sleep. They like sleep almost as much as I do. But, when they do get up, the guesthouse porch is the best place to be- especially in June. In June, there are like 20 people in that house. THAT IS 40 HANDS TO LOVE ME! Too soon, petting time is over and all my new friends are off to do things around campus. Sigh!
It’s time to go check on my other friends. Did you know our school has 300 kids – that’s 600 HANDS TO LOVE ME! Yes, some of them are a little scared of me because I am so much bigger than them. But, I just want to be their friend. Maybe when they get bigger they will be okay with me.
Also, those 300 kids eat at the school dining hall two times a day. That is 600 plates of food every day! Oh, and it is so good. All of the kids love to share their food with me- and I try to entertain them by sitting or shaking, or doing something like that.
And, after the kids eat, if they haven’t been as generous as normal, I can head over to the girls’ dining hall where the big people eat their meals during the day. These are the people who work on campus and help dad. There’s about 70 of them (140 more hands). The staff love me. They always share because they think I am funny (I am pretty funny).
But, I can’t complain even if I don’t get food there, because there are four places where all they do is cook food on campus. First, there’s my bowl. It is mine, but I share it with the pigeons. Also, I already told you about the school dining hall and the girls’ dining hall. But, I haven’t mentioned the best smelling place on campus. They call it Papa’s- and strangers even come with their own cars to visit Papa’s because it smells so good. I’m not allowed at Papa’s- I don’t know why…maybe they haven’t heard how great I am?
Oh, and did you know that we have an awesome farm full of lots of meat…I mean, animals. My favorite days are slaughter days…OH MAN. I get the foot of whatever is being prepared. Pig is obviously my favorite- who doesn’t love pig? But, sheep is a pretty close second. The farm is getting bigger and bigger, so there’s more meat for me… I mean, the girls. MMMMM….and when they dry the bones, I can chew on them for days, and days, and days. I am not allowed to bring the bones in Dad’s house, though. That is a no-no.
And, the farm is full of lots of DIRT! When it gets really hot, and when I need to take a break from my human friends, dirt is exactly what I need. I love to dig myself a little bed and take a nap. Oh, how it cools me off. Next to being loved, sleep is my favorite thing. However, there are certain places I am not supposed to dig. And it seems the places where I’m allowed to roll around in the dirt are getting smaller. I haven’t quite figured out why everybody gets so upset with my digging… I did VERY GOOD holes. But I think it has something to do with all of the green things in the dirt. In fact in the last year, JBFC is getting greener and greener. My friends seem to spend a lot of time with those green things. They did holes too… but they don’t take naps in them like I do. Who knows what they’re doing? I don’t see the appeal, but it makes them happy.
After my nap, I am so excited because the kids come home. I know it must be rough to have been away from me for so long, so I do my best to comfort them from the time they come home until they go to bed. When Dad goes to the city, and is away from me all day long, he also needs lots of comforting. So, I do my best to stay close to EVERYONE and just spread my love.
It is often hard work to be a mascot on such a large campus, but it’s also pretty amazing. There are sooooo many awesome kids, people and FOOD. So, for those of you who are inspired by my letter but have not come to visit me yet, and see everything else that goes on here…WELCOME. And, I can’t wait for you to meet me. You can’t help but fall in love.
Okay, I have to go see what’s cooking.
Your new best friend,
Coney is an English Mastiff, who has lived at JBFC since he was born.