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Dog Looks After Kids in Africa
Canine "foster parent" inspires people to help out a family in need

When seven-year old David Mbogo and six-year old Mary Wanjiku were abandoned by their drug-addicted mother in Dagoretti, Kenya, they were taken in by their grandmother. Unfortunately she is often busy tending to the five other grandchildren that live with them and trying to make money to support the family. 

Enter canine "foster parent" Oscar. Two years ago, the lovable mutt started caring for the two siblings and have now developed a regular routine. At 6 a.m. Oscar waits for the kids to get ready for school and escorts them to the compound. Then he waits for class to end and walks them back home. The lovable mutt has even rescued the kids on many occasions when they got lost.

David and Mary's grandmother has been dealing with a number of problems, including a leaking house and finding the money for warm clothes, food, and school fees. She has a very limited income selling cabbages. Her daily pay averages 200 Kenyan Shillings ($3) and school costs 2,400 Kenyan Shillings ($30) per term. Fortunately, since Oscar's story has gone viral, the pup has inspired many people to send donations for the kids.

Everyone knows that there are families struggling to make ends meet, but it's easy to forget. In this case it's interesting to see how a common love of dogs moved people all over the world to learn more about this family and to send support. It's also cool to see the how fundamental and universal the human-canine bond is. No matter where you are you can find people developing deep relationships with dogs. 

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

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