A Dog and a Baby

One of the most phenomenal stories regarding babies that I ever heard was reported on CNN in May 2005 and in the May 30, 2005 edition of Jet Magazine.

“A newborn baby abandoned in a Kenyan forest was saved by a stray dog who apparently carried her across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence to a shed where the infant was discovered nestled with a litter of puppies.”  CBS News covered this story as well.

This baby girl was dressed in a torn shirt and wrapped in a plastic bag when the dog found her in a poor neighborhood near a forest in Nairobi.  She was approximately two days old.  “When the dog picked up the baby in a dirty bag, it came and dropped her behind the wooden building where the dog has its puppies,” stated an eyewitness.  The baby was found by children who had heard her cry and was eventually taken to the hospital where, with the exception of an infected umbilical cord, was doing well.  This story gave me reason to pause.  Obviously, the act of abandonment was superseded by the will of a higher power who proclaimed that this baby would live.  What amazed me the most was the compassion and bravery of the dog.   It had risked its own life by crossing a busy street while holding on to the baby, faced physical harm as it crawled underneath a barbed wired fence and shared its resources by placing the baby alongside its own litter of puppies.  Perhaps the dog understood how miraculous this newborn baby was even if its own mother didn’t.

In a world of infinite possibilities, miracles can occur under the most unusual circumstances. And yes, we can gain profound insight, even from a dog.

This excerpt is taken from The Smart Mother’s Guide® to a Better Pregnancy. All Rights Reserved.

About these ads

63 thoughts on “A Dog and a Baby

  1. Pingback: Twitted by lingal17

    • Probably someone who for some reason believed she couldn’t care for her child! That this very fortunate baby was found in a torn T-shirt and a plastic bag suggests that her mother abandoned her because she couldn’t afford to keep her alive. Perhaps she was a child herself who had been hiding her pregnancy from her family. Those are the common reasons women and girls have abandoned infants or committed infanticide. Few mothers would abandon their newborns lightly. For that reason, the lack of empathy for the mother in your comment and the above article is disturbing. It’s easy for us to sit with our internet connections and heap disapproval on a woman or girl we don’t know and whose situation we can’t imagine, comparing her unfavorably to a dog, but easy does not mean right.

      • Then put the child up for adoption! It’s murder. How awful of you to think its ok to leave a child for dead!

      • I apologize if that’s how you read my comment, but I meant nothing of the sort. It is murder. It is wrong–but it’s also not as simple as you seem to think. This occurred in a Kenyan forest, where they don’t have a “safe place” at every police or fire station, where adoption was not a real option. But like I said, it’s easier to condemn a woman or a girl whose life most of us can’t even imagine than it is for you to get off your sanctimonious ass and do something to prevent more tragedies like this one.

      • There are much better ways to handle a situation this female found herself in. She could’ve taken the baby to a hospital or a church, but to just leave her on the side of the road? Really…

      • I agree. In kenya life is so different. People who think she could have just taken the baby to a church or a hospital are kidding themselves. Perhaps she was trying to save it form a fate far worse, we will never know.

  2. I hope that the same hope of a better life was also given to the dog and her puppies. So glad the dog had a bigger heart that a human for the babies sake!

    • Hi Natasha. I really must reach out to the author and ask if anyone has followed up on the baby because the interest generated has been phenomenal. As soon as I have information, I will post it. Thanks for your great question.

      • I “found” the original author of the article and left him a message on LinkedIn. Hopefully he will respond and perhaps we’ll find out what happened to that courageous dog and blessed baby.

    • Thank you SOOO much for sharing the link. I remember seeing the picture of the baby but never the dog. So many readers were curious about the dog. I’m not sure if the dog is still alive but oh, what a legacy she left. And I hope the “baby” (who should be 7 years old) will come to appreciate how special but she and the dog are. This is absolutely fabulous!! Thanks again.

  3. Abandonment of newborns is common in all situations where women lack reasonably effective contraception and reasonably safe abortion. This is probably a case of a woman who knew she lacked resources to raise that newborn and probably had other children who had better claim on what limited resources she did have. So either the baby is neglected to death in the woman’ s home or it is left somewhere where possibly someone else will find and adopt it or it will die of exposure, starvation, or predators. And don’t think this won’t happen in the US if the Rabid Right is successful in eliminating contraception and abortion here.
    Alternatively there have been some societies in which the male head of house had legal and social right to determine whether a newborn was to be reared or abandoned ; classic age Greece is the poster child for this — both the wife and the offspring were property owned by the husband, just as slaves and their offspring were property.

    But this incident does show how much dogs identify with humans and can accept humans as pack members. Dogs who live with humans often seem to regard very young children as being similar to puppies.
    I hope this poor bitch was not simply killed, as so many dogs are in poor countries where dogs are not generally valued.

  4. That is amazing thank u doggy for saving that baby girl that reminds me of my dog she would lay n the room w my baby both of them ntil they woke every time she always checks on them just make sure they was alright when she had puppies she would let only us,and My kids around her puppies thats how close we were to my dog

    • Thanks for your comments. Dogs are very protective about children. When I spent the night at a friend’s home years ago, her dog slept in front of her daughter’s room which was across from mine. He knew that I was a stranger and he was protecting her daughter. I was both shocked and impressed.

  5. So as the dog crossed teh street with a bag of baby nobody stopped and said… Hmm, dog with a baby in its mouth. Very odd to me… Something about this story seems off.

  6. What crock…some people will believe anything. Based on this ridiculous story, posted with a photo that has nothing to do with this implausible bit of drivel, I, also, doubt that Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway is for real. It is this type of “I’ll swallow anything” belief systems that created Tea Party and the GOP Obstructionism.

    • Michelle, here is the link documenting the facts: http://www.dogheirs.com/tamara/posts/533-mkombozi-the-stray-dog-saved-the-life-of-a-newborn-baby. The story is real and so is yours truly, Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway. We can’t “see” the air, but we can feel the wind. Sometimes miracles are right in front of our eyes, yet our attention is focused elsewhere and we miss the blessing. The original event occurred in 2005, I wrote about the story in 2007 and my book was published in 2008. The 1st blog was written in 2009 and at that time we used a photo that depicted a “baby and a dog” because we didn’t have the original picture. All authentic pictures of the baby and the dog, whose name is Mkombozi are on that link.

    • Michelle – its people like you that make the world a crappy place. This is a wonderful story which has sparked the interest of many – you are the only one in any of these comment with a negative attitude. I supposed CBS should have checked with you before publishing this as you seem to know much more than them. You should be ashamed of yourself for even questioning this story. I feel sorry for people like you who cant even enjoy a nice story with a happy ending. You sound like you need a hobby.

  7. Pingback: A Dog and a Baby, Part 2 « Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway

  8. Pingback: A Dog and a Baby, Part 2 | The Smart Mother's Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

  9. It is truly awful that someone left this poor baby to die in a forest. If the puppies did indeed die, it’s just further proof that dogs are more loyal than man. However, after reading several comments I think people have missed that this did not occur in a Midwest middle class neighborhood where girls and woman have options and resources available to them. This happened in Kenya, Africa. This is actual a more common place occurrence in countries such as Africa that we care to acknowledge. The dog is amazing, truly a godsend.

  10. I just don’t understand how they knew where the baby was abandoned and how they knew the dog had to carry her. Couldn’t someone have abandoned the baby with the dog and pup? That’s just as plausible and more probable. It seems to me, with everyone knowing where the baby was abandoned means they know more than they should. It’s a nice feel good story but I have a ton of questions when I really think about it.

  11. Hope this helps :) 7 years ago, Mkombozi a stray dog, rescued a baby :)

    Felix Omondi an 11-year-old student with Mkombozi in a compound on the outskirts of Nairobi, Monday, May 9, 2005. The nursing dog foraging for food saved the life of a baby girl abandoned in a forest.

    Mkombozi’s story is legendary in Nairobi, Kenya, if not the world. The African dog currently resides at the Kenya SPCA where she spends her retirement sleeping in a soft bed and teaching school children about animal welfare. It’s a good role for her, considering how the stray dog ended up at her comfortable home. After all, back in 2005, Mkombozi became famous for saving an abandoned newborn baby and carrying her back to her ‘home’, where she was nursing her own young.

    The heroic dog reportedly found the infant, wrapped in rags, in the Ngong Forest where she was scavanging for food. She was seen dragging a package (which had the baby inside) across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence before disappearing in the poor Nairobi neighborhood where she was living with her puppies.

    The infant and dog were soon discovered after two children heard the sound of a baby crying near their wooden shack, and alerted their parents. Aggrey Mwalimu, mother of the boys and owner of the shed, found the baby lying next to the dog and a puppy.

    The baby was taken to the hospital for treatment for exposure, where she recovered after a few weeks in intensive care. Media in Kenya report regularly of newborns abandoned by mothers because of extreme poverty and their inability to care for the child. Most people who abandon babies are never caught.

    After her last surviving puppy died, the mothering dog was taken in by the Kenya SPCA and tended to. The staff named her Mkombozi, which is swahili word for Savior. At first Mkombozi wasn’t overly happy to see her rescuers. Jean Gilchrist, executive director of the KSPCA recounted: “She wasn’t happy when we all poured into the compound. She decided to leave, but kids in the compound brought her back for the bath because she was full of ticks.” The tan short-haired mixed breed who was heavy with milk from nursing, was bathed and de-wormed and taken to the shelter.

    Gilchrist speculated that the dog was possibly trying to care for the child because most of her puppies had died. “She reckoned it was a young animal and possibly wanted to bring it up,” Gilchrist said. “It is something to do with the canine-human bond. Other dogs might have just left her there to die. … She’s obviously a very special dog,” Gilchrist added. “She is a very street-wise dog, that is for sure. The other dogs in the compound did not look very well, but she is the fattest of them all – she obviously knows how to look after herself.”

    The KSPCA decided to adopt Mkombozi soon after, putting Mkombozi’s days of scavenging for food to an end. And baby “Angel”, as she was called also found a new home. Her story generated a lot of interest and she was adopted after police were unsuccessful in finding her mother and she was not claimed. Were it not for Mkombozi’s kindness and heroic act, Angel would not be alive today.
    Watch this, there is a video to follow <3 http://www.dogheirs.com/tamara/posts/533-mkombozi-the-stray-dog-saved-the-life-of-a-newborn-baby

  12. Maybe a silly question, but why was the baby found “by children” when “an eyewitness” saw the dog put the baby with the puppies ? Why didn’t the eyewitness go straight to the authorities ??

  13. Throughout history (documented for those of you who need “proof”), Dogs have done heroic acts for and toward humans. They have slept on their master’s grave, they have nursed human babies (even other babies from other species), they have protected their humans from other dogs, from wolves, from other humans. Dogs are here for a very special reason, to teach humans about doing the right thing, we just haven’t learned the lesson yet. How much more clear does God need to be, he sent us a creature, whose name is the word = just spelled differently-who walks with us everyday as a reminder to love one another, care for one another, and be kind to one another, even a different species, we just don’t seem to get the message.

  14. Somewhat late to the party, hope you don’t mind;
    My church funds two orphanages, one in Kenya, one in Zimbabwe. The Kenyan one is mostly full of children abandoned by grandparents after the parents of the children die from aids, along with simple poverty.
    Women there do not have the right to say no to their husbands, and outside the protection of religious families, girls don’t get to say no to anyone. The child could easily have been the result of abuse, and dumping in the forest is how many of the children came to our orphanage. Older ones are often tied to trees in the hope the daily checks from the orphanage will find them. This is well after this incident though, and in a different part of Kenya.
    I expect the person who saw the dog cross the road didn’t care about it, just a dog dragging rubbish, till they heard the story later and realised what they’d seen.
    I suspect the dog was actually quite a bad canine mother, since she was so far away from her pups, scarpered rather than protect her pup, and had only one left yet full of milk. Birthing one pup doesn’t stimulate enough milk, so she must have had more, and the report said she was fatter than other dogs. Perfect candidate for the life she retired to with people, and perhaps the reason she took the baby rather than leaving it.
    I love how my two dogs are with my daughter, just turned 3, they know she’s a ‘pup’. One is a rescue with fear aggression towards adult strangers, so we just watch with care for the day they see her as grown. Though they already drop food out of their mouths for her, much to my horror, I have to pin them down if they get something they shouldn’t!

    • Great Answer. Indeed – no one brought up in a Western society can even comprehend what little girls still routinely suffer in some of the more rural parts of Africa. – It is commonplace to “Sell” a daughter from around the age of 12 as a “wife” to grown men from neighboring villages. Women and daughters are still considered property and do not have even the comprehension of options open to those people being so brimful of sanctimoniousness here. Relations often come and try to “reclaim” kids from orphanages once they reach the age of around 12 in order to use them for a quick sale (girls) or as cheap labour (boys and girls) .. It is very sad – and I am so please that this dog and baby story have fairly happy endings all round.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s