Our first dog guardian of the week for 2020 is young Sabelo Radebe. Sabelo is only 7 years old and he started at Funda Nenja at the beginning of this term. During his first puppy class he learnt the importance of giving your dog a good name and he decided to name his beautiful puppy Umngani, which means ‘friend’ in isiZulu.
Sabelo said that he came to Funda Nenja to “learn how to be good to Umngani” and “to learn Umngani how to be good to me and to learn him to be my friend”.
Sabelo takes training very seriously and is a very attentive and gentle student. After only two lessons he has already taught sweet Umngani to sit and shake paws using food rewards. He also spends a lot of time talking intently to Umngani, telling him how clever and good he is, and what he is trying to teach him and why it is important.
During one exchange, while Sabelo was totally unaware he was been observed, he told Umngani that “I will teach you to shake hands so that you can greet the people and the dogs nicely when you see them, and they will like you lots and be your friend, and to do this you must put your hand in my hand and we must shake hands like this (as he cups his hand under Umngani’s paw)... and then we know that we can be friends forever” [quote translated from isiZulu].
It is very heartwarming to watch these two boys interact as they only have eyes for each other.
Umngani is a very sweet, calm and gentle young puppy, and obviously devoted to his young handler. Sabelo says that the best thing about Umngani is that he “loves to play… I love to play ball and Umngani loves to play with the ball… we run and we chase… then we run and chase more… and then we fall down because the legs are too tired…but still we play together”. He says that he also likes “to give food to Umngani because he gets so happy when I give him the food”.
When he grows up this caring and gentle young man would like to be a “policeman... with Umngani... because Umngani can run fast and catch the bad men”.
Pictured above is Sabelo Radebeand his dog Umngani.
News supplied by Funda Nenja.