If you follow us on Instagram, you know that we love animals. So I thought I would do a little roundup of our animal pictures with some additional info.
A lot of people in Guyana don’t like cats and they are not often kept in the house but they run wild outside. As you likely know, we inherited some kittens who are nearly grown now. We feed them and we enjoy their antics but they don’t let us touch them or cuddle them. They are definitely still wild.
People in Guyana are more likely to keep dogs as pets than cats. The dogs are mostly for protection so they are kept in the yard, sometimes even penned during the day and let out to patrol at night. Some dogs run wild, of course. Generally these dogs aren’t dangerous to people when you pass them. They are more likely to cower or run away because many people mistreat them. Sometimes it is so sad to see their condition.
Over the last month or so, a couple days of friendly stray dogs have started coming around our gate. We call this one Happy Puppy because she is so sweet and loves to be petted. We can see that she’s pregnant so we are hoping we won’t fall in love with her puppies. She brings a male dog around with her sometimes so we call him Boyfriend. He is also very sweet and loving and will even follow Tommy to the shop and wait for him to come home again.
SHEEP AND GOATS
Sheep and goats roam all over. We love watching the babies skip around! But they’re all pretty skittish so you can’t usually get close to pet them. One of our studies had some new babies which we were able to cuddle and pet so that was nice!
COWS AND PIGS
Herds of cows often roam down the road or will wade in the trenches, eating the water lilies. They can be fairly dangerous, especially if they have a baby nearby, so we are always very cautious when we pass them.
Pigs also roam the streets and feed in the trenches. Sometimes there are some giant mama pigs with a lot of cute little babies running after them!
DONKEYS AND HORSES
Donkeys and horses are used to pull carts of building supplies and such. When they’re not working, they’re allowed to wander around so we have a few families of horses and donkeys in our neighborhood who will graze on the grass in front of our house.
Even though there are monkeys native to Guyana, they are mostly in the interior so we rarely see a pet monkey. Since we’ve been here we’ve only seen two; one was a spider monkey and one was a squirrel monkey (locally called a sakiwinki).
The most common bird in Guyana is the kiskadee which is a beautiful yellow bird. There are also huge hawks which eat the snails from the trench. Other types of birds are the blue saki and the egret. Many people keep parrots as pets. And of course there are chickens, which are often allowed to run around in the yard.
In the wild (not pets) we’ve seen a monitor lizard, two kinds of mongoose, and a small black bat. None of them are dangerous in any way but they’re always interesting to run into because we don’t have those types of animals wild in the (northeastern) States. We’ve heard that there are crocodiles sometimes in the trenches but we have yet to see a (live) one.
And, as always, there’s the question about bugs. We get cockroaches in the home occasionally, usually found dead, but they’re not a bad infestation. We are constantly battling ants in the kitchen though. We have seen some very big spiders in the house and some really big, beautiful ones outside on the bushes. We don’t have tarantulas in the area where we are living so that is good.
We also have small geko lizards around the house. I almost hesitate to categorize them as “creepy crawlies” because they’re pretty cute and they eat the bugs, but they can frighten you sometimes!
So there you have it! After I started writing, I realized how many animals we see and encounter during a day! But we do enjoy it and– except for the creepy crawlies– they bring a lot of joy to our lives.