Yesterday Chunde and I made the six-hour trip to Maswa town, where I begin my domestic dog demography research. These dogs are currently not vaccinated for rabies or distemper, and it will be interesting to compare their population dynamics (basically their mortality and birth rates) to vaccinated dogs over the next four years.
I will be working in two villages near here, Buyubi and Iyogelo. The first village, Buyubi, is made up of about 500 households total and a “downtown” area spanning about one city block. Though it’s small, it’s very busy, as it is cotton harvest time.
Today we met with the Buyubi village officials for their approval of the research. They seem really excited about it, especially the thought of identifying individual dogs with tattoos and microchips, which is important to help track them over the course of the study. They particularly find it curious that this crazy girl came all the way from the United States to study their dogs.
I’m really excited to start too, and a little nervous. How will the villagers react to the research? Will they be willing to let us mark their dogs? We will see tomorrow, our first official day of field work.