Tala is a Sudanese dog of dubious origins. Her grandmother has only one eye and still lives on the streets avoiding being stoned and pumping out puppies at a phenomenal rate. Her mother was rescued by a Dutch couple along with a few other puppies (not siblings…). Rather irresponsibly Tala’s mother insisted on becoming pregnant before her first birthday. The task then fell to the diplomatic parents to ply other diplomats with copious drinks in the hopes that someone would say yes to one of the little puppies…
Tala was one of the lucky ones and quickly settled into a life of luxury as one of the most pampered dogs in Khartoum – fillet steaks, hand-made leather collars, a vintage william morris print bed….
She took to guarding her new house immediately.
As Tala grew up she became more than just your average Sudanese street dog (although my husband may beg to differ). Her striking resemblance to Pharaonic dogs of ancient Nubia became clear as her ears went up and a lithe long-legged frame developed. Her appearance is similar to that of Basenjis (from Southern Sudan), Pharaoh Hounds (Malta with Egyptian origins), and Cirneco dell’Etnas (Siciliy with Egyptian origins). These breeds have changed little since early domestication and are known as ‘primitive’ dogs.
After a visit to the Ancient Nubia room of the British Museum in June it became clear that Tala was a Nubian hound! Calling her a ‘pariah’ or ‘street dog’ simply wouldn’t do such a regal dog justice….