Shaped by Africa, for Africa

2008-04-23 00:00

Every dog has its day, they say. And the day of the AfriCanis dawned in 1993 while the intrepid Johan Gallant was busy helping the SPCA to make a video documentary on mobile animal clinics. Among the skinny, ferreting dogs in the township, some reminded him of the dogs he had seen in the rural areas of the Congo in the fifties. “They must come from somewhere,” he said to himself, “but where?”

Johan explains: “From the moment I noticed those rural dogs, I couldn’t get them out of my head. They had been here for donkey’s years but were they the descendants of European dogs? Had they arrived earlier? How had they evolved?” With a determination that can only be called dogged, Johan and Edith began researching the origins of this humble hound.

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