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Sunday, July 6th, 2003

Johannesburg, South Africa

Fluffy and Bruno

Keeping the Ashram safe

South Africa is a dangerous place. Although things are improving now, South Africa's soaring crime rate once earned it the reputation of being the most dangerous country in the world outside of a war zone!

It shows: security is big business here. All the houses have burglar-proof bars and gates over the windows and doors, and are surrounded by six to eight foot high fences topped with barbed or razor wire, and the yards are patrolled by guard dogs, usually Alsatians (German shepherds).

Though not as highly pedigreed, the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Ashram here in Lenasia also has two watchdogs, Fluffy (who has the distinction of having seventeen pups in one litter) and one of her sons, Bruno.

In the morning, when I step out of my room, they run up to me and stretch in a singular way, putting both front legs forward, and stretching until their chests and heads touch the ground. "Dandavat Fluffy! Dandavat Bruno!"

Although they laze around in the sun all day, they are always vigilant, and at night, when it counts, they are on duty, barking at any activity near the Ashram gate or fence.

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