In my family, especially my mother, we love animals. In my home town in Dakar, Senegal, we have always had animals at home:

  • rabbits🐰,
  • dogs 🐢,
  • turtles 🐒,
  • hamsters 🐹,
  • hens πŸ“,
  • sheep πŸ‘,
  • fishes 🐟,
  • parrots 🦜,
  • birds 🐦 (actually, they don't live in our home, but they come every morning to sing, and receive food from my mother).

We loved Irou, and Irou loved us. Irou was born in October 2011, and three weeks later, she was a member of our family in Senegal. The first time Irou and I saw each other was in September 2015 when I went back to Senegal for the first time since I have been living in France (2010). Irou welcomed me like I was a king; she showed me genuine love like dogs always do. We are yet to understand by what miracle Irou knew I was a member of the family.

I remained in Senegal only for 2 weeks and went back to France. I thought that Irou would forget me, because we lived together only for 2 weeks. But here is how she welcomed me back one year later.

Irou, welcoming me back home
- The turtles went back into their shells and played dead.
- The hamsters looked at me for a second and showed me that they did not care at all for the litter I had brought them.
- The fish danced a little but only because they were happy to see my mother. - The rabbits were scared that I would eat them even though I wasn’t that hungry.
- The winner of the Best Welcome is therefore for Mademoiselle Irou. Thank you Irou!

Amadou Sall, December 2016

On saturday 23 March 2019, I was woken up with a very sad news: our dog, Irou, has passed away in Senegal while giving birth, and none of the puppies survived.

Irou's life could have been saved if it was not for the carelessness of the veterinarian, and the lack of empathy of the senegalese people toward animals: my mother took Irou to the veterinary clinic at 5 AM, because Irou was having some pain. But the clinic was closed and was set out to open at 8 AM. My mother called him to tell him the urgency but his response was "I cannot do anything for you before 9 AM". So at 7 AM, Irou lost her life while trying to give life.

I am really sad, because of what Irou represented for the family. But what saddens me the most is that, what happened to Irou is what happens to many men and women in the African continent every single day.

Many brave ladies die while giving birth because the system fails to take care of them. So many deaths that could have been prevented had the women received the right medical care. It's not about technology nor about money, it's about caring for people's lives.

If we don't care about human being, why would we care about animals?

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