Dog hero in Ghana rescues newborn baby

Dog hero rescues newborn baby in Ghana and joins the ranks of other African dogs who've become national heroes.

Sayyid Azim/AP
Another dog joins the ranks of national heroes for saving an abandoned baby. In this 2005 file photo, Felix Omondi, an 11-year-old student with his dog, now named Mkombozi (Saviour), in a compound on the outskirts of Nairobi. The dog was foraging for food when it retrieved an abandoned baby girl in a forest and carried the infant to its litter of puppies.

It’s not just moms who can feel unworthy these days. This news tidbit is for my Labrador retriever, the one who regularly sneaks onto the couch and scams us into giving him two dinners.

This week, a farm dog in the west African country of Ghana is being praised as a hero hound after saving the life of an abandoned two-week-old baby. Madam Rosemary Azure, a regional director of health in Ghana, told the Ghana News Agency that the dog apparently found the baby under a bridge in the northern part of the country near the regional capital of Bolgatana. Rather than abandon (or eat) the vulnerable tot, the dog curled up next to him for the night, refusing to leave his side.

A search party (looking for the dog) found the duo the next morning. The dog's owner had become worried that the pooch hadn't returned home, and had gotten a group together to look for the pup through through the nearby woods and fields. They spotted the dog under the bridge, and then saw that a baby was nuzzling into its fur.

Authorities say they have taken custody of the child and are investigating how he got under the bridge in the first place.

There have been a few such doggy heroes in Africa.

Perhaps most famous is the Kenyan stray now known as Mkombozi, who was foraging for food in 2005 when she found an abandoned infant girl in a plastic bag.  Mkombozi (which means “liberator” in Swahili) carried the baby back to her own litter of puppies – across busy roads, through a barbed wire fence and into one of the impoverished neighborhoods of Nairobi.

The dog became a national hero after residents heard the baby’s cries and found Mkombozi protecting her.  People still talk about the Mkombozi. When I was reporting in Kenya earlier this year at least a half dozen people asked whether I had heard of her.

We wonder what honors are in store for the Ghana pup.

As for the baby – he’s apparently doing OK after his night with the pooch. That’s one sure dog person in the making.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.