Mahmood, a Saudi guy, used to own Casper. Because of constant work commitments he had to give him up for adoption and so Casper was fostered by one family in Jeddah who then passed him on to another foster family in KAUST before he ended up with us. Even though he’s been passed around so much, I’m grateful that he’s still a nice dog who doesn’t harbor ill feelings or abandonment issues.
Anyway Mahmood got in touch with us shortly after we got Casper. He would send us photos of Casper when he was a little puppy (but he still looked huge) and we would also send him recent photos. He told us that he wanted to see Casper again and invited us to his beach house in North Obhur. The timing was never right but we finally made it happen yesterday. He also asked if we could invite Archie the Weimaraner’s family as well. So the story with Archie is that years ago, KAUST imported a bunch of “military dogs” like weimaraners, German sheperds, etc to train as bomb sniffing/protection dogs. Archie was assigned to a trainer called Walid (don’t know if I spelled it right). After 2 or 3 years of working with Archie, Walid left his job at KAUST and so Archie was assigned to another trainer but they didn’t have the same chemistry. Archie was retired since he seemed loyal only to Walid and couldn’t work with another trainer. He was fostered by a family before he ended up with Yuho and Grace. We know Yuho and Grace because they are the same KAUST family who fostered Casper before we got him. So turns out Mahmood is friends with Walid, who missed Archie terribly and hadn’t seen him in 6 years. Yuho was away for work but Grace and Archie came along.
North Obhur in Jeddah is at the coast and people go there to swim, snorkle, dive, etc. The place is dotted with high end resorts and private villas where women can actually swim without their abayas on! Mahmood owns a nice piece of land there where he invites his friends and their dogs to play. Turns out they are part of the Jeddah chapter of a dog club. They gather at Mahmood’s place almost every weekend. Some people do kids play dates. They do dog play dates. We met a lovely Polish woman named Ayush who had the loveliest 5 children. They also adopted one of Mahmood’s dogs, Ruby. We met Walid and the trainer who last worked with Archie (forgot his name). A bunch of other trainers came with their purebred dogs. I think we had about 10 dogs at one time. It was really touching to see Casper run to Mahmood as soon as he arrived. Walid probably chocked back tears when he saw Archie again. It was a great moment for all!
We watched the sunset as the dogs played around. Dinner was a bunch of barbecued meat, tabbouleh salad, tahini, rice, etc. and for dessert assorted cakes and Arabic coffee. Arabic coffee smells amazing and looks like tea because it’s a bunch of herbs and spices mixed together with coffee but unfortunately I have caffeine sensitivity so I’ve never had it.
All in all we had a great day. It was the first time I hung out with Saudis and we had a really good experience. They are very nice and welcoming and generally friendly. The kids were nice and polite. Hope we get the chance to do it again!