Mali's doggone tale of a pup named Kerouac
Click. This is one of those stories you don't mean to read because you're searching for something else, but you see the headline, and then suddenly you're at the end and smiling.
Journalist Alex Duval Smith is in Bamako, the capital of Mali, and has been writing on the conflict both in Mali and neighbouring countries, including the wartorn and often overlooked Central African Republic, where as he wrote in a Guardian piece last week about the "seeds of genocide" that may be sown.
And, he has also found time to write a piece for the BBC about the lost-and-found dog, Kerouac. "The runaway mutt, Kerouac, is not even mine. He came into my life - and ran out of it - two months ago. He and his French owner, Stephane, had parked their camper in my street for a week," he writes. "Despite the risk of kidnapping by al-Qaeda, there is still a breed of traveller that defies warnings by various governments to churn through this region in old lorries."
The dog ran off with a pack of hounds. Stephane left Mali in tears. But the cat dog came back. (Nine lives? Aren't there any good dog sayings?) Alex, became the new owner of the "bumptious slobber pot."
Ah, won't give away anymore. Just take a break. Give it a read: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25777312
Michelle Shephard is the Star's National Security correspondent and author of "Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism's Grey Zone." She is a three-time recipient of Canada's National Newspaper Award. Follow her on Twitter @shephardm