Empowering HIV/AIDS orphaned children in Africa to a self sustainable future

Catherine Koch

Catherine Koch

Founder and President of Love Is The Answer, a Canadian registered charity serving orphaned children in Africa.



Today a friend emailed me…‘Thank you for the lovely story about Caleb. It belongs on your blog. We want to know more about you as well. The caring you brought to others was nurtured by the love of Caleb.’

So I share this with you now…

A couple days ago the same friend had written and enquired about Caleb, my Beloved 4 legged, asking how our reunion had been when I returned from Africa.

During the first 5 months of 2007 while researching HIV/AIDS orphans in Africa, Caleb and I tried our very best to live quietly above our friend in a Vancouver sublet complete with hard wood floors, large open heat registers and a very urban sized back yard! Close to the beautiful Pacific Spirit Park on one side of us and English Bay on the other we were Blessed to enjoy great walks every day.

Caleb and I first met on a Saturday in July maybe 5 years ago now. I was in my driveway in northern Alberta selling an old truck to some people for $700 when a dog ran from alongside my home. The buyers asked  ‘Is that your dog’… ‘Oh no, I don’t have a dog’ I replied. Some hours later the same dog came up my driveway looking scared and tired and so thirsty. I could see he once wore a collar, he was big but somehow very comfortable and perfect in is size, he seemed gracious and very, very bright. I talked to him. I brought him a bowl of water. While we were visiting, my neighbor came over and said words that changed my life and Caleb’s too, I guess… ‘Catherine, earlier this morning I saw that dog thrown out of the side door of a van right here on our street.’

Caleb ( which means ‘dog’ and represents ‘faithful affection’ ) and I were pretty much together from that day forward, until that is, I left for Uganda. It was the hardest part for me about leaving and about being in Africa for over 9 months and still can make me cry, but I knew he’d be safe and Loved and have lots of fun on the beautiful rural acreage outside of Edmonton where friends had offered to keep him in my absence. Not to mention the Love he could bring to those there… It’s where he still is these days.

I replied to my friend’s recent enquiry…

‘Presently Caleb remains in Alberta running free and safe on an acreage while I seem to remain here in White Rock working for the children of Uganda…

Thanks for asking… It was very lovely for him and I to see one another… I recall those first moments when I arrived where he’s at… with casual familiarity Caleb greeted the others who emerged from the van after they had fetched me from the airport… I was the last to climb out of the vehicle… he turned, I turned, we saw one another, he looked older, more mature to me, perhaps I to him too. I squatted down, he smiled as he came gently, kind of humbly towards me, he licked me ( he is VERY selective in the licking department ), we communed, it felt so great to be touching him… after a while he turned, faced the others and sat directly on top of my feet… he licked me awake the next morning… ahhhhh, tears …. ‘

Thanks friend, for honoring and sharing Caleb’s and my Love… Cath

(The picture above is the one I carry with me…)

More to explorer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *