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some thoughts from Dozer
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Killing a dog in the street

I had just finally gotten used to the stray dog that lived around here. When we were first building, the dog – call him Red – was kind of a bother. First off, he would get into the garbage all the time. Secondly, he had a real bad case of mange. Thirdly, he was real friendly. I mean, when you got out of the car he would want to nuzzle up close and say hello. Not just to me – but everybody. This is not my favorite thing – a friendly stray dog with mange.

Later there was a problem with another semi-stray dog around here- Bo. This dog was very vicious and would run after motorcycles and bit several people. One of the construction workers got bit. Here, for some reason, they don’t put the dog under observation for rabies. If the dog hasn’t had shots, the person bit normally needs to get rabies treatment. It is a painful and expensive series of shots. The patient must go for shots maybe 10 separate times or so. Anyway, this dog – Bo – had everyone in the neighborhood pretty afraid. There was a man around the corner who was feeding the dog, but he didn’t claim ownership. So a group of workers got together and killed the dog. I didn’t see or hear it, but wasn’t sad about this at all. I certainly didn’t want to get bit by that dog. They later offered me a bit of sun dried dog meat, but I declined.

Now back to Red. People on the block were always shooing Red away. He would come around for food and always come waging his tail like he was saying “aren’t you glad to see me?”. Nobody ever gave him any food and he didn’t look that good. If he came around people would kick him to get out. Once he came in through the fence at 2 AM and knocked the garbage over and I was woken up to see who was on the land. I threw a rock at him.

About a couple of weeks ago I noticed that Red had shed the mange. He was starting to fill out. Then I saw him with a collar on. Our neighbor had started feeding him – so now you could call Red a ‘semi-stray’. He didn’t go in any of the houses or yards, but would stay on the street. Just coincidentally, today I was thinking how nice it was to have Red around. I felt kind of bad about being mean to him before. Seeing him now, especially like this, put me in a good mood – it was a real success story. Red wouldn’t give up to hardship and now he was looking good. Besides, I just realized what a good watch dog he was for the block. And with some problems with thieves in the area, that is a good thing.

About 2 hours ago I was working on my computer when I heard Red yelp. I didn’t really think anything about it, after all it was the yelp he would normally make if he was getting booted out of someone’s yard. Then later I got the full story. A young boy had rode by and hit Red with a stick and then apparently Red bit the boy. It doesn’t sound like Red, who is the friendliest dog you could ever meet. Who knows though.

Red was in property of the house at the far end of the block when a group of locals came to get him. They did ask if anyone was the dogs’ owner. To be fair, if an owner would have been found that would ‘take responsibility’ for the dog bite – nothing further would have happened. Before the neighbor (the ‘semi-owner’) had a chance to do anything, the group started clubbing the dog. The owner of the house where this was taking place told every one to get out, then they dragged to dog out and clubbed it to death.

It isn’t normal here to kill a dog which isn’t vicious. This whole episode makes me sick to my stomach. Red couldn’t hurt a fly and was unjustly clubbed to death in the street. Nobody on this block is happy about it.

2 Comments

  1. Follow up: the neighbor says that when someone said they were going to kill the dog she offered to drive the dog away and dump the dog about 20 miles from the house (to save the dogs life)! She went to get the car and they killed the dog then. Everyone seemed to love that dog except the group that killed it.

  2. Personally I hate street dogs with a vengeance. Where I livied up country in a small market town, the stray dogs became an exceeding menace. The reason they are tolerated is that they provide a “free” night watch service. Noone ventures out past them after 8pm. They form into a pack and will attack any strangers. This is common village practice. Noone specifically feeds them or accepts ownership, but these strays somehow allot themselves custodial space along the street. They are certainly a great danger to small children. The remedy is to use a catapult (20B). They get the message without associating the pain from a sharp stone to a particular individual who may be attacked. After a year the pog pack got really terrible with fighting over bitches in heat, terrible noise for 6pm to 10pm every night. I spoke to my friendly police lieutenant (wife’s 2nd cousin i think) and paid a hundred baht for some bullets and some Seesip for party later tha week. The problem quietly disappeared.

    btw If a thai actaully acknowledges ownership of a dog and the dog bites, the owner is liable for the costs of hospital treatment

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