Saturday, November 25, 2006


Those literarians (literati?) out there might know what to expect in this essay from the title. For the rest of you, take a guess.

Times up.

A couple of days ago I was surprised on my walk to the school by the near absence of doggy poo on the sidewalk. There was only one smear. Also, I only saw one or two dogs on my walk. We are plagued, in my section of Bangkok by neighborhood dogs. Today there was only one deposit and I only spotted one loose dog. My average for loose dog spottings is about six and, curiously, that is about the average of dog dropping left on the sidewalks on any particular day. A coincidence? I think not.

I have never been a dog lover, to say the least. I may have been influenced by having been attacked by a dog as a preschooler. This might have put an unreasoning prejudice in my mind. The dog, with no adults in sight, bit me on the bridge of my nose. Perhaps I frightened it, although that is unlikely since it was much larger than me. My howls sent it off.

My family took me to an emergency hospital for rabies treatment. The scar remains.

That was only the beginning of my horrible encounters with neighborhood dogs as a very young boy. Dog owners, most of whom don’t like people, have set responses in defense of their vicious brutes:

“You shouldn’t show fear.”

Good advice. How about teaching your nasty animal not to want to kill little kids?

“He’s never hurt anybody before”

This after it has killed the baby.

“He won’t hurt you.”

Riiiight. As long as it knows you’re watching. If you weren’t around it would kill me.

Anyway, with the loose dogs in our Bangkok neighborhood, I had to establish dominance from the start. A dog threatened my two preteen girls on the first day I walked them to their new school. A couple of swift kicks in his direction kept him away from then on. Another dog snatched at a plastic bag of meat I was carrying home. I made sure to single him out for special treatment when I saw him again. And so it was for each dog at our first introduction. When you establish dominance from the start, they stay out of your way and, hopefully, they won’t attack your kids when you’re not around. Don’t give me bullshit that that’s Bangkok and not the US. Dogs are the same threat the world round.

Anyway, back to the opening. I saw few dogs and little doggy poo on my walks. Then I saw this article in The Bangkok Post. You can read it yourself *HERE* (if it’s still up). In case they take it down, I reprint it in its entirety.


Dog meat rising in popularity in Chiang Mai


Chiang Mai _ Dog meat is gaining in popularity in this northern province, with an increasing number of roadside food stalls serving dog meat dishes over the past few years. Three food shops on the side of the Chiang Mai-Chom Thong highway in San Pa Tong district are enjoying the rising popularity of dog meat.

It is especially popular at this time of the year when the weather is getting cooler as dog meat lovers believe it helps to warm up the body and contains medicinal properties.

Rattanaporn Norkhat, a dog meat shop owner, said her customers are mostly youngsters and unskilled workers who believe the meat is full of nutrients.

The meat of black dogs is believed to be more nutritious than others and has become more popular. Ms Rattanaporn said she sold more than 10kg of black dog meat a day.

Dried dog meat was among her customers' other favourite items, she said.

Ms Rattanaporn said food shops that sell dog meat dishes place a black ceramic pot in front of the shop to send ''signals'' to dog meat lovers.

In Chiang Mai, fresh dog meat is available at 40 baht per kilogramme.

The price for a whole large-breed dog, particularly those of foreign breeds, can be as much as 600 baht.

Another dog meat seller said she had been running her business for four years.

''My clients say the meat is delicious,'' said the seller.

However, she said she always lied to new customers that the food was made from lamb or sheep meat, for fear that they would feel disgusted upon learning that it was dog meat.

Perhaps that has something to do with their thinning in our neighborhood. What a marvelous development. Dogs are finally useful for something other than manufacturing shit and killing little kids.


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