I was ready to punch somebody. Angriest I’ve been since arriving in Thailand. Not sure if I was angry at someone or even if there was anyone to be angry at. Only thing I’m sure of is that I’m sad that Dong, my favorite dog in the pack that hangs near my apartment, is gone, and so are several of his pack.
Dong was the buddy of anyone who would stop and scratch behind his ears and pay attention to him for a while. He knew the patterns of his foreigner friends who live in the apt. building. He was usually lying down behind my scooter when I came out to leave for my morning java fix. If I left on foot he’d follow until we reached some invisible border before turning for home.
Hadn’t seen him in a few days. Looked for him last night and this morning. Seemed like there were fewer dogs than usual, so I asked a neighbor who feeds the scrawniest dogs every day if she’d seen Dong. She told me what she thinks happened.
She doesn’t ride a scooter, so she has a 200 meter walk to the nearest place moto taxis hang out whenever she leaves. This takes her past a construction site.
Last week, she said, she was while walking past the construction site trailed by three dogs when one of the workers hauled off and kicked one of the dogs half way across the narrow street for no apparent reason. She tore him a new one, using all the appropriate Thai words she knew. She realized later how ill-advised the confrontation and word choice was. She thinks he poisoned the dogs in retaliation.
One of the hardest but most essential lessons a foreigner has to internalize in both the Phils and Thailand reminds me of line in “Turn the Page” by Bob Segar:
And you always seem outnumbered,
you don’t dare make a stand