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Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Changing strays in suburban Bangkok

I recently returned to Bangkok after a year away. What I noticed last time was there were far fewer stay dogs in the suburbs—at least near where I was staying. I was told that the government had rounded them up and created a home for them somewhere—not sure on the details, it was just hearsay. But there were certainly fewer strays.

On this visit I notice a couple of things. There are more strays again and the variety has changed. Previously the strays were usually unhealthy looking bitzers. They're still here but there are also two kinds of dogs that are popular with Bangkok dog owners, perhaps because of increasing prosperity in Thailand. First is the fluffy white ones and second is the larger aggressive ones.

The older strays were never aggressive. But now watch dogs are common. I'm often barked at when walking past the gate of a big house with a high wall. The other night a group of dogs were sleeping outside a block of home units. I disturbed them by walking past. One was quite aggressive. It followed me and snapped at my bum, but just missed. Usually I ignore aggressive dogs but with this one I stopped and stared at it. It backed off.

The point I'm making is that unless Thailand has an education program for dog owners, the stray problem will never go away.

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