I used to be a dog person. Foochie, Sparky, Top, Buddy – all faithful and loving companions. Now that I’ve lived in Peru nearly two years, I hate dogs. Some folks are responsible pet owners and take good care of their dogs – they feed them and keep them in their house or backyard (or roof as a cheap but effective alarm system). Everyone else is a shitty pet owner who lets their dog run around in the streets where they’re either fighting or f*cking.
Rex, my host family’s dog, is a beautiful black lab. Most times he's a huge pain in the ass but he's been kind of entertaining the past couple of weeks. My host family has a gamecock that they let run around in the backyard. The cock thinks it’s a dog or the dog thinks it’s a cock - either way, they fight all the time. The cock will attack Rex and relentlessly peck the shit out of the poor dog, even though the dog starts it most of the time. The cock will chase Rex around the backyard until Rex gets tired at which point he’ll turn around and grab the cock’s entire head in its mouth and gnaw on it a while. When Rex lets him go, the tenacious cock will go right back to chasing and pecking.
I’ve been bitten twice by dogs here. The first time Rex escaped from the back yard and followed me to buy bread in the morning. When we got to the bakery the owner’s dog Bobby, a small older gray dog that would be kind of cute if it wasn’t such a shithead, started fighting with Rex. I got caught in the middle and got bit on the ankle. It wasn’t a bad bite but it was enough to bleed all over my sock for a while. I got home, cleaned the wound and called the Peace Corps doctor. She told me to go find the vaccination records which of course the owners didn’t have. Even though rabies isn’t a big problem in Peru, I still had to go to Lima to get rabies vaccinations (not the painful ones in the stomach thank God). Last week, I was walking to buy bread and saw Bobby in the plaza. I gave Bobby a wide berth and kept walking on my merry way. The little f*cker circled back around behind me and bit the shit out of my ankle again.
When I go running in the evenings, dogs will chase me down the street until I bend down to pick up a handful of rocks to throw at them. It’s times like that I wish I was Nolan Ryan so I could bean the little shitheads with a rock at 100 mph (or put them in a head lock and pound the shit of them like they were Robin Ventura).