The Day I’ve Got Bitten By A Stray Dog – A Traveller’s Horror Story
This is probably one of the worse things I imagined happening to me whilst travelling, but the funny thing is, it’s actually not the worst. It’s the most ironic, interesting, and somehow pain in the ass situation.
If you have been travelling Southeast Asia for a while now and have been to small towns, you will probably have noticed that there are a LOT of stray dogs everywhere! Sometimes they’re cute and sweet, sometimes, they’re vicious and scary! I can’t really blame them, if I’m a dog and a human around me trying to kill me to sell my meat, I’d be a monster.
I was volunteering at an animal shelter in Thailand, the shelter looks after dogs and cats who have been abandoned by their owner or have been maltreated. After my first day, I was walking back to my hostel to pick up my bags so I can move into the volunteer house.
As usual, I plugged in my headset to entertain myself for the 15-minute walk ahead of me. Not even five minutes of walking, I walked past a house where a dog was lying by the gate. I can’t really remember if I looked at the dog or just saw it from the corner of my eye. I continued my journey without thinking of this dog until suddenly, I felt someone or something attacked me from behind, someone or something hit my leg.
I didn’t know what happened, I didn’t know what was it. I stopped walking and looked back, now I see two guys on their scooter who stopped whilst talking to a teenage boy and was pointing at me. That was when I noticed the dog, which by now being dragged by his owner to get into the house gate.
I was so shocked that I stand there for a moment, looked at my leg, I see some blood but not too much. I turned around again to continue my walk, then I stopped. At this time, I know I had been bitten by a dog, I didn’t know what to do, all I want is to get back to my hostel where my friend Christopher was staying. The two guys on a scooter now have left, I waived to the teenage boy if he can come to me, who I assume the owner of the dog. I didn’t want to move because of the fear that the dog will run after me again, which is now chilling just outside of the gate.
The boy runs to me on his own scooter, I tried to tell him to take me to the hostel, unfortunately, we couldn’t communicate. So I tried my best to describe to him to just drive. Whilst we were driving toward the hostel, I was trying to calm down myself, I tried to stop my tears from falling. I get off the scooter and thanked the boy. I found myself running up to the room crying.
After a few moments of crying and washing the wounds off with water and soap, I called Denise who was in-charge in the sanctuary about what I should do. After I put down the phone, I went to the hospital and was told that I need to finish five set of the anti-rabies vaccine in the next couple of weeks. The vaccine costs about THB450 per shot which is about US$65 after all the five injections. This is obviously quite cheap, although I believe it might be more expensive in the bigger cities of Thailand.
I honestly thought of not doing my volunteer anymore, I was terrified to be around the dogs. Every time I walk by myself and see a random dog on the street, I get scared and find myself praying that the dog will just ignore me. The next day, I found myself walking back to the sanctuary to work. Even though I don’t feel safe to be around stray dogs, I know the ones we look after in the shelter wouldn’t harm me.
— Mary, Thailand 2017
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