Cycling...and dogs

September 14, 2011

On the cycling group that I belong to, we’ve been having a big debate about cycling…and dogs…rather the menace that many cyclists face from dogs. Though some of us were only advocating getting stray dogs in the city neutered, several people thought we were advocating killing the dogs, and reacted heatedly, saying that dogs have as much right to life as we do, and must not be exterminated. In one instance where a young boy had allegedly been bitten to death by dogs, they quoted a newspaper report that said that the boy had been murdered, and THEN dogs had bitten his body, and that covered up the murder (which I think is as horrible.)

The debate has been waxing fast and furious, and no one seems willing to admit the truth, which is that even after repeated requests to our corporators, no one comes to capture the dogs and neuter them, and the political will to do this seems to be lacking. Cyclists, and pedestrians, are still at risk…and not only from stray dogs, I feel. When a dog bites you, you generaly have no way of finding out if it is rabid or not…and you have to go through the pain and expense of anti-rabies injections.

I’ve twice gone through this experience, once with a stray dog-bite and once with a bite from a pet dog where the owners hid inside the house, and I could not assume that such irresponsible ownerw would have given the shots properly.

For some reason, when I am on a cycle, dogs seem to get really aggressive, and I’ve often escaped being bitten only by an inch. And there have been several instances of children being bitten, too.

However, the last email in this thread was both informative and entertaining:

“I was walking down the road and a cutesy-pie Labrador was lying by the side of the road tied up. I’ve always loved dogs. All my life. Had one when I was a kid. Am great with most dogs. So, I wasn’t in the lest bit afraid and I simply walked past (mind you, there wasn’t room to walk anywhere else since the rest of the road was under water). 3 steps past, no warning, no growl, no snarl, no howl, I got bitten from behind.

"Yes, that's right. This damn 'lovable' Labrador literally crept up behind me and bit me! And he drew friggin' blood!! The owners came running out and were laughing. LAUGHING!!! They said that the dog tended to do this so they keep him inside but they tied him up on the road because they were cleaning the house. WTF?!?! "Anyway, I went to the hospital and got checked out and had to take a bunch of rabies injections. 3 apparently was safe because if the dog is domesticated, its usually vaccinated (or so people think). Me being suspicious me, I decided to check anyway. I went back to that house in the evening and badgered the people. Long story short, I bugged them for the vaccinations records until they admitted that the rabies vaccine had expired because THEY DIDN'T GIVE THE DOG ITS SHOT THAT YEAR!! The obnoxious plonker also had the gall to be offended that I might think I could have caught something from his 'pure-bred Labrador imported from New zealand'. He seemed to think that I should feel honoured to be bitten by a pure-bred dog. "Another incident. When I was footloose and fancy-free, I spent a month bouldering at Hampi. We had an entire pack of dogs which had been 'adopted' by the local hippie, trippie travellers who fed them. We'd get followed around everywhere by these things till it became a real problem and here's why. No matter how lovable stray dogs seem, you CANNOT treat them like your own dog. And this is something people seem to forget. You can't shoo it away, yell at it or smack it when its been naughty. It'll be friendly as long as you feed it. The second it feels threatened, it'll react and boy you'd better watch out. One of my friends had been taking care of one of the dogs for an entire month. One day it was getting in his way and he sort of pushed it aside. It simply turned around and bit him. He was from the US and while he could take one anti-rabies shot here, he ended up paying a fortune for the other 5 in the US. "Another of the same group headed to Hyderabad. Walking around in the city a stray just ran up and sank its teeth into his leg. And no, there was no provocation of any sort. Same result for him. "Reality check! It doesn't matter whether its a mongrel or a pure breed, stray or pet dog. If you get bitten, you need shots. Its just a question of how many. If it hasn't been proved that the dog has had its shots, you need MORE shots. And last but not the least, vaccinations or not IT BLOODY HURTS!! "For all you self righteous pacifists out there, understand that these creatures you are talking about aren't always the fuzzy, lovable creatures you think they are. And the ones around these parts have developed an aggressive pack mentality which I haven't seen before. My dog used to run with a pack when I was a kid but I NEVER saw any aggression from any of those dogs. And I never heard of any of such incidents. I don't know whats changed but the packs today are a real threat. I don't think they should all be exterminated but I sure as hell think they should all be neutered. Only thing is, they breed faster than we can neuter them. So, I'm very clear, the aggro ones reported should be put down. "However, I think the same thing should be extended to pet dogs. In recent times I've seen wayyyy too many crazy, aggro pet dogs. Perhaps its because many people today seem to think the idea of a dog is cute but are confronted with harsh reality when they have a pup for a few months. A stuffed animal doesn't pee and shit everywhere and gnaw on everything. So they leave them to their own devices, neglect them or beat them, turning them into monsters. And this new fad for getting big, aggressive foreign breeds, not really meant to be house pets has added to it. If a dog acts out and bites someone in puiblic, the owner needs to be fined and, if there's more than a couple of complaints, the same law for street dogs should apply to pet dogs. They need to be put down too while the owner needs to be punished severely!

“In hindsight, it wasn’t funny at all..”

I am laughing so much, I can’t stop..and all I have to say is, “That wasn’t hindsight, that was hindbite!” I do empathise with this person, I’ve been in the same situation, but I just wanted to share his extremely humorous account with all of you!