The full moon, dogs, and policemen riding pink scooters.

The dogs and cats are going crazy at the moment, here in Mae Hong Son.  If they’re not fighting, screeching or howling, they’re stuck together.

It’s gross and it’s annoying. Dogs in Thailand are not like dogs back in The States.  Here, they’re dogs.  In The States, they’re pets.  I can actually see why some Asian countries decide to cook them up once in a while.   They can really be aggressive, annoying… you know, dickheads. Like all primal animals.  At times I feel threatened, though I’ve never been attacked or really felt in danger. I even avoid 95 percent of them that I come across.  Me.  Christopher Ian Smith.  I avoid dogs here. Back home people always correct me, “That isn’t a puppy, it’s a full grown dog, stupid”  Those people clearly aren’t seeing straight.  Of course they’re still a puppy – they still have their inner child.

Here, almost every canine is a DOG, no matter what its age.  Yet, I still have a heart for them and feel bad when I see one hopping on three legs.  It’s even worse when they move in packs. Ten of them hopping down the street like a corporate company picnic’s three legged man race.  Half their fur missing and aimlessly thrusting into the air at every other flea bag that’s within smelling distance.  “Why?!” i think, why?! in all that is decent in the streets of Asia, does someone not take a few of them to the vet, have them snipped, and whoola! you have less Sparkys and more Droopys.

Cultural differences

It’s not just my reasoning of, “Well just take away their natural, ‘God given ability’ to reproduce so that I don’t feel bad when I pass by.” It goes beyond that.  I’m appalled as every evening I see a multitude of townsfolk come down to the lake where  a couple of k9 packs are known to live, and they feed them.  Thais go out of their way to help nurture these dogs on the streets.  Every time I see this, I think, “What. the. crap?!”

Why would they nurture these dogs that are missing feet. That are shamelessly humping in front of restaurants.  That fight with themselves throughout the night, disturbing my sleep. Why are people perpetuating this type of animal living, that makes me feel uncomfortable when I walk through town or watch from my table.  Why doesn’t someone do something and literally cut off their balls and make MY life easier.

This… is very capitalistic of me to think. My problem = solved

One thing is for sure, the dogs don’t seem to mind their physical ailments. They don’t seem to worry about being hit by another car or an altercation with another dog, and actually seem quite as happy as any dog in the USA.  Not only that, but half of the pack have collars.  They ARE pets.  Pets let to roam on their own.  Pets that tap into their instincts and hold double lives.  Pets that hobble on three legs.  The townspeople still love these dogs despite the fact that they’re not puppies, but dirty, mangy dogs.

This…is very Buddhist of them. They = We

So who’s “worse”?  (“right” is not the correct term in for this post)

You can even take the “capitalist” and “Buddhist” comments out of this post before answering if it makes it easier.

I don’t like what I see, but it’s also because I have to deal with MY feelings.  The townspeople probably also don’t like what they see, but they seem to deal with it by offering nutrition to these animals.  They LIVE with it and have been for generations. They choose to help, nurture and let them live.  I’m just visiting, and I choose castration and extermination.

… at this point, I can’t help but wonder who’s more “civilized,” although that’s always a silly question, given that each culture has it’s own way of dealing with issues.  Randomly, my mind wanders to America’s homeless and how we sometimes take time to give them food, (usually around Thanksgiving and Christmas), and sometimes ignore them.  This is almost too similar to Thailand’s dog situation for me to continue thinking about comfortably… followed by the acknowledgment that there seem to be very few people in Thailand who I’ve observed that would be considered “homeless.”  I attribute this cultural aspect to Buddhist temples who welcome, feed, and house anyone for an unlimited amount of time.

Thais, from this stance, seem to treat their dogs as well as we treat our homeless… and they treat their homeless like people on a spiritual quest but of course there’s more to it than that on both sides.   The next question I would follow up with, which might do a double take on mine and your answer, would revolve around quality of life.

…Cultural pondering…

Oi!.. I begin writing with thoughts of entertaining with glimpses of a policeman riding a pink scooter on a beer run, creating thrilling tales of external drive woes (all my videos and photos of this year!), or amusing myself with thoughts of grandiose proportions, involving the power station that goes out whenever I walk by it, and how “crazy” always seems to wait for my arrival to smirk, wrinkle up its mustache and pull back its trench coat to expose itself.  Instead, I gave you 800 words inspired by humping dogs.

Hey, whatever you do or read with your time is your business. Just wait until tomorrow’s post.  Thanks for reading.

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