2001

While living n Nong Khai, I would take my walks in the morning as early as I could drag myself out of bed after a night of loud music and singing from the restaurants around home. These walks would usually take from half an hour to an hour and a half and I would try to vary the route for variety.

There are a lot of dogs in this part of Nong Khai, and they usually hang out in their driveways or on the sidewalks in front of their houses. Being social animals, at this hour of the morning, they would be with a friend or two or three. Unfortunately, dogs in these parts are fairly territorial and were particularly suspicious of me. On many routes, I would be greeted by growls and snarls as I walked closer and was often assaulted by one or more dogs. The worst was when three or four of them would try to encircle me, all the while yapping and bearing their teeth. In that instance, I felt the need to wallop one of them in the teeth with the rubber toe of my shoe. Twice. I really didn't want to hurt him, but more importantly, I didn't want to be bitten.

Eventually, I learned that the best defense against this harassment was go put on a good offensive rush. As I approached aggressive looking dogs, I would bear my teeth and let out a low growl. This was often enough to make them back away. If they took the challenge and came toward me, I rushed toward them. This was only done if they weren't deterred by the initial ploy, and I never again had to resort to the backup plan of actually hitting one of them.

Here in Nondu, on the other hand, as I take my walks, usually in the late afternoon or evening, the dogs are out on the road or sometimes in their driveways and they don't usually really pay much attention to me. When they look at me, it looks like they are smiling. Not big wide grins like you see on a dog that just had a great time chasing squirrels, but kind of a friendly look.

Maybe its the difference between city dog and country dog.

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