Thursday, December 18, 2008

Soi Dogs

I haven't asked, but I'm assuming that there is no "pound" here in Thailand. Speaking of course of a dog pound where unwanted or homeless dogs are kept, given away, and I guess euthanized if there are no takers.

I'm also guessing that the reason is because this is a Buddhist culture and they pretty much frown upon killing or harming animals. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, just that it is frowned upon in the Buddhist religion.

This brings me to the meat of my entry, Soi Dogs. A soi dog is basically a stray dog that lives in and around the streets of Thailand. Wherever you go there are dogs running wild, with apparently no owners. Even though they have no owners, they are fed, and recently with the cooler temperatures, clothed by the people who live in the area...the people who see the neighborhood dogs on a daily basis.

These dogs usually live in areas where there is high foot traffic...because where there are a lot of people, waiting for buses or running in and out of stores there are also street food vendors. This provides droppings, scraps and food buyers buying an extra stick of grilled chicken hearts to feed to "their" dogs. Pae and I probably spend more every month feeding our local 5 (Nu-deng, Whitey, Blacky, Fat Blacky and DingDong) than we spend on cell phone minutes to keep in touch with our families! SO you can say that these Soi Dogs become an extension of your family.
Another funny thing is that they are pretty territorial as far as their normal living areas. That is until the female dogs go in heat, and then all hell breaks loose between neighboring dog gangs. You see big furry head poodle dogs trying to hump bull dogs, you see sausage dogs, post climax, stuck to a shi-tzu/beagle mix! I swear there are so many COOL looking dogs here because of the interbreeding of breeds. A while back in fact, Pae's dog Pao, a Shi-Tzu, popped out a couple pups in one litter, one Shi-tzu/Shi-tzu and I think two Shi-tzu/Chow mixes! Talk about a funny looking Pao nursing two Chow pups that were almost her size after a week or two! That's the cool thing about dogs, they can hook up with the whole neighborhood of boy dogs in 6 or 7 days and pop out several different breed pups from several different dads! Amazing!

We like to take pictures of some of the Soi Dogs we run into as we go about our daily business or when we travel to other provinces. 90% of the times we come across a funny or cute dog we don't have our cameras, but those times that we do, we make sure we document. Here are some of the cuter or funnier dogs we've actually gotten on film (or memory card to be more accurate):


Beccarigg said...

That's funny that you named all those dogs! There were a lot of strays in Tennessee but nothing like what you're talking about. That cracks me up that people feed and clothe them! They are pretty cute though so I doubt I could resist either : )

Pae and Guy said...

There are actually a lot of them that are in pretty bad shape and walk around for months or years looking pathetic and suffering from some injury or disease. In the states they would certainly be put down, to ease their suffering, but not here.

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