A few years ago, shortly after I moved to Ayutthaya, I drove a friend to hospital after he’d been attacked by a dog. At the pharmacy, half joking, he asked the pharmacist whether she had any medicine to deal with dogs. The pharmacist wouldn’t oblige, but an elderly woman in an adjacent queue piped up: take some minced meat, add some powdered soap, and get some medicine from a particular stall in the market.
Of course, my friend, a dog-lover himself, didn’t follow up on the advice. However, sadly, many people do, and many dogs die in terrible agony from having been poisoned by neighbours. One particularly upsetting incident happened in Ayutthaya recently.
A local policeman, Somyos, owned a one year old macaque named Taew and a dog, Suea. They were best friends. Taew used to like to ride on Suea’s back. Such was the sight that local TV stations had broadcast footage of Taew the dog jockey.
A neighbour (also a policeman) resented the couple’s fame, and was particularly enraged when one day Taew and Suea climbed into the back of his pickup. In retaliation, it appears, he poisoned Somyos’ two cats, so Somyos took to chaining up Taew and Suea to protect them. The neighbour, however, apparently still managed to poison Suea. And so the newspapers showed a heart-rending picture of Taew clinging to the back of the dead Suea, Taew not realising that his best friend was dead.
So, so sad.
(Both photographs from The Bangkok Post.)