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Wander & enjoy the diversity...it feeds your soul “What is more miraculous than the moment?” Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh

Koh Samui's dogs

THAILAND | Saturday, 10 January 2009 | Views [2551]

1/11/09 Samui island’s ‘cat-like’ dogs:
Cats have interesting personalities -independent, yet affectionate; wild, yet gentle.  They can be like lap pets - enjoying your warmth, being peaceful and serene. Or they can be running wild – chasing each other or catching a mouse, as they apparently were bred to do.  

Samui’s dogs appear to have cat-like personalities.  As I walk down the sidewalk & busy streets full of trucks, cars, and especially motor scooters, I notice the independent savvy nature of the mostly same-looking skinny, short-haired, medium brown, often flea-bitten or scratched up dogs.  They seem have a distant look in their eyes as they guard an entrance to a shop, restaurant, or resort.  Although a few have come up to us at restaurants, most do not seem to really want people bothering them.  An occasional beach or restaurant dog may tolerate, even enjoy some petting or touches, but they seem to really enjoy their freedom!  

Occasionally they are affectionate – yesterday, one smallish, cute German Sheppard looking dog I had never seen before here at our bungalow, came up our steps & sat in front of our door.  I was tempted to give him a treat, but that would have been unfair to him, so I resisted.  If I had, I think I could have made a fairly consistent friend.  

We often see the wildness in them as well!  They have their own "jungle instincts" and we notice that when they are challenging other strays and fighting off territorial intruders!  A pack leader will notice an intruder, run back to round up the rest of the gang & then they all take off barking & chasing away the inevitable hungry other strays - defending their territory.  Once they have warded off these trespassers, they seem satisfied to go back to lying on their beach lounge chairs, listening to the ocean waves & falling asleep…however, one eye & ear warily & cunningly remain open!  

Although they may be wild, they are often gentle.  I noticed that when they casually & quietly come sit by us as we are eating, they often look away – with almost no eye contact.  The other morning I had a fairly large omelet with some leftovers, so I cut it up into bite size pieces & cautiously offered it to him – not knowing how he would take it – aggressively or not?  But he took is ever so gently – slowly and carefully.  Another fluffy, white & brown mix sat by us at dinner.  When I offered her some food, she smiled & also took it so carefully.  She was the only one so far that made eye contact & smiled.  She apparently has had a good experience with humans.  

The island dogs are remarkable – savvy about traffic & perceptive about humans!  How we treat each other – human or animal does make a difference!  I miss our beloved friend Max & look forward to taking care of more Humane Society dogs.  The pictures to the right – “Koh Samui's dogs” gives you a better idea of the island's independent, gentle dogs.

Tags: dogs, thailand

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