Another dog day afternoon
PHUKET: In our new Family section, we welcome columnist Elizabeth Bradley, a British-American mum who spent a large portion of her childhood in Antibes, France (which she considers home).
Friday 2 March 2012, 04:19PM
Due to her father’s job, she travelled extensively between the US, EU, UK, and Asia, having lived in Geumchon, South Korea, and Cortona, Italy, before arriving in Phuket with her Canadian-American husband Billy, and three year-old daughter Kaya.
In her own words: “I’m an aesthete, philomath, vedantist, and major gamer, as well as an interfaith minister, working on her doctorate at the University of Sedona.”
All of this has created a travel and food addict, and a global citizen, as well as an eccentric mum. Each month in Family Matters, she will be writing about the blessings in her life on the island: her family, their travels, and holistic and artistic living.
It’s around 7am and we hear a rapping at the door. It seems like the person is very eager to be let in, perhaps angry even. We try to ignore it, but it doesn’t stop.
My husband, in a daze, goes downstairs and lets her in. Low and behold it is our adopted soi dog Lucy, who scrapes at our front door incessantly every morning, until she is allowed in. Accompanying her is Moonie, yet another dog neglected and deserted in our neighborhood.
Dogs seem to dominate my everyday life. Despite having rescued and adopted pets for years, I’ve never encountered more friendly and intriguing animals than Thai dogs. It seems they don’t know that they are canines, and some act like dignified gents wanting a cup of tea and a nice bowl of whatever you’re eating.
My daughter and I find watching the local dogs to be fascinating. Every day, Souvlaki, our neighbour Jess’s large adopted soi dog, takes a walk down the street as he goes over to the local grocery store. He sleeps there for a few hours, and then makes the trip back, as though coming home from work. When he walks down our street, our neighbour’s little dog Blackie barks at him ferociously, as though an invader is approaching.
Blackie, who is also called Batman, is the local sniper. He perches high on people’s houses and fences, and is almost unseen at night time. He is in fact like a cat, jumping and climbing where dogs don’t normally go. The funniest thing is that he gives us an escort whenever we leave the street, whether in our car or on foot. We feel like VIPs with a personal sniper dog escort, guiding us to our destination.
My mother is wary of dogs after my brother got his head bit open by one. When she came to our home, I had a tricky time explaining why she had about six dogs approach her, some of whom are very large. I must have seemed like a maniac for introducing each of them to her: “Mom, this is Kiko. And this is Blackie.”
She was not thrilled to be surrounded and my explanations of how friendly they are didn’t fly.
Our three year old is not like grandma; she has become the dogs’ helper and doctor. We’ve treated (and keep treating) the mange they get, and the countless alien-like ticks that are everywhere.
She goes to the vet with them, holds their paws. She even makes sure to talk with them every day, so if she becomes the dog whisperer when she gets older, I will blame them.
Follow Elizabeth and her family at sattvicfamily.net