Day 90: My puppy love

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February 3rd 2019
Published: February 24th 2019
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In case you were wondering, I have a certain fondness for animals, particularly dogs. It seems whenever traveling, they tend to gravitate towards friends may say it is the other way around. Regardless there is usually one or two stories about a pack of dogs following us home because I snuck hotdog pieces I couldn’t finish from an unwanted birthday appetizer or getting scolded for going too near the dogs on the street. The reminder that just because I am friendly doesn‘t mean they are friendly. Anywho, Cambodia has not been any different. There are 3 kinds of dogs here: the true stray, the truly owned, and the your mine dog because you hang out here but every day you go on your merry way and may or may not come back or make it through your day. This constant presence of dogs and very few who are actually cared for have made Cambodia particularly challenging for me. We are constantly bringing leftovers out of restaurants and strategically placing them for the neighborhood pups or enjoy eating street food because one will most certainly plop down next to you hoping to get a few scraps. It has also made village delivery days an up and down rollercoaster. This little guy was the funniest. He would come up to you and snuggle but when you pet him or picked him up he would yelp like you hurt him but just curl in no problem. He got pretty upset and pouted away from his litter mates when Heng accidentally got him wet from throwing out a bucket of water. Once he found the sun and remembered how to shake he did better. The downside is when the dogs won’t come near you or back away fearfully when you approach them because they are not pets and regularly get kicked, hit or swatted out of the way. The kids actually play very rough with each other here and it is not uncommon for them to smack each other in the course of their games. This also means they play rough with the dogs, cycling between cuddling and borderline breaking the pups because they don’t recognize their own strength. One thing I am looking forward to most about coming home is the ability to care for dogs again and see dogs properly cared for.


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