Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Feb 26 2009

A fortunate detour

I didn’t feel like walking up the usual hill this morning. It was kind of gray and cool, and I felt I should walk up Yongye Road instead, dodging the cars as there’s no real space for pedestrians to walk due to its narrow width. I turned aside at the new motel and walked up a steep path to the small group of luxury homes on the crest of the hill, taking macro shots of water drops on leaves as I climbed. A man stared at me from his garden as I walked through the community to the road beyond.

I walked along the road and found a wooden deck shaped like the bow of a ship, complete with a wheel-shaped chair, jutting out over the cemetery on the hillside below. I did some tai-chi but it didn’t feel quite right, so I continued walking down through the curves of the slope, noting that the water in the gutters was the exact same color and consistency as Thai milk tea.

I was walking through the cemetery when I heard some dogs barking. That’s not unusual, as a pack of dogs in the area often barks at people passing through. This time, however, it was accompanied by a crying sound, like a cat or a baby, full of fear and anguish. It was disturbing, so I went up into the thickly treed cemetery to see what was going on.

At first I didn’t see anything, and the barking had stopped. I was about to leave when it started up again, and I turned a corner to see the pack of six or seven dogs attacking a smaller dog, which was making the crying sound I’d heard before. The small yellow dog, its fur covered with blood, lay on the ground crying as a larger dog chomped at its neck. “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!?” I yelled at the pack, hoping that they would hear my outrage even if they couldn’t understand my words. They scattered.

The little yellow dog lay on the ground, breathing rapidly. It had a collar on its neck, a sign that it was someone’s pet. “You’d better get out of here,” I told it, and it pulled itself up and began to walk, but only made it a few steps before collapsing again. Over by the front of the cemetery, I spied a man on a scooter squeaking a doggy toy as he rode, but he had left before I made it there.

I went back to the dog to make sure the other dogs weren’t renewing their attack, and got it to move a few more feet, rest, and then a few more, bringing us closer to the edge of the cemetery trees. The pack of wild dogs waited about fifty feet away. I was wondering what to do next when the man on the scooter rode back. “Are you looking for a dog?” I asked him. He said he was. “A yellow one?”

“Yes; he usually comes when he hears his toy,” he said, holding up the squeaky toy.

“I think I found him, but he’s hurt,” I said, leading him back to where the dog lay. Thanking me, the man gathered his pet up up and carried him back to the scooter as I described what had happened. He didn’t know why the dog wasn’t fighting back.

“He’s a retriever, he should know how to fight,” he told me, shaking his head as he headed for the vet. I don’t know why I felt like taking that path today, and maybe the man would have found his dog without my help before the pack finished it off. It could be that there’s nothing more to it than that, but then again, maybe not.

posted by Poagao at 5:17 pm  


  1. 🙂 From my point of view, the dog must have done something right and formed a good affinity with you before. This reminds me of “The Cat Returns” by Miyazaki Hayao. You are a very kind man!

    Comment by Daniel — February 26, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

  2. I’m so glad you were there to save that little guy – I hope he is okay. Good Job Big Dog!!!!

    Comment by your sis — February 27, 2009 @ 6:05 am

  3. It was just happenstance, I guess, but I’m glad it worked out.

    Comment by Poagao — February 27, 2009 @ 9:18 am

  4. chomping on the neck is of course, a killing move. i doubt the dog would be alive if you hadn’t come along.

    Comment by MJ Klein — February 27, 2009 @ 11:01 am

  5. Good you saved the dog, but the guy should know, um, that even the toughest dogs are no match for a pack teaming up on the animal.

    Comment by The Taipei Kid — February 27, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

  6. Yeah, I was a little surprised when he said that.

    Comment by Poagao — February 27, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

  7. he who saves a life saves the world 🙂

    Comment by v — February 28, 2009 @ 11:04 am

  8. wow. it’s a good thing you were there.

    Comment by david — March 1, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

  9. “He’s a retriever, he should know how to fight”

    Heh – I bet he wasn’t speaking in English. Retrievers are called Lie Quan (hunting dogs) in Chinese. While they are excellent dogs for hunters, in that they RETRIEVE well (ducks, pheasants, etc.) they don’t actually do any hunting themselves – they’re not bred for it.

    Poor dog – I hope he recovers all right…

    Comment by Maoman — March 23, 2009 @ 4:27 pm

  10. You’re right, Maoman.

    Comment by Poagao — March 23, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

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