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Old 08-02-09, 10:44 AM   #1
Airwick
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Bangkok dogs

BANGKOK, ThailandTonight, there are six. Six stray dogs. Six snouts. Buried in six soggy mounds of rice.The pack dines in a semicircle around Khun Somthanat, a housewife squatting near Pheung Mi Lane. Her left hand, fitted with a neon-orange industrial glove, rests in a pot brimming with rice and chicken bones.

Each dog eats from an upturned tin lid. And above the din of traffic, there is the smacking of dog tongues and metallic scrapes as the dogs nudge their lids across the pavement.

"I've been doing this for three years now. It's a form of making merit," Somthanat said in a lilting rasp. "They come with saliva spilling out of their mouths to eat here. I see them and feel extreme sorrow."

It is difficult to view Somthanat's nightly deed in a bad light. But municipal dogcatchers and animal welfare groups agree: Soft-hearted Buddhists are perpetuating Bangkok's stray dog problem.

Buddhists, who make up 95 percent of all Thais, are taught to revere living creatures and perform selfless acts called "making merit" that reduce suffering in the next life. Few merit-making acts are as public or entrenched as feeding strays. Each night around dusk, merit-makers across Bangkok dump leftovers into the street — often on a banana leaf or scrap of cardboard to dignify the meal.

"Feeding dogs, without sterilization, makes them healthy enough to produce bigger litter sizes," said Sheridan Conisbee, founder of Soi Cats and Dogs, a Bangkok-based stray animal advocacy group."Soi" means side street in Thai.

"With the merit-making idea so firmly entrenched," Conisbee said, "it's really difficult to change this."

Greater Bangkok is home to some 140,000 stray dogs, according a 2007 Bangkok Metropolitan Authority survey. But animal rescue groups dispute that count, suspecting the figure to be closer to 300,000.

The math of reproduction, however, is hard to dispute. Female dogs, on average, can birth two litters per year. Fat pregnant dogs typically birth more puppies. And with well-fed strays delivering up to 10 puppies per pregnancy, many can become great-great grandmothers before they die.

Exempting the city's sanitized downtown, stray dogs fill Bangkok's streets. At night, they roam in packs, eyes glowing green in the headlights' glare, slinking through traffic, toppling trash bins for food. (More Tramp than Lady.)

But in Thailand, most strays are regarded as "community dogs," which Humane Society International distinguishes from "ferals." Both types are homeless, but community dogs stick to one area, receive food from locals and produce bountiful litters. Ferals are wanderers, diseased and desperate, and they typically produce weak and puny litters.

This isn't to say community dogs are pretty. Some female mutts are so weathered by pregnancy their teats drag on the dirty asphalt. Others, crippled by run-ins with motorbikes, are reduced to pogoing around on one good leg. More still are devoured by mange, forever clawing at pink, sticky sores.

"There's no one to clean them up. No one to bathe them," said Wee Pornsawat, a furniture maker grilling shrimp off Bangkok's Sumkhumvit Road. "But there will always be someone to feed them."

Giving food is among the simplest and truest forms of merit-making, said Phra Mahajatuphom Thummopalo, a monk and radio disk jockey at Bangkok's Thammongkol temple. Thais, aware of monks' devotion to sustaining all life, often drop their unwanted dogs at temple gates after dark. When food is scare, he said, monks will actually forego dinner to feed the strays.

"Us monks, we don't know that overfeeding dogs makes more puppies. Maybe the laymen need to educate us," Thummopalo says. "We have a lot, we give. We have a little, we give also."

Along Pheung Mi Lane, a seventh arrival waddles towards Somthanat. The soi dog godmother reaches behind her back for a fresh tray. Tonight, she's offering Charoen Pokphand chicken — a brand name — and it falls from her glove with a wet plop.

"I pity them," she said. "People who are hungry can ask for food. Animals can't."
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Old 08-02-09, 10:46 AM   #2
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dare i ask if you have a point?
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Old 08-02-09, 10:52 AM   #3
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Photo Set

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Old 08-02-09, 10:52 AM   #4
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yeah. so what. point?
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Old 08-02-09, 11:07 AM   #5
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Old 08-02-09, 11:08 AM   #6
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yeah. so what. point?
This is Foo. No point needed.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:12 AM   #7
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Soi Dogs

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Old 08-02-09, 11:17 AM   #8
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Airwick = Constable Cut & Paste.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:19 AM   #9
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Airwick = Constable Cut & Paste.
Then go do something better.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:21 AM   #10
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Airwick I'm torn between disgust and sympathy.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:21 AM   #11
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EH, have a homeless dog issue up there?

Some here, but not bad.

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Airwick I'm torn between disgust and sympathy.
Holly, first saw a blog about the dogs over at blogspot. The author would document individual dogs and share their lives. (follow them for months) Then, something good or trajic would happen,....

wish I could find that blog.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:26 AM   #12
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EH, have a homeless dog issue up there?

Some here, but not bad.



Holly, first saw a blog about the dogs over at blogspot. The author would document individual dogs and share their lives. (follow them for months) Then, something good or trajic would happen,....

wish I could find that blog.
ever been to thailand?
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Old 08-02-09, 11:29 AM   #13
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EH, have a homeless dog issue up there?

Some here, but not bad.



Holly, first saw a blog about the dogs over at blogspot. The author would document individual dogs and share their lives. (follow them for months) Then, something good or trajic would happen,....

wish I could find that blog
.
is this the blog?
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Old 08-02-09, 11:34 AM   #14
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is this the blog?
yes!

thank you, wolfie da packs.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:35 AM   #15
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EH, have a homeless dog issue up there?

Some here, but not bad.
Can't say as we do. The greenbelts around here are home to coyotes--smaller dogs don't have much of a chance against the coyotes, and neither do cats .
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Old 08-02-09, 11:36 AM   #16
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yes!

thank you, wolfie da packs.
you're quite welcome Airwick.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:37 AM   #17
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example from the blog



"This is Julie, a black and white mutt that lives in the Chatuchak Weekend Market in northern Bangkok. She's zoning out, looking at the crowds of people walking by, from all over the world, and it's hot, and humid, and blazingly sunny, and you might even say the weather conditions aren't fit for a dog.

But there's great shopping here. Julie knows this, and she's contemplating just how powerful the draw of the market is. And she's trying to figure out how to capitalize on it by opening up her own business. Because that cart full of feather dusters to her right is just not the glamorous, hot item that shoppers are flocking to on this day.

But Julie has no business experience, which means she's jumping around from idea to idea - dog toys, liver flavored milkshakes, and tongue massages are a few of the ideas she's come up with -- but she has yet to come up a guaranteed moneymaker of an idea. Once that happens, Julie plans to open her own shop in the empty space upon which she's standing."
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Old 08-02-09, 11:38 AM   #18
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Airwick = Constable Cut & Paste.
correct.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:42 AM   #19
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"This is my buddy Ronnie, she's a two year old light brownish mutt who loves to run, and spends most of her time training with sprints up and down the streets of Bangkok. She's developed a healthy enthusiam over the years for racing cars and buses, and more often than not she wins these races easily.

Ronnie is pictured here catching her breath after spending an afternoon doing wind sprints up and down Ratchadapisek Road on a humid, 95 degree day. She also loves going to the motorcycle races that take place all over the capital on Saturday nights, which are fueled by large numbers of bored young people looking for excitement. (Much as they are in the rest of the world, from what I hear).

Ronnie has yet to win one of her races with the motorcycles -- which is hardly surprising when one considers that the motorcycles often exceed speeds of 110 miles per hour -- but she regularly beats tuktuks and taxi meters whenever they challenge her.

In a city where every human and dog seems to be constantly running from one place to another, Ronnie has carved out a niche as Bangkok's premier canine sprinter. The 2008 Olympics are just around the corner and I wouldn't be surprised to see Ronnie bring home a few medals from Beijing."
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Old 08-02-09, 11:44 AM   #20
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Old 08-02-09, 11:46 AM   #21
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"This is my buddy Ronnie, she's a two year old light brownish mutt who loves to run, and spends most of her time training with sprints up and down the streets of Bangkok."
great blog. Problem is you start to care about one of them and then something unexpected happens.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:46 AM   #22
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I feel a mixture of happyness and sadnessas i feel for both sides, the woman want to take care of a few homeless dogs right? but before you know it there will be more and more dogs to feed, and then is when the food starts to run low, and infectious disease spread, and fleas infest your yard, then your home, then you start running out of money, it goes on and on, then who do you call? thats right, animal Control.
Then they get to say,"I told you so!" I love animals to death, but have just gone thru exactly that, but with cats, never again, I had to get rid of all the strays in the yard (as I tried to spay neuter but just didn't have enough cash to do them all) spent over $800.00 having our dogs and cats treated for fleas! not to mention the $500.00 spent having the house treated for fleas! and the sadest part of all was when I took the strays to the "no kill" animal shelter I was told that half of them were going to be sent to the SPCA due to over crowded conditions at the no kill and were more than likely going to be putn down! When all I had to do in the begging was to listen to the animal controls advise and take three stray cats to the no kill shelter, then three cats would have been treated and adopted out instead of most of their offspring killed.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:48 AM   #23
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are you going to keep on posting cut and paste posts, or are you actually interested in helping those who are dealing with the situation there?
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Old 08-02-09, 11:52 AM   #24
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I feel a mixture of happyness and sadnessas i feel for both sides, the woman want to take care of a few homeless dogs right? .............
You tried, ilikebikes. Problem will never be solved, just help when you can.
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Old 08-02-09, 11:54 AM   #25
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are you going to keep on posting cut and paste posts, or are you actually interested in helping those who are dealing with the situation there?
I think we would be better off if we took care of our situation here at home first then try to help the rest of world with thier problems.
If we do that we will then have a solution that we can hand over to whoever needs it, and then help the world as at that time we would be able to. We have plenty of homeless dogs (and people!) right here in the good ole US of A, and that problem has to be solved before we can offer help to others.
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