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Dog Bit 25/05/03

On Sunday the 25th May I was bitten by a dog, an Alsatian or German Shepherd to be precise. I was just outside my friend Rolandís house - we were loading the trucks with our bikes. Myself, Roland, his wife Miriam and Bruno were going to get some practice for this weekís 2 day Enduro up at Kaow Kiaow. Itís not far away just about half an hour up the road.

Kaow Kiaow or at least the place I know as Kaow Kiaow is set just off to the east of the main Chonburi Rayong hi-way, coming from the south you have to turn off to the left and double back across the fly-over that cross's the main road passing the Chonburi flying club on the left as you make the U turn. This is a very nice flying club with a lot of cash having been spent on it over the years. It is set in the valley just below the hills to the north west surrounded by palm trees with very pretty hangers and a very reasonable sized restaurant and shop at the side of the runway which runs more or less East to West. This place seems always to be very busy on a Sunday with Ultra Light aircraft circling all day. These appear to be mainly the canvas winged type but with full light aircraft controls. Three axle aircraft for those in the know. Just over the bridge is the start and finish site of all the Enduro's that start from there. This is on the field set off the the left of the road when you are heading east. There is a medium sized Thai style restaurant immediately before the field which I am sure is extremely grateful for all the patronage given by the riders and crews at the time of any event. On Saturday and Sunday the field was set out with the Park-fema over on the far side of the field covered with an open sided tent structure about 50mt, long these where also erected for the competitors or at least the one's who arrived first on both the road and the restaurant side proving a goodly amount of shade from the hot midday Thai sun. Down the bottom of the field there was the motor cross test which was to be the last part of the event. Set out with substantial wooden stakes taped with Red Bull plastic tape no doubt left over form the sponsorship provided from one of the previous events. This event was sponsored by Tiger Motor Cycles this is a very cheap step through design made in Thailand. They had 4 dolly birds dressed in bikini tops and need length look alike Tiger skinned boots and shorts. The girls where trying to look interested but I really don't imagine it was the seen of there choice. There where however to be many photo opportunities during the event.

Bruno and I had put our bikes on the back of my truck already but only mine was tied down with straps when I realised that I had left my riding gear back around at my house. Roland & Bruno were putting Miriamís bike on Rolandís truck just around the corner from Rolandís house but inside the security gates of Swiss Paradise estate.  

If  I had have been there I would not have been set upon by these three dogs. The dogs that I saw were the Alsatian plus two mongrel mutts. However Roland says there was a Rottweiler as well in on the action. Apparently he could see what was happening through two rows of security gates. I later found out there is a Rottweiler amongst the dogs owned by the people who own the house directly opposite his, but I think I would have noticed if one was attacking me. Anyway there I was just walking up the road when I heard the pack behind me so I turned to face them. Just doing this in a lot of cases will scare them away and if it had only been the two somewhat smaller mutts.  I am guessing this would have been the case as Thai dogs are not normally so brave once they have been faced down.  

So this particular ploy had failed and I was dressed in only shoes, shorts and open shirt with no weapon of any sort at hand. Again banking on dogís normal cowardice I tried to make myself look as big and mean as possible. Unfortunately this didnít work either as the Alsatian bit into my right fore-arm. I could see itís left upper canine tooth piercing the flesh of my fore-arm, ripping down into the muscle below the skin. This was surprisingly not nearly as painful as I expected it would be - at the time it crossed my mind to try pull away but the flesh was already ripping and I wanted at this time to avoid extending the already expanding gash in the skin and exposing more of the muscle tissue below, while keeping my right arm still attached to my body.  

I was really wishing that I had a gun or at least a knife. It had hold of my right arm and I am right handed. Luckily someone, the maid or somebody from the house on the other side of the road called them off and they went scurrying home. I looked at my wounds which were really quite superficial apart from the one major puncture caused by the single tooth. However, blood was running down my fore-arm so I realised it was a hospital job, not so much for the wounds but for the very expensive (and necessary) rabies shots.  

I walked over to the gates of the house opposite which by this time were shut to my great relief with the dogs secure inside. I shouted to the people I could see up the drive that their dogs had bitten me and it was going to cost them the price of the treatment in the hospital. Their reaction was somewhat matter of fact and in Thai, which I didnít understand a word of. Luckily for me there was one of Rolandís staff near at hand by this time, who explained to me that they had said that I should go to the hospital to get the arm etc, treated passing the bill into them. The maid at the house had already spoken to the owner of the house and dogs on the phone.  

Miriam was kind enough to give me some first aid having washed the majority of the blood away under the tap at the kitchen sink. A large plaster over the major wound and paper kitchen towel saved blood from pouring down staining the inside of my truck on the way to the hospital; this did the job very well.  First I went back around to my house to collect my credit cards because I had no idea what price I would be looking at. The treatment in the hospital was excellent; no bother, no waiting. The first of 5 rabies shots plus a tetanus shot. I had a course of tetanus shots about 8 years ago which should last for ten years but I thought ĎWhat the hellí I might as well have a further booster while someone else is footing the bill. 

I found out later that they were so matter of fact back at the house about the dog biting people because I am about the fifth person to be attacked is this way. The house is a big two storey affair, set in a considerable amount of grounds owned by a Thai man who has business in the city. He apparently spends very little time there as his wife lives and runs a business in Macau.  

I passed the bill from the hospital in later that day when the staff there told me that the owner would be there tomorrow and pay it then. As you can imagine I was quite sceptical about this but, true to their word, when I went around the next evening the money had already been passed to my friend Roland. 

So that was the end of my dayís riding and also the end of my Enduro for that week too. The arm is not so painful at all, only when lifting something heavy and that is just the small amount of damage caused to the muscle. However while I was getting treated the first time the doctor told me that they couldnít stitch it because of the bacteria from the dogs mouth. This being the case I guess itís going to take a few months for the wound to close so I have to avoid getting any dirt in it till it is fully healed. 

This being the case I agreed to service for Roland & Bruno, super woman bottled out having ridden the course in practice that Sunday. It was apparently not so difficult but hard work with a good few hill climbs. The organization was very good right up to international standard back at the start and finish. However the contents of the actual riding was lacking with only about 60 to 70 km over two days. The first day on Saturday consisted of only one special test, more or less just a motor cross test of 5 km so waiting around all day for that was something of a bore. Sunday was supposed to be demanding on the muscles in places but with only three sections of 20 km or so each then it was hardly an Enduro by English standards. A two day event there would be in the region of 200 to 240 miles about 300 to 380 km.  

My job was to meet them en route where the mountain tracks passed over a road, the first one was easy I left before the start following the father of the Thai champion, Manot. From the map I was given at the start I would never have found it. The only way to have done it without following him would have been to have a very good map with a GPS reference and a GPS unit. After that I was on my own as Manot was the second through that check and his father had to leave as soon as he did just to get to the second check in time to meet him again. Following the map after Roland had left and not waiting for Bruno to arrive, I found the second service point in time to see Bruno there. All that was required at both of these was a quick slurp of water by both riders as there were no mechanical problems on either of the two KTM400ís. Then it was off to find the lunch break which was down a rather rough off-road track capable of being part of the track the riders were on themselves.  

At one point I think that I put a dent in the van roof with my head having found a particularly rough spot as I had to keep the speed up having made several wrong turns. Roland had arrived just before me at the lunch break and we were sitting down eating sandwiches by 10.30 am, having completed two out of the three sections leaving only one more and a short M/C test for after lunch. After lunch, which ended at about 1.30pm for me, it was back to the start.  

There I meet Miriam who had been looking after Black (my boy) along with her son Lee Roy and Black get along very well and had started the day with a swim at about 6.45am in the pool at Rolandís house. The rest of the morning consisted of Scooby Doo films and playing with playboys etc, so they had a fine time. 

Later when the M/C test finally started I was to take some videos of that part of the event with Brunoís camera. Now this is the first time I have ever picked such a thing up so I have no idea if I was actually recording anything or not. Unfortunately ⅔rd of the way through this I had a call from Noi who wanted to go to the doctors so the day was cut short. I missed the meal, the Thai whisky and the prize presentation so at this point I have no idea of the results. Itís sure my guess that Manot won yet again but you never know so if you want to know just send an email and Iíll let you know. 

Black slept most of the way home and I felt like doing the same but all in all it was a very nice day.  

Dogs are a problem in Thailand. There are those like the ones that attacked me on this occasion which are kept as guard dogs behind large security fencing and gates - they are never exercised, let alone properly, so if they do get out they are a menace. It could so easily have been Black or Lee Roy that was being ripped apart. Then there are the more common Soi dogs that are not really owned by anybody, but live off scraps from the table and breed with no real care being taken at all - certainly no vaccinations and not owned by anybody if one happens to bite a passer by.  I am told that the police occasionally have spurges where they make a point of arranging raiding parties to shoot them. 

Now before the Dog lovers among you start on me I like dogs, other peoples anyway as I donít have the time or inclination to look after one myself. The dog you see on my about me page was just a stray dog that turned up one day when I was away in China on a buying trip. Noi feed him so he stayed he eventually met his end when he bit an old lady who was passing down the road some way, I had to have him put down the old lady was taken to hospital by me and the bill was paid. This could have been a young child. Now I liked that dog and I did my part but I could not take the chance of him seriously hurting somebody else. The Alsatian is still alive and has not died from biting me.

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