Scott had his rant on dogs. Now this is mine.
This trip is causing me to develop a certain dislike for dogs. There’s something about a bike that makes an otherwise calm dog, lose its mind. Every house has at least one dog and then there are countless feral dogs in town (they could use a Bob Barker down here).
Dogs aren’t pets in the sense they are in the States. They serve a purpose, to guard and warn of threats. So chasing a cyclist is a normal response. They’re just doing what dogs do.
People do not call off their dog if it’s harassing us. If we’re lucky they’ll throw some stones at it to distract it, buying us some time to escape.
Today, I figure we were chased by about 40 dogs, sometimes singles, sometimes in packs. The packs are most worrisome because they surround the bike making it difficult to keep an eye on all of them. And dogs in packs tend to act more boldly.
The dogs in Peru are particularly aggressive. They’re the bared teeth, hair raised, snarling type. They bite the bags, leaving holes where their teeth penetrated the fabric. Fortunately we have never been bit. But our legs hang precariously close to their teeth and other cyclists have not been so fortunate. A cyclist ahead of us, Cherry, had to undergo the rabies series of shots after a dog bite.
So we follow the cue from the locals and throw stones. It’s not that we enjoy throwing stones at dogs. It’s about self-defense. And stones are the only thing that seems to keep them at bay. I should add that my aim is horrible. One time I threw a stone at a dog and hit Scott’s bike instead, which wasn’t even in the same direction as the dog. I really wish my parents would have enrolled me in Little League.
I don’t care if they bark from the side of the road or even if they run after the bike. They’ve officially invaded my space when they’re within a foot of my legs and if they’re lunging toward the bike. I’ve actually been looking for a long rope whip that I could carry to deter dogs from entering a perimeter of my bike. In my mind, I’d be like the Man from Snowy River cracking my whip chasing down wild brumbies. Scott thinks I’d probably just get it tangled up in my bike and crash.
This all may offend the dog lovers out there, but this is our reality ALL day, EVERY day. It makes us hate dogs.
And when they’re not chasing the bikes, the male dogs are trying to pee on them at every opportunity.
Man’s best friend my ass.