Old Patong:Dogs

In Old Patong, every bar, bungalow, house in the village,etc had at least one dog, many had many more than one!

When we moved into our little house near the bend of the road, by the cooling waterfall in the scenic village of SaiNamYen, we “inherited” a mess of dogs and cats!

At first, we were clearing the small front yard garden when we noticed several snakes slithering in and out. We immediately went to the local concrete block yard that was on the Patong Wat road near Thai boxer Juan Pedets house.

Acquired several thousand bricks, with the idea to entirely brick the front, back and side yard of our little place. This would later come back to haunt me!

Several of the young kids in the village happened by as I was crawling around the huge brick stacks and sitting the bricks down to make a patio. Soon, half the men in the village joined in, they worked fast and soon the entire yard was a big brick patio…:-)

I broght out several bottles of Mehkong & HoneYok and as well as candy for the children and yet another impromptu party began.

When we mentioned to our maid, the sweet “ETT” about our fear of cobra’s,etc, we found over the next few days that we had acquired 7 cats, a mother cat with litter. Soon we also “seemed” to have 6 of the local dogs that thought the food we left out for the cats[fish,etc bought every week from the traveling fish market that blared his loud speaker, often around 7AM “PLAMOOK”, our cats and dogs ate well. The villagers of course thought we were millionaire for feeding “their” animals.

Anyway, during the days, we were usually off to Thai Garden Restaurant or body surfing in the warm blue Andaman Sea and we took little notice of our newly aquired mini zoo of dogs and cats, BUT, all that changed EVERY NIGHT when “our” dogs would bark, fight, and generally make extreme noise ALL NIGHT LONG EVERY NIGHT!

Often, we’d go to the back porch, the pooches never fought in the front yard, but only fought near our bedroom in the back yard, and yell or throw something at the mongrels, this was a mere temporary halt to the constant dog battles. After a few weeks, we got used to it and slept threw “most” of their loud behavior…

One day our dear maid “ETT” said “hoak ma,jet meow, mai dee” and within a few days, we had only a few of the cats left, but the 6 dogs NEVER left!

Along the beaches, packs of dogs would run up and down, sometimes the local police would shoot them if they hassled the tourist too much, but usually they were from local bars/restaurants and in the afternoon they’d congregate at the beach, near Patong Bungalows and work their way from the northern Kalim side of the beach to the extreme south where the rice paddy emptied into Patong Bay.

In the late afternoons and early evenings, the water buffaloes would also leave the paddy behind Patong Beach and walk up and down the beach for several hours, some of them would end up in various bungalow yards and spook the tourist, but usually didn’t cause much harm.

The big pack of late afternoon dogs however would try to “herd” the water buffaloes, but the big brutes would have none of the hounds humor and ever once in a while you’d see a dog howling into the air from the sharp tip of an upset water buffalo!

ANY bar/restaurant that you went to or ANY place you sat on the beach in Old Patong, a local dog would immediately SIT on your feet. After a while, you just got used to it, they usually didn’t bite, but sometimes did bit the tourist, locals, even the seasoned expats, especially if you were on a motorbike, which all dogs recognized the exact tone of the muffler and for some reason, certain motor bikes infuriated the dogs and they’d make a wild run as you were motoring otherwise peacefully down the road.

The “ice boys”, the kids that delivered ice on their little skeleton of a honda 50cc with sidecar to hold the ice/water, were ALWAYS a target for the dogs, you’d see the iceboys going FULL THROTTLE down Soi Bangla[Bar Rd]with a pack of angry dogs chasing them from bar to bar, restaurant to restaurant. The iceboys were literally the fastest thing on Patong Beach…an icy blurr…

Traveling around various provinces of the Kingdom in the old days, most places you’d go had dogs, most were friendly.

Our Muslim friends ALWAYS stayed clear of the dogs and vice versa.

In Old Patong, the only dogs that wouldn’t sit on your feet or chase you down the road were the dogs on Crazy Daves bar, a velvet painting of dogs sitting around a table playing cards/gambling. This picture always seemed to perturb Father Charlie, who said “that’s not right, those dogs don’t have a soul”…

I wonder…

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