Dog Days, Wild Dogs, Safe Dog Travel

Posted by Raja on July 21st, 2010 — Posted in Safety

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In the Northern Hemisphere, the period between early July and early September is the hottest time of the year.  The Romans said that it was hot because the big star, Sirius, glowing smack in the middle of the chest of the Big Dog (aka Canus Major) constellation, was beaming heat toward the earth.  They said that during the Dog Days the sea boiled and dogs got rabies.  Shortly after that, the Roman Empire fell.

None of that happens any more.  In modern times, the sea has stopped that nonsense. And the veterinary industry has pretty much stopped rabies cold in developed areas and relatively thriving economies where most of the extremely few rabies cases are caused by bats and wild carnivores.

So, in the US, Canada and Europe, we do not have to worry much about rabies any more- unless we encounter a salivating, snarling, fox with that “I ain’t scared of you” look in his rheumy eyes. 

Noel Coward’s line from his famous song of 1931 is, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”.  To be fair, this flighty song makes much more sense than anything that Roman astrologers could patch together.  Rabid animals do illogical things, like run around in the heat, when they should be sleeping in the shade.  (Englishmen were also going to strange lengths to stand up to the tide in their colonial period, but that’s another topic.)

At any rate, what Raja and I are getting toward is that it’s summer and summer does not encourage rabies.  But during your summer travels, opportunities for adventure might entice you off the beaten path where you should be ready for adventures of all kinds. 

Raja and I are not worried about your dog.  If you’re still reading this, you really love your dog.  We’re worried about you.  When traveling in India, Puerto Rico, the South of Italy, Africa, and Central and South America, you might encounter homeless dogs that are very friendly.  Usually these dogs are pretty tame because they only survive by being gentle and appealing to charitable humans.

Raja and I meet them often; Raja is like a wild dog magnet.  And while we almost always advocate mingling with the locals, these locals are not to be mingled with.  They have not had their rabies shots (although some Puerto Rican charities do vaccinate stray dogs).  So, although they may be gentle, they may not be well.  So scoop your dog up and move on yourself quickly, rather than allow this cultural opportunity. 

Safer is better- always.  (If you want to help, keep your hands to yourself and donate to a local animal charity.  All developing countries have kind souls who care about the homeless beasts.)


Comment by Sheryll & Critters.

Wow, very interesting to read this and don’t worry about me. I have to stay home. Now with three pups and three kitty kats, even if I could afford to ‘go’ anywhere, I could not stay sane with all of my entourage. I am having enough trouble with these two latest ones just out in our own back yard. The little girl will jump over the so called blocked place where we are supposed to have a gate if you take your eyes off of her for even two seconds, not minutes, but seconds. My goal is to get a new privacy fence and gate. Fingers still crossed.

Love the photo of you Raja. I was just admiring your photo’s on the seed packets you sent also.

Oh, did I tell you two that I bought some more seeds… some Dwarf Bolero Marigolds and some Lilliput Zinnias. I wish now that I had chose the larger Zinnias, but oh well. We are going out right now to plant them. And lo and behold, I found some Morning Glory seeds still in the pack you sent us….. thank goodness I saved a few since I messed up the first try.

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 4:50 am

Comment by Donna Stansberry

My humans don’t travel abroad so they are okay. It must be difficult to turn away from those sad dogs. It would be hard for Mommy to see them begging and not stop and feed and pet them, but it is always wise to be safe and not be quick to make friends with any dog unless they have a human. As your MOmmy said, they could be sick.

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 6:52 am

Comment by Donna Stansberry

I’m sorry Raja, it was your blog–the reason I said your Mommy said is because I have been commenting on a couple of other blogs written by humans for their dogs.

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

Comment by The McLane Cats

Hello Raja! Thanks for the advice. Whilst we love our person, she is easily swayed by a cute furry face (how do you think we all found a home here?) Needless to say she found out all about the rabies treatment 5 years ago. Whilst there have been improvements in the treatment it still involves LOTS of injections over a period of time…and the first goes right into the bite wound. Ouch! So yes, stay away but do make a donation to a reputable charity. Time for a cat nap…enjoy the summer!

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 7:16 am

Comment by Buttercup &Pat

Since I don’t travel I don’t have to worry . ..but mom doesn’t even let me get nose to nose with any pup that she doesn’t know. ..all great advice !Thanks Raja & Helen for the great info !

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Comment by Sheryll & Critters.

Hey Helen & Woof Raja!

I just had to come visit the Raja once again and admire such an adorable face.

I am finally planting our saved seeds from Raja’s Magic Seeds right now. I went to plant them and then realized I had not soaked them. This time I am planting them in the front yard (less sun) and in the ground (not to be transplanted like before).

Although The Rufus can not see them, I know he will love them just the same.

Thanks so much Raja and Helen.

Sheryll, Rufus (MIA), Sugar, Sapphire, Sadie Lady, Sir Galahad, Sunshine Lady & Shadow Lover.

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 10:56 am

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