Hopefully by the time you read this our dogs will still be alive. Not kidding, yesterday a lady threatened to poison our dogs – and dog poisoning is common here in Peru, as Barb can attest to firsthand.
Now to put the story in context, our dogs are not aggressive, but they are dominant and protective, which is something many Peruvians are not used to. Dogs here in Cusco tend to be skittish, since most roam free in the streets – either as strays or just because their owners allow them – and many people treat the dogs bad, throw rocks at them, etc. The stray/loose dogs also tend to get into fights, as I wrote about earlier.
Our dogs are inside the house most of the time, but occasionally they are out in our front yard, which is fenced in and has a hedge along the inside of the fence. When they’re outside the dogs sometimes bark at people walking by, and sometimes spook them pretty bad. Part of the blame is on me for what happened last night: there are 2 openings in the hedge where the dogs could stick their head through the fence. The dogs have never hurt anyone, nor would they, but I should have put something up to prevent the dumbasses from scaring the passers by.
So while I was cooking dinner last night the dogs started to bark. Usually they only bark for a few seconds and the people in the street simply walk by. But last night the barking went on so I stepped outside to see a lady with 2 young kids standing by our fence fussing at the dogs. As soon as I stepped outside, she said “Sir, I’m going to poison your dogs!”
So I replied “if you poison my dogs you’re going to jail”. To which she said “you’ll never find me, you don’t even know who I am….” teaching her kids the invaluable ethical concept that it’s not a crime unless you get caught.
At this point I wasn’t mad yet, I just told her not to worry about the dogs, they are inside a fence and won’t hurt anyone. But she kept fussing and yelling and when she finally walked down the street she yelled again that she would poison my dogs.
Ten minutes later a knock on the door. You guessed it, the poison lady was back with a policeman in tow. To set the stage a bit more, our apartment is literally across the street from a police office, at least 50 policemen walk by our house every day, and no one has ever complained.
Patricia answered the door and I missed the first part of the conversation since I was in the kitchen, but by the time I walked out the policeman was visibly annoyed at the poison lady who just kept arguing despite the fact that Patricia was apologetic and promised to put up a better fence. The policeman agreed that just putting up a wire to keep the dogs away from the openings in the hedge would be a good idea…
At the end of the day there are a lot of problems with dogs in Peru: stray dogs, aggressive dogs that run loose, many dogs that don’t get rabies shots, etc. The policeman agreed that a gringo with 2 dogs inside a fenced yard really isn’t a problem, but the poison lady kept saying no one should have dogs like ours, she was going to poison them (right in front of the policeman), etc. etc. The policeman finally nudged her down the road and said good riddens.
So this morning I put up a new fence on the inside of the yard, so the dogs will stay away from people walking by… It looks a little redneck for the time being, but as soon as I buy a few extra posts it will do the job. Next up, reseed the grass before rainseason 🙂
At least she warned you. My father-in-law didn’t have any advance warning from his neighbor before they poisoned his dog (which lived in the secluded BACK patio!) =S
Nice fence, nothing redneck about it, unless you decided to put up barbed wire.
It would be nice if Peru had enforceable laws. Poison lady is a prime example of why people there think they can openly flout the law.
I would not only be concerned about my dog’s safety, but also for my child. Once tots are mobile they do not discriminate against the things that they stick in their mouth.
That’s terrible for your father-in-law. Dog poisoning is a big problem here, as are stray dogs.