15 September 2013

The hounds of Romania


I'm not good in politics, world crises, global warming, social issues, green peace etc. etc. etc. Don't ask me why…cause I’ll tell ya’…I guess I'm just too dreamy, sarcastic and pessimistic to get involved in any of it and my opinion on certain topics doesn't actually cheer anyone up. So if I ain't got anything good to say I just don't say it.
            Describing is perhaps a better option when it comes to sensitive topics so that's what I'll do this time.
            The hounds of Romania, and yes I am actually talking about the real dogs (don't get me started on the others...see? this is already going wrong). Anyone ever been to Romania or followed a bit the news knows that Romania has a major street dog issue. Hell, every time I'm in Romania I see them’ dogs getting more and more.
When I was about 11 I used to play with loads of street dogs. They protected our block. I even remember their names, features, they bit and attacked strangers but never me. They even attacked a little girl once, because she approached me. Five of them jumped on her and were going nuts, I called out their names but wasn't sure what to do. Her big brother and some of his friends saved her. They hated the dogs even more after that day and hated me for hanging around the dogs. I enjoyed being in the company of street dogs more than playing with other kids…But this is… not about my...twisted, lonely childhood, issues filled personality.
What I mean is that everyone in Romania knows a street dog, plays or despises it, many street dogs have names and a lot of people feed them, take care of them and play with them. But on the other hand there are a lot of people who fear street dogs, get bitten by them, even lost relatives to dog attacks. Why? These are street dogs, some are lucky to end up around nice people, others, most of them are beaten, spit on, kicked, ran over, left to starve, have all kinds of diseases, some run in packs and hunt in packs, even if their hunt are people. Well...hunt...rather protecting their territory really.
So why so many? Where do they come from? Who's to blame? You got it right the first time. People! Yep, once again people.
Peasants, all peasants must have dogs to bark if some stranger approaches or protect them from burglars. So everyone must have a dog. Even if they keep their dogs tied up to a more or less doghouse they feel protected with a dog in their home. Some peasants barely have food for themselves but they always must have dogs. Some peasants just don’t care to feed their dogs. So a lot of dogs don't get to eat every day, they drink filthy water, eat their own shit, go mad. It’s a true dog life I tell ya’.
But, sometimes, the dogs are allowed to run free at night. And, no one cares if it’s bitch in heat or a mad dog, ‘go free and leave me the heck alone’.
            Then, three months later, pups! (same shit happens to cats too by the way). What to do? What to do? I can't keep them, can't have them. Some peasants drown the pups, others don't have the heart for it so they find other peasants to have them or just...dump them at a hospital, restaurant, forest, whatever. ‘Let it be someone else's problem’. And so the ones that survive, grow up in crappy circumstances, mate and create new ones, new races, if mad then the diseases spread. They go to the cities, though even in the cities pups are dumped too. ‘Why should it be my problem?’ That's what the owner always seems to think, it might even be used as today’s slogan really.
            I've seen many dogs dead on the side of the road, skinny to the bone, missing paws, pups abandoned, alone, hungry. It breaks my heart because I can feed one now but I can't save it from a horrible life.
Some associations want to save the street dogs, protect them. All of them? How? Others say kill them, bullet through the head, it might spare many of them a lifetime of misery. Others say neuter them, but where to get the money for it? Even so, they'll still be more and more coming.
I've always said if I had millions I'd created a badass cool dog shelter, kill the ones that can't be saved, train the ones that have hope, educate peasants, neuter their dogs for free (and even some of the peasants too). But I've told you, I'm a dreamer, this time not sarcastic but pretty much still pessimistic that this won't work or happen. So every time I see a miserable dog on the streets of my own home I look the other way and think...’I can't save you, boy, maybe if I carried a gun I’d shoot…the one that did this to you.’