Rodent-faced yappy canines are what substitute for "dogs" in Vietnam. I hate this particular kind of tail-wagger. And you know which tykes I'm talking about - they look simliar or identical to the one shown above. And they never. shut. up.
After I laced up and hurdled myself into Can Tho's horrendous heat for my morning run, I jogged right by one of these pestering flea bags. Thankfully, he was on a leash. Most dogs in or around Campus 1 tend to roam free. But this guy was snappin' at my heels the moment he sensed me take flight. He was using all the neck power he could muster up to break free of the choking grip that his owner steadfastly held on him. But I got away.
One time, though, I thought I was done for. I was circling the small track that snakes its way around Campus 1 and I came into contact with the angriest Taco Bell-looking dog that I've ever seen. Despite his unthreatening appearance, I was FREAKING out inisde. I froze. He was no more than two feet behind me, yapping and yelping like there was no tomorrow. But he wouldn't move any further. He just wanted to keep me grounded - a soldier keeping a close eye on his captive, no doubt exploiting his internal resource of intimidation by way of his gargling growls.
I stood there in that postion, with my iPod held out in front of me in my right hand and my left hand halfway rasied at my side, for about three minutes. I looked pretty dumb to the elementary school boys playing soccer on the concrete rectangular field off to my right. A few of them laughed at me.
All I kept thinking about while this dog was foaming at the mouth below me was why the hell I didn't get that Rabies shot back in the States. We were told that this part of Vietnam didn't have many feral animals wandering about town. I think I've seen more in this one city than I have in all of Vietnam.
After a while, images of me turning into one of those rage-inflicted zombies from "28 Days Later" started to flash across my mind. Everyone has told me that if I get bitten by a wild dog and contract Rabies, I'll have more than enough time to get myself to a hospital before the virus plays out its course. But I don't belive that. I feel like I'll immediately turn into one of the Inflicted, become stark-ravingly mad after only ten seconds of getting punctered by some wild beast, and then try to eat my roommates brains. I didn't want to kill my roommate.
Thankfully, the dog got bored of me. After he slowly trailed off, I let out the biggest breath of relief and cautiously continued on to House 6, creeping ever so carefully so as not to piss off my little friend again.
I've made it this far, Vietnam - don't send me home in a body bag!