Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This post at a friend's blog reminded me that I've been meaning to say Kharkov has enough stray dogs for a Disney movie and a straight-to-video sequel. When preparing for the Fulbright, I was told to get all my various shots and cures. Hep-A and B, a tetanus booster, polio and yellow fever and malaria -- guard against everything, I was told, even rabies. But I thought, Rabies? What am I, visiting marriage agencies or working on a farm? I told the nurse at UC Davis' Cowell Health Center that I wouldn't be in the country. "No need," I said.

Now I know better.


Anne said...

I hope you don't encounter any packs of these dogs in a dark alley.

I was fascinated by the same in some of my travels, and by how the locals in some places do throw scraps to the dogs, there is a kind of symbiosis happening. If the population isn't too overwhelming.

Also some dogs learn fast that tourists are an easy mark.

It's fascinating to me how they can sleep anywhere, as well. On the sidewalk, whatever.

Kevin McMahan said...

I wanted to let you know about what you can expect come spring time... (Something to look forward to.) Well, you know it's Spring Time when all of those dogs start the "reproduction process" all over the neighborhood. And, you'll probably be surprised by how nonchalant Ukrainians are about all of that "action." Basically, they don't even bat an eye. I guess they figure those little fellas' got to live their lives, too.
There's maybe another explanation for this phenomenon of so many stray dogs. Maybe, Ukrainians are believing that those dogs might be the reincarnations of deceased relatives. (I think I heard that before).
Anyways, one trick that never failed me, and I only did this a few times while I was living in Ukraine. If a dog won't leave you alone, just pick up a rock. They all seem to know that even if you kneel-down, that you're probably coming-up throwing. Another "trick" is just to kick at the dog. You don't necessarily have to make contact, just "play pretend."
Allright, congragualtions on having your book published. Kinda funny that it's in a Cincinnati book. It's where we're living now, my hometown.

WittyName32 said...

Hey Kevin, I know what you mean -- I saw a little of this at the end of summer, when some dogs still hadn't had enough, I guess. I remember one scene in front of a church, outside of which there was a one-legged beggar and two dogs copulating (and a third watching). If only I could have rendered that scene in oil paints ...

I'm afraid it's not quite a book that's being published, but a short story. Still, very happy about it. Hopefully the book will be coming soon.

Drop me a line by email. I've only got your Forestry Service e-mail, and I assume that's no longer good if you're back in Ohio. I'd like to say a few things by email as well.