Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Dogs of Kingston

After my recent visit to South African townships, I returned to Kingston to find the city overrun with dogs.

That might be a bit over-dramatic, as I doubt that our canine population had increased by much in the month I was away. But I returned to find myself looking at our stray dogs and wondering, "how come we have so much?"

Brown dogs… black dogs…. And white dogs - the ones with the brown spots. They all seem to be about the same size, and have interbred enough to produce a stray dog that seems resilient, if not plain.

And they are abundant in Kingston. I have not been to another Caribbean island that has anywhere near the same number of dogs running about, and in Trinidad and Barbados I can't recall seeing a single stray-looking dog… that is, having a combination of extreme wariness, mangy coat and permanent hunger.

I don't know where we developed this tolerance for strays, because we are not know for being particularly fond of dogs, as far as I know.

It just seems like we have accommodated ourselves to them - unpleasant, but not unbearable. I imagine that our dog problem would be costly to fix also, and the thought that we should spend that much money on "so-so dog" just sounds too crazy to mention.

That is, until something like rabies breaks out… and man's best friend turns into an enemy.

But, I guess that until then, we have enough enemies, so why make another one?

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