Thursday, June 24, 2010


(from Cathrine in Bangladesh)

This is a story without pictures. It is a story about why it is a story without pictures. Who says dogs can't be as postmodern as humans?

Bahadur means "The Strongest". It is the name of the 50 kilo street dog who dominates the canine population at Tongi Market. Imagine a a cross between a doberman, a pit bull and a grizzly, and you've got Bahadur. The colours are all doberman, except for four white socks.

Despite his appearance, Bahadur is gentle, friendly, quiet, and very popular with the villagers. So there was outrage when he turned up with a serious wound at the base of his spine clearly inflicted by a human tool, probably an axe. The outrage reached Ali, and he went to have a look. In tears, he called for backup. the wound was infected and full of maggots. This dog would die without expensive treatment. Could someone fund the treatment?

So Bahadur got cleaned, disinfected, sterilised (by popular request -- the villagers agreed he had enough puppies, thank you!), stitched and vaccinated. Then he came to the Residence for recuperation. Since he was really groggy, I thought I'd leave the portrait until he was more alert.

Bahadur alert is not a dog one can photograph. Bahadur alert is a huge street dog who has a low boredom threshold and wants to go home!

Like all Bangali street dogs, he eats bamboo. He also eats chicken wire, sofas, end tables, and doors. I am not making this up! He can demolish an Elizabeth collar in five minutes, and an adapted metal waste basket replacement in under half an hour. He shows a remarkable grasp of practical physics, including the principles of leverage, friction and inertia.

Bahadur demolished the kennel, the staff room furniture, most of the staff room, and ate three of the locks on our very expensive IATA approved travel crate, which just happened to be stored in the area. He also sprained my wrist and pulled a couple of muscles in local staff who were trying to help me move him when he did not want to be moved.

Clearly, a High Commission designed to resist rampaging mobs and the wiles of potential terrorists is no match for one determined street dog. Today, Bahadur and his medical kit and food supply went to spend the rest of his recuperation at Ali's house, which happens to have 3 meter high solid brick and mortar walls that are a meter thick, and a metal gate that reaches right down to the cement courtyard.

It is enough to contain Rani, two cats, a chicken and two goats: insh'allah, it should be enough to contain Bahadur, because he needs treatment for the next month. If it isn't, we are going to have to distribute Povisep disinfectant and clean rags to everyone in Tongi, and tell them to clean the wound whenever Bahadur turns up for his handouts.

That, at least, will work: nothing but nothing distracts a Bangali street dog from his food!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very handsome, powerful dog. How sweet of the people familiar with Bahadur to be concerned about him.

Vida said...

Viva Bahadur and curse the b#@$?!!! who wounded him to begin with.