Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Domino bad luck

10pm last night I was walking alone on Avenida Alemania. Nobody was around.

Well, nobody was around until suddenly I got the hunch that somebody was RIGHT behind me. While continuing to walk, I turned around quickly. Despite having known in my gut that there was a man only half a pace behind me, finding him there immensely surprised me. I only looked at him for a fourth of a second, enough to verify there was someone in my personal space, yet hardly enough to identify any traits more specific than "male."

Anyway, seeing him there startled me so much that I instantly looked away, apparently setting my eyes on a huge white husky dog in the street. I must have looked so frightened or angry or something, perhaps a natural reaction of getting ready to defend myself against whatever this man had in mind, that when I looked at the dog, he jumped up in fright, bolted right at me and bit me in the back of the leg!!!

The man had backed off as the dog came at me, and both man and dog kinda ran off quietly in opposite directions. I was left alone again, completely shocked and nervous about the pain I felt from the bite. Not because it hurt so bad I couldn't walk, but because I was nervous there was blood all over my pants, which I quite like, and I'd have to make a decision about going through with the rabies shots or not (this is, after all, my 4th encounter of this sort with dogs in Chile).

No blood. It hurt like hell, yet oddly I just have small blue bruises where each one of the dog's teeth dug into my leg- the skin wasn't even broken!

* For the record, despite the large, relatievly uncontrolled stray dog population, there hasn't been a case of a human getting rabies from a dog in Chile in almost 40 years. Medical professionals in the US have told me its still worth the precaution if you are attacked by a dog that might have rabies, but that really they considered it just that, nothing more than a precaution. Anybody seen Quarantine?


  1. Oh no!!! Not you too! Again!! Ahhh! The Chilean dog population is taking over!!! Ha ha!

    I´m sorry you had to suffer that traumatic experience for the 4th time!!! It literally bites (ha ha!). Sorry.

    Anyhow, thanks for the tip about the rabies stats in Chile. That made me feel better. However, I did see the movie Quarantine and having watched it didn´t help my fear of contracting rabies lol.

  2. I have been attacked/bitten only twice, and once did have the skin broken. I did not get the rabies vaccine, and neither did two other friends who have had the skin broken when bitten by dogs. The third friend is a vet, so she's already got the vax.

    Sorry you got bitten, that stinks! It makes me want to walk around with a pocket full of rocks to threaten the pooches (not that I've ever actually had to throw one!)

    Hey, are you coming to Santiago any time soon? I'd love to meet up one day. I'll let you know if my travels take me to Valpo, too. But no dogbites!

  3. Lydia how scary!! I'm so sorry!!! :o( I would have been more scared of the man, of course and I wonder if the dog attacked because he sensed something wrong and something tense? Only that being a dob (i.e. not all that smart) he obviously bit the wrong person. I hope you're ok!!

  4. That's horrific... all these dog bites. Of course, on the bright side, I am glad the man ran away. Hope you are feeling better.

  5. Lucie- haha love the pun! Its been a while though.

    Eileen- I actually did have the skin broken the first time. However, I was really sure that the dog bit me in like a playful, taken too far, fit, rather than the stereotypical rabies thing. It probably would have been safer to get the vaccine that time, because really what do I know, but I'm pretty sure it would've manifested by now haha so luckily my nieve decision was OK in the end.

    I rarely come to Santiago, but I attempt to get to every gringa event I can which wont get me stranded in the middle of the night or unable to get to work the next day. Let me know when I have reason to go to something there. Pssh why does nobody ever want to come to valpo?!? haha, I've been harassing all the bloggers to come hang out and nobody but Sara ever does. Or they do and I dont know about it until they post something about it haha. The doggies are usually quite nice here. ;-)

    Andrea... totally! I swear that dog was spooked! But i think i spooked him so he took it out on me hahah.

    Annje- yeah, me too. but of course i always wonder in the back of my mind if maybe it was coincidence, and the man stepped out of his house right as I passed, and he was afraid the dog would bite him too... maybe? hahah

  6. Scary situation on both accounts. I hope you okay after the bite. It's probably good that dog was there to bite/defend you!

  7. I come to Valparaíso periodically! But often by bike, and then I'm toast. But I actually have a particular thing I want to do in Viña in the coming weeks, so hopefully you'll have time and we'd get to meet! My space is way too small to host anything here, and Sara and Kyle are both out and about right now, but someday, someday. And I have a very comfy couch, which is fairly clean! Will let you know if the coast thing happens any time soon!