Posted by: David Stewart | May 15, 2012

Running away from the Big Dogs

I’m working and running this week from Bucharest. It’s my first trip to this beautiful capitol of Romania. I have only been here two days and already I love the city and her people.

But I don’t love her dogs. They bite.

This city has a lot of stray dogs. For example, this morning I went for about a 6 mile run and counted 23 stray dogs. This didn’t count dogs behind fences which barked at me. That’s a lot of dogs! But basically they left me alone, although a little pack of three dogs did chase me for a little while.

However my friend Saul went out running separately and got bit by a stray German Shephard. Bit hard enough to be bleeding freely when I saw him later at breakfast.

Fortunately I have some bandages in my travel kit that I gave him. Before heading to the doctor, he and a local person went and checked out the dog. It didn’t seem sick or acting strangely, and he consulted with a local doctor, and they decided a rabies shot wasn’t needed at this time.

The Lonely Planet guide book gives a warning about the dogs. Here is the total warning:

Officials are dealing with the stray-dog problem but there are still around 100,000 dogs on the street. The best advice is to ignore them and they will ignore you, though occasionally – rarely – bites occur. Be careful around parked cars or bushes, particularly at night, where you could inadvertently startle a sleeping dog. If you are bitten, go to a hospital for anti-rabies injections within 36 hours.

Saul seems to be fine so far today, but this puts me into a quandry. I’m sure I will have a lot of stray dog encounters if I keep running in Bucharest. I don’t want to be limited to the treadmill from now on. I love to run outside, and it gives me a lot better feeling about a place and her people when I run there. But I’m not really comfortable with angry dogs.

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