Thursday, 27 September 2007

A dog's tale....

This is something I just had to share - today my gardener came to me complaining that one of my neighbours dogs had bitten him on his way home last night! Now Eric (the gardener!) lives on my property and had been out at the local shabeen (illegal 'pub' round the corner!) so was quite possibly a little worse for wear but, never-the-less, he should be able to walk up a public road without being attacked by a dog that belongs to someone who makes no effort to keep them on his own property. In fact since the man has no front fence, these dogs have been a menace ever since I moved into this house. They chase cars up and down the road and I've often seen them chasing the local chooks in a sort of half hearted manner but I never thought they were biters! Apparently they have already bitten several people - none have gone to the police however because they don't want to be bad neighbours! The mind boggles!

Eric, however, is made of sterner stuff! He was very passionate this morning and had only come to tell me that he was off to the local police post to make a formal complaint. I was very encouraging - rabies is a very serious problem in Zambia and it was very important to find out if these dogs have at least been vaccinated. I felt the police were better equipped to deal with the matter than I. So off he went - only to return about half an hour later with a 'letter' from the police informing me that in order for Eric to make a report, he needed to pay K10,000 for the form!! This princely sum is only the equivalent of about $2.50 but I mean, really!

Despite my irritation and incredulity, I gave him the cash and sent him back. Half an hour later he was back - this time with a police report form and a letter to say that he now needed to go to the Clinic to get an official report on the wound - cost? K10,000! I shook my head in amazement, handed out another K10,000 and sent him on his way. Meanwhile time is passing - a possible rabid bite needs to be treated rather quickly by a series of injections, the first should be given within the first two days - and we still haven't even discovered whether the dog has been vaccinated yet!

About an hour later, my cell phone rings! Yes, it is Eric! The clinic have sent him to the General Hospital and he needs K30,000! (SCREAM!!!!!) I jump in the car and rush down there, pay the money and leave him in the LONG que to see a doctor.

He still isn't back. We still don't know whether the dog has been vaccinated or not. I am out of pocket now by K70,000 - a considerable sum of money for a simple gardener to have lying around on the off chance that a dog might bite him! No wonder no-one has reported these dogs to the police before!

Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous in your life?

9 comments:

Rebicmel said...

Girl this is just horrible. It makes it almost impossible for anyone to get help, it would take all their money just to get to step one. It's sad that things tend to work out towards those who break the law. I would suggest a bb gun lol.

dickiebo said...

There y'a. I keep tellin' everyone about these bloody dogs. Will they listen? Nah!

Keith K. said...

Hope he kept the receipts to try to get recompense from the dogs' owner! Although, from my experience of Africa, I wouldn't hold my breath!

jadey said...

Jayne this is simply ridiculous. I would simply let the neighbor know your dog bit my gardner and you without any ifs and or buts will be reimbursing me. What a shame I hope Eric is okay. I love this background on your blog beautiful.

Jayne :) said...

Thanks guys :) It isn't actually the cash which bugs me, it's the attitude of the police and the fact that no-one seems to be even slightly perturbed that he might just have caught rabies!! Personally I don't think so but you never know?

Just got in so will get the next chapter in the saga tomorrow no doubt! LOL

Ambre said...

I don't know Jayne, seems things over there in Africa need some upgrading, eh? Do let us know if the poor lad is safe from rabies, will ya.

smiles

ERIK VAN TONGERLOO said...

I never heard such things and seems ridiculous. Laws in Africa seems to be changed.

Nice pictures in your blog

Ambre said...

Has he heard back about the dogs condition?

mutters said...

Ahhh - bureaucrats, Jayney. Don't you...just...love 'em?

How's the doggie feeling? Hoho.

Later my friend