Definitely Not Father’s Day

On Mother’s Day I did get some beautiful cards and flowers, all handmade by the children. I didn’t quite manage breakfast in bed – it was available but only after I had got up and been to the bakery so it had lost some of its appeal by the time I got back. My lie in the hammock didn’t materialise either – it was dominated all day by Katie, her friend and all their dolls and teddies.  I did have a lovely home cooked lunch (cooked by me – but I won’t complain as I enjoyed the reprieve from child care and I don’t cook much these days so it was quite relaxing) followed by a walk into town to get an ice cream and then a meander to the beach.

The sun shone all day, the sky was a deep blue and it was indeed for me a day of relaxation, joy and jubilee…..until we started our walk home from the beach…..

The children begged to walk back “the secret way” so we took a slight detour from our normal well-travelled route, via some narrow passages just behind our house.  Nowhere that we haven’t walked several times before. We came across two big dogs (Rotweilers, we think) which are always there, but they are usually locked in their garden. Today the owner was chatting with his neighbour and the gate was open. The dogs were lying in the road. Whilst I would never describe myself as a “dog-person” I don’t mind them but I am not particularly knowledgeable about what any of their behaviours mean.

In England we have many friends and relatives who have dogs and Rich and the children absolutely adore all of them. Rich grew up with dogs, would love us to have one day, and would definitely describe himself as a “dog-person”. But as a precaution here, we both always advise the children not to engage with dogs in any way, explaining that not all dogs are friendly and we can’t know how strange dogs will react to children or any attention. Ben and I were walking slightly ahead of Rich the others as we passed the dogs so I didn’t realised what had happened until it was over.

The dogs started to growl quite fiercely as we walked by (a sign of an angry dog protecting its turf apparently) so Rich moved to put himself between the dogs and the other children as an instinctive precaution. This slight move was all it took to provoke one of the dogs into sinking his teeth into Rich’s calf. Not wanting to scare the children, he didn’t say anything about it until we arrived home but of course we were all curious about the blood on his leg. It’s not a deep wound but the dog had very powerful jaws and has bruised the calf so badly that he can barely walk.

We did some home first aid last night and we had all had tetanus and rabies shots before we came here but after a fairly painful night I insisted that Rich visit a doctor today. So once again, after a visit to the local hospital, we are many £’s lighter but impressed by the Dominican medical service. He was seen immediately. He’s had a couple more painful injections, a clean dressing and a course of antibiotics, pain killers and anti-inflammatories. And of course, was compelled to spend the whole day in the hammock as it is too painful to walk on.

The purpose of this post is purely for completeness, and to illustrate yet another bizarre experience that we have had, not to raise a debate about dangerous dogs in the DR. Yes there are plenty of dogs around and lots of them are homeless and often pitifully mal-nourished but they are all very docile and keep themselves to themselves. None of us has ever felt the lease bit threatened by a dog and our feelings have not changed in spite of this. The dog which bit Rich is healthy, well fed and has an (albeit irresponsible) owner. They are guard dogs and should definitely not have been left to roam the street unleashed but we do feel this event in itself was an unfortunate one off and could realistically have happened anywhere in the world. But well done brave Daddy for sensing the danger and putting yourself between it and us – you have our permission to lie in the hammock all week.


  1. Ian Wilmot says:

    Well done Dicky. Survived a doggy kiss….. Put your feet up chum. I feel I Might also have to do so in sympathy….. All the best to you all x

  2. caroline britton says:

    What a rubbish end to an otherwise lovely day. Sounds like you did all the right things. Wishing Rich a speedy recovery.

    Caroline x

  3. Nana says:

    What a pity that an otherwise lovely day ended on a sour note Daddy Richard you are a real hero but so sorry that it came at some expence. I am sorry that it happened at all but so thankful it wasnt one of the children that it happened too Hope that it hasnt put you out of action for long because i know your services are invaluable. Wishing you well and give dogs a wide birth!

    Love to allxxxxxxx

  4. Richard says:

    FWIW I made a pretty junior error and turned my back on a growling dog. He was just seeing me off his territory. Luckily it was me and not one of the kids who was in his firing line. I’ve got a couple of nice puncture wounds from his lower canines but they are healing well with (fingers still a little crossed) no sign of anything worse than bruising. I still love dogs, but don’t plan on going near that particular one again.

  5. Well, it is all rather bizarre, isn’t it? You are so unlucky, yet thank goodness you managed to save the kids from any harm. I hope that the leg is now fully healed and you are able to walk properly! No excuses for lying in the hammock for another week… shame! Bravo for your quick thinking though … Richard the Great strikes again!!! :-) X

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