When Dogs Go Wild: A Singapore Misadventure

BradleyCats & Dogs, Life in Singapore9 Comments

The afternoon was pretty much like any other.  I was getting ready to go out to dinner when I realized that I needed to wash a load of laundry.  So, I went down to the laundry area with my basket, sorted the clothes into piles, put in a load and started it up.  When I turned around to put everything else back into the basket I noticed the dog trying to chew on a piece of my wife’s clothing.

So, this is where things got a bit ugly.  It was a bit shocking too, since it was so unexpected and happened so fast.  I picked up the end that was sticking out of his mouth and gave it a little tug, but he wasn’t letting go.  I told him, “Let go!” and gave another little tug.  Then he growled and before I realized what was going on, the dog had let go and had clamped down on my arm.  I yelled, partially in pain and partially in surprise and gave a yank to get free of him.  His bite was brutally hard and as I got my arm free I gave him a good solid whack to get him away from me.

Then I was looking down at my disaster of an arm.  If you look closely you can see the imprints of his teeth towards the left of the obviously broken skin.

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The maid rushed out and quickly hustled the dog into its kennel and then looked at my arm.  She insisted that I should go see a doctor and called the homeowner.  After hearing what happened, the homeowner also insisted I go.  I was a bit reluctant, and my stomach had been growling just previous to this incident, so I washed the wound and put some alcohol on it and got something to eat while waiting to hear from my wife.  After my wife heard what happened she told me to stop being hardheaded and just see the doctor.  So… I complied.

The polyclinic in Pasir Ris near our place was closed, as it was about 6 PM, so my wife suggested we meet in Tampines and go to a polyclinic there. Unfortunately I wasn’t paying much attention and got on the right bus, but going in the wrong direction.  I hopped on the 81 all ready to go and then after about 20 minutes I realized I was in Serangoon instead of Tampines.

After switching buses and getting a good seat on the upper deck of the 72 heading to Tampines Interchange my iPhone unexpectedly gave me the finger.  Without the usual 20% battery warning it simply shut itself down and told me to plug it in when I tried to restart it.  I could’ve sworn that thing had read at 80% battery before I left the house.  Just not my day.  I felt a bit naked without access to my iPhone and it made it worse that I was holding it in my hand but couldn’t do anything with it.  I considered asking a girl using her laptop if I could plug my phone in, but that would have been a bit ridiculous.  Not to mention I didn’t have the USB cable with me anyway.  Oh iPhone, you’ve spoiled me.

Luckily my wife was waiting right where the bus dropped me off at the interchange, so I didn’t have to spend a lot of time wandering around looking for her in our typical meeting spots.  We made our way to the clinic that’s just across the street from Tampines 1.  It’s called Healthway Tampines Central Clinic.  If any of you guys ever get hurt and you’re in the Tampines area, I really recommend this place.  The staff was all very courteous and warm, especially the doctor, Dr. Vivien Ang.  She made the process a lot more pleasant than it could have been.

I wound up getting the wound cleaned and bandaged.

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Then I got jabbed with a tetanus shot.  Hadn’t had one of those in a while!  I also got some Curam 625 mg antibiotics that look like horse pills.  The things are massive.  I thought I was going to gag on the first one.  I’ll have to start breaking them in half.  I also got some Bactroban mupirocin, which is antibiotic cream.

I was kinda worried about rabies, but the dog is a house dog, not a stray, and looks healthy enough.  I also found out that rabies has been wiped out in Singapore.  The last case was in 1953, before Singapore was even an independent country.  That’s a relief!  Oh, and just as an odd coincidence, that last case of rabies was a human case involving a Caucasian man.

One positive thing I can take away from this is that Singapore’s health care system is very affordable, at the polyclinic level at least.  I have no experience with Singapore’s major hospitals, but my bill was small.  Very small.  Especially when I think about how much the same care would’ve cost me in the US.  We’re talking a difference of hundreds of dollars here.  Most of that would’ve been taxes and surcharges and inflated medication prices.  I know this is off-topic, but I hope that whatever Obama’s doing gets the healthcare industry under control in the US.  If it’s possible to have cheap, quality healthcare in Singapore the same should be true of the US.

This also gave me a deeper appreciation for my cats.  They may be snotty sometimes, or aloof, but they’re also very affectionate, very cute, and they don’t try to gnaw my arm off!

I never was much of a dog person to begin with, though there are some small ones I don’t mind, like the one I saw in Thailand, but now I suppose I like them even less.  I know it’s not right to judge all dogs based on the actions of one dog, but I suppose this last photo can kinda sum up my feelings towards dogs right now:

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