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Thai dog tale

Last update: April 2020
5 min read

People around me know that I don’t get along with dogs. Or better yet, dogs don’t get along with me. It’s not their fault, it has to do with a near death experience as a kid that involved a big rottweiler. From that moment on things went sour between us and we never recovered.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like dogs, well kind of. I just have major trust issues with them. Ever since the rottweiler incident, dogs instinctively feel that they can easily intimidate me. I guess that’s why they keep doing exactly that. Especially this Thai dog…

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The restaurant

Some say there is nothing like the Thai street food stalls. They are literally everywhere and they offer simple, delicious and authentic local food for insanely low prices.

Normally, I’m the first to agree, but after 6 months of travel in South East Asia the rice and noodles diet kinda lost its appeal and I craved Western food. Above all I was looking forward to sit on a real chair instead of the usual low plastic stool that is actually meant for children.

Thai dog tale
Thai Street Food Stall

Fortunately, Thailand is very much adapted to tourists and in most of the cities Western restaurants are abundant. Unfortunately, the city of Loei in the North of Central Thailand is not one of those cities.

It took some effort, but we did find a Western restaurant. With the promise of steak, schnitzel, pizza and German beers we set off to Restaurant “Mr. Chris”. All signs were green for an old fashioned feeding frenzy, if not for the presence of the house dog.

Thai dog

We are seated outside on the covered patio as I see the dog from the corner of my eye.
Not a typical Thai dog, but an enormous Siberian Husky with bright blue eyes that seem to look right through me. We are the only ones in the restaurant and the servers are inside.

He sees me. He gives us a short condescending look and disappears under our table. I don’t like it, he’s sniffing our feet to check us out and I can’t see him. It’s warm outside and a drop of sweat trickles down my back.

Thai dog looking at me
He’s looking at me!

Who’s the boss?

Apparantly he decided we’re ok and jumps on a small bench at the table next to us and lies down with his head resting on his giant front paws. Marjolein senses my unease and suggests to relocate to another restaurant. However much I would like that, my pride and appetite prevent me from giving in.

One of the servers doesn’t agree with the dog lying on the bench and tells him to get down from it. The dog lifts its head and stares at the server intensely, but he is not moving. The server repeats her command and pushes the dog lightly in an attempt to get it to move. More intense staring with those piercing eyes, but the dog doesn’t move a muscle.

It’s painfully obvious that the server has no idea how to proceed. Somehow she knows the dog has the upper hand and she shouldn’t defy him any longer. With a nervous giggle she backs off and walks away. Now we all know who’s the boss in this restaurant.

Frint of Mr. Chris restaurant with signage
The Restaurant

A few minutes later the exact same ritual repeats with another member of the restaurant staff. My mind wanders and I start to imagine about what would happen if this Thai dog would go crazy right now and attack me. No one would be able to call off the dog, no matter how hard they tried, they have no control. I feel nauseous.

Threatening Thai dog

We just finished our dinner and ordered some coffee as suddenly the dog is next to Marjolein. He is staring right at her with the same penetrating gaze we saw before. Then he pushes his head on her hand. Marjolein talks to him, but she doesn’t pet him. Now he starts pushing harder and more demanding. Then he hits her with his paw on her leg. Not gently, but hard and repeatedly. When Marjolein doesn’t give in he jumps on the chair next to her and hits her again with force, but this time on her arm and shoulder.

I remember thinking that this must have been very intimidating for Marjolein since they are at eye level now and the dog is as close as 30 centimeters from her face. Mind you, this dog is huge!

His constant hitting is painful and forces Marjolein to stand up. Immediately the dog takes her place so now he’s on the chair right next to me and he’s looking me straight in the eye. All this time the dog is unnaturally calm, doesn’t make a sound and has that continuous sinister stare. There’s not a hint of playfulness, just threat and dominance.

Rescue from the Thai dog

My mind is racing, what can I do? How can I get this Thai dog to go away? Maybe I should just give in and let him eat me? Finally, the servers see our predicament and the bravest one comes to our rescue. With lot’s of ceremony and careful gestures he get’s the dog to come inside with him. We paid our check and left.

Rescue from the Thai dog

The following night we had a delicious meal at one of the street food stalls that are everywhere in Thailand. We sat on those low stools. You know, the plastic ones that are actually meant for children.

Accidents can happen and also when you’re vacationing in Thailand. Outside of Bangkok, healthcare in Thailand is hopelessly underdeveloped. Any serious ailments or injuries will most likely require costly medical transport to Bangkok, where beds in a reputable hospital are $500 per night. Without proper insurance they will make you pay upfront.

Make sure you have the right travel insurance. One that covers medical costs abroad, evacuation, repatriation and adventurous activities. Read more about travel insurance here, or get an instant non-committal quote here.

Did you ever get into trouble with a Thai dog or any other animal on your travels? Let us know in the comments below. That should make for some interesting stories.

Safe travels,


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