Catch Anything

Vaccinating 60,000 street dogs in 30 days – no messing about there. 500 people from 14 different countries driving things on – honour to work with such a great bunch of altruistic volunteers – you couldn’t employ an army to do what they did. The project happened through sheer heart. Best ones always do though.

What the official stats don’t tell you is that it was 60,000 dogs, 3 bikes and a really long piece of wood. If I am lethal with an injection, you should see what I can do with a dog catching net. In a gladiatorial arena, given past form, it would be up there as my weapon of choice. Even the spectators in the front rows would have to watch out. It would be hard for me to be more random in my netting abilities if I was blindfolded – but it could be a nice twist.

Not that I intended to continuously take out bicycles, bits of building, innocent bystanders and one particularly special occasion – an entire market stall – but you’ve got to give it your all. Most cutting was the comment I received from my good friend Nigel, a leader of men who runs his crew of Tribal catchers as the elite special unit of the dog catching world. Upon proudly sharing my success at catching one particularly sleepy dog – Nigel asked me if it had been an accident. I waited for the half smile to show he was joking. Didn’t see it. Must have been the light.

It wasn’t all in vain though. I did catch a few of them. Anything with less than three legs didn’t stand a chance. I sweated as lot as well. ‘All man’ I told my daughter, Sheba, showing her a picture of me looking especially horrible. ‘Urrrgh’ she said, pulling a face. Fair enough I suppose.

Anyway, I am now totally into catching dogs – which is just as well because we have a new puppy at home. Rex, a 14 week old ridgeback, doesn’t listen to me in the slightest. The house training seems to be 100% whenever anyone else is around, just when we are left alone, rules go out the window. Rex likes my rucksack for example. Kids find that funnier than I do. He makes a dash towards my bag, I make a dash towards him. And I’m now trained. It’s a 50:50 result – but my chances would have been zero before September. Bringing skills home – works every which way.

So what’s the next thing? Lots of plans, loads of ideas – best bit of all with this rabies stuff is that we’ve only just begun. Next year will come quick. In the meantime, I’m going to keep my skills honed with Rex, all volunteers need to do the same – fire me your address and get ready – I’ll send you a net.