Davao Dog Day

Article from Paul Fuller

Having lived in Davao City for several years I have had numerous personal experiences.  Many have been hilariously funny according to my sense of humour while some were abjectly sad. But the majority were just happenings of everyday life but most contained elements from which a story could be woven.

A while ago I wrote a few words about an accident that occurred near our house that is located adjacent to the national highway. Maybe it will be of interest to some readers. 
I titled it “Me and my Dog”

Yesterday, I was just standing by our front gate minding my own business and dreaming about the meaning of life and why we are here when the old guy that lives with us opened the gate, told me to bugger off, and pushed his bicycle out and rode off down towards the main road.

I have never taken serious offense at what he says to me or the bad words he uses because deep down he is good hearted and usually very nice to me and his gruff language is just his way. 

Being a bit bored and with nothing better to do I wandered along after him to see where he was going.  I did hear him say to the lady that lives with us, Hey love I’m going over to see Roy and I won’t be too long” I had no idea who Roy was but having a keen nose for a bit of a mystery I decided to find out.

I reached the main road just in time to see him and his bike disappearing into a car mechanics yard further down and across the road.  I thought I should walk across the road and see where he was and what he was doing.  He never seemed to mind when I watch him building or repairing things around our property so I figured it would be OK this time.

I started off to cross the road and almost was at the middle dividing line when a huge truck blasted an air horn at me.  I quickly stepped back intending to get back to my side of the road and go home when I saw a motor cycle directly in front of me.  That was followed by a line of taxis, jeepneys and more big trucks.  The motor cycle swerved one way and I jumped the other way but the rider and his passenger and me ended up  rolling and bouncing along the road.  I banged my head on the road a couple of times in between seeing the sky, stars and the pavement.  I felt a lot of pain as the pavement badly scrapped one of my legs and hip on the rough surface.  I could taste blood near my mouth. 

I was in considerable pain and knew I had bruised several other parts of my body.  I dragged myself up and scrambled to the road side to escape the inconsiderate drivers who were soundings their horns and shouting bad words at me.  In great pain I finally made it to the roadside and to what I thought was safety only to fall into a massive storm water drain containing stagnant water, plastic bags and other rubbish..  The two guys on the motor bike picked up their slightly damaged bike and limped painfully off towards a safer place.  

I remember that I did make noises of distress hoping that it would attract help but no one came to my assistance.  After a few minutes resting I tried to climb out of the drain on my own but the pain and bruising was too much and I became very dizzy and must have passed out.

When I came to it was quite dark and my body was extremely sore and stiff.  Every movement I made brought on waves of pain but I figured that if I could still feel pain then I was still alive so I decided to stay where I was until help arrived. 

After a very long time  I gave up waiting for someone to help me so I struggled to a place where I could climb onto the rubbish in the drain which gave me enough height to pull myself over the edge of the drain.  There was no traffic around so I had the impression that it was very early in the morning and in fact the sky was becoming light from the east.

As I passed a couple of houses near my place the dogs inside set up a terrible racket by barking and throwing themselves at the gates so that was damned scary.  Of course it woke all of the other dogs in the neighbouring houses so they began howling and barking too.  I slowly walked up to my gate and gingerly sat down to ease the pain from my hips and back.  I made some noise hoping that the folk inside would hear me.

Fortunately the guy that I followed earlier in the day heard me and came down and unlocked the gate.
He said where the hell have you been, its bloody 4 am?   Under the light of the security lamp he looked at me and noticed I was staggering and in pain.  He said come over here mate and let me have a good look at you.  I limped into the brighter light and he examined my head and legs and saw the cuts and missing skin near my hip.  

Oh you silly old bugger you have certainly been in the wars!  I was told you had been in an accident involving a truck and motor bike and I thought you were dead!  I went to look for you.

You don’t look so bad so I suggest a feed and a good night’s sleep will see you right.  He gave me a very tasty leftover patty made from ground beef with a Paracetamol tablet hidden inside and which certainly helped to relieve the pain.  He  also made me a warm milk drink with a hefty slug of Tanquay in it and gave me three Oreo biscuits which I really love and then he went back to bed.  As a result of the rum, and Paracetamol mix I soon fell into a deep sleep and when I woke about midday I saw he had put a large umbrella into the ground to keep the direct sun off me.  I thought that was a nice touch.

Since then I have given a lot of thought about my actions and decided that the next time I decide to follow him I will only go as far as the road and never set a foot any further ….it’s just too bloody dangerous for a dog like me without the right experience to be on the road!

When I first posted it to a site I contribute to I received numerous emails offering condolences, offers of help, offers to drive me around until I recovered etc.  It took quite a while before the penny dropped that it was just a story about my dog and not about me.  Some well meaning Filipina wives contacted my wife who was in the town to tell her about my terrible accident and I almost had my own personal physical damage to contend with when she rushed home to discover I was sitting in our baikubo eating an apple and reading a book with my feet up in on the table.  I got lots of sympathy until she discovered it was just a story……..then it turned a bit nasty when the truth was revealed.   But that's a story for another time!

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