My Daily Life with Dogs

Mae Reilly - Brazil


October 20, 2017

Every morning I have no need for an alarm, I am either woken up by one of two roosters, or by a dog whining or barking.

When I try to leave the house there’s a pretty good chance I am going to be followed. Not by a person but by a dog. The dogs here live outside and have little to no training. My family has five dogs. Three of them try to jump on me every single time they see me, and since where I live is a dirt road, half the time I leave the house covered in dirt. When I leave the house I check my surroundings and if I see a dog I try my best to be quiet and go around. Unfortunately if I get caught they jump on me, I try to yell at them or stick my leg out, but that does absolutely nothing.

Four of them will try to follow me when I leave. The puppy does it the most. Every time I leave and the puppy sees me; first she jumps on me and makes sure my pants around my ankles are muddy, then she follows me, and when I look behind me to see if she is indeed following me hoping that she isn't, she stops and stares at me. Often it takes me ten minutes longer to leave the house because I walk back and forth between the road and the house trying to lose the dog. Fortunately, I haven't been late or missed the bus due to this yet.

Two of the dogs don't jump on me and normally don't follow me, and that's mainly because one is old and the other has three legs.

A couple days ago I was walking to work (at the health post) and I looked behind me to check if I am safe from followers. And suddenly the three legged dog isn't lying down anymore and it’s walking behind me. I started walking up the hill from my house to the road thinking there's no way the three legged dog is going to walk up the dirt and gravel road just to follow m. But no, I am now at the top of the hill and the dog is nearly too.

I then start to get worried, how am I supposed to make the dog go back, and I was going to be late if I walked back and forth like I do with the puppy. So logically I think if I walk fast there’s no way the dog will be able to keep up and therefore will go back to the house. I am out of the area of my house and am on the main road where I can go left to the beach, or right and down a little hill that leads to the health post. At this point the dog is still about 20 feet behind me. I pick up my pace and then casually start to run down the hill, trying to make sure no one can see the fact that I am running from a three legged dog.

It’s still behind me but at the top of the hill and I am at the bottom. It became distracted for a second smelling the grass and I took the opportunity and darted into the health center. A couple minutes later I peered out the door with my fingers crossed and thankfully I don't see the dog. I rejoice for a second, but then worry, what if I lost my host family's dog? Will it be able to make its way back to the house, does it know the way?

Three hours later of worrying, I return home and the dog is doing what it normally does, laying by the door as if nothing has happened.

Today I feel accomplished, as I left no dogs tried to follow me, and then when I came home I had a stick in my hand that I waved around and I didn't get covered in mud.

Mae Reilly