Will You Help Me End Rabies In Sri Lanka?

December 15, 2014 — Leave a comment

Why did I kill that dog?

I stood there wondering if this entire situation could have been prevented. The ebbs and flows of the Indian Ocean were already starting to wash away her body.

I’ve never really come to terms with the day I killed a dog. Although more than a year has passed, I still feel ashamed when I think about it. I’d be lying if I told you that killing the dog was easy. Fighting it off with a broom handle was physically exhausting. In reality I didn’t have a choice. The dog was rabid, and it had to die.

It was mid-June, 2013 and I was nearing the end of my Fulbright fellowship in Sri Lanka. For the past eight months I had been working as an English teacher in Trincomalee, a small town on the Eastern coast.

I arrived at campus early most Tuesdays to prepare for the usual busy day of classes. It was early in the morning, but the air was hot and heavy — a typical summer day on the equator. After several long classes, I’d join the students in the evening for our weekly basketball game.

Nearing campus, I saw the school director chasing a small dog. “Stay back,” he yelled at me. “The dog is rabid!” He chased the dog off the campus and I closed the gate. But the dog stumbled back through the gate; I tried to chase it out. Unfortunately, the door to the girl’s bathroom had been left ajar and the dog stumbled into the room to hide. I locked her in the bathroom, and went to find the director.


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