• this is india stray dogs in goa

This is India! (ten)

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • Fearless Female: Rachel, Werkenntwen on My Hot Pink Passport, It’s a glampacking site that I think my reader will love!
  • Please, please take the time to click to this story I wrote for a Goa Streets contest (the one I told you a couple weeks ago about buying a boat in Hampi) and SHARE it on social media with the links on the page! The more shares, the better my chance of winning and being featured in the newspaper. Thanks so much!!

Now your story,

When our dog Huckleberry Finn was little, he fought through Parvo virus and made it. Our other dog, a retreiver called Piso, didn’t make it. We bought them at the same time and tried our best, but this virus takes many dogs’ lives in India.

this is india stray dogs in goaThere was more to worry about after parvo. I worried a monkey would steal him, that a cobra would sneak attack and bite him, or a python would squeeze him to death. I was totally caught off guard when Huck got attacked by stray dogs in Goa… it was terrifying!

Huck was a little bit spoiled because of all his puppy troubles. He had never been caged, punished, and we never let him run around with the strays. I’d already lost one puppy and didn’t want anything to happen to Huck. When we went to dinner at a friends, Huck sat in my lap.

this is india stray dogs in goaThe bar up the street, Happy Bar, has a few dogs that Huck plays with but the bigger Huck got the less they wanted to play. Huck ate curtains, couches, all our board games, pillows, and blankets. But he’s REALLY cute. It wasn’t like we kept him inside all day, but he wasn’t getting enough running time. It’s weird coming from the country in Ohio, where my dog ran free and wouldn’t even know what to do if I put a leash on her.

We finally decided at about 1 year old he needed to run free with all the other village dogs in the rice fields so that he’d stop being so bad in the house. My friend Katja has two older dogs that we were going to let Huck run with so he’d actually stay close and come back when we called him.

The attack

When Huck got off his lead to run in the huge field, he looked like how a camel runs. Absolutely NO coordination. His back legs were flinging every which way and his tongue was flopping around. He’d never been happier!!

this is india stray dogs in goaThe village dogs came to the top of the paddy field barking. Katja’s big dog ran toward them to mark their territory and scare them away. Huck didn’t realize what was happening but wanted to run with his new friend. When Katja’s dog stopped, Huck kept going….

He ran straight at the pack of village dogs and they started to chase him. It was too late. 4 dogs had him pinned down. Huck squealed so loud and Ben and I were running through the field to get to Huck but the strays were in and out in a second.

Huck jumped up and ran back to us defeated. He’d been bitten on the butt but luckily they didn’t peirce the skin. Although my heart stopped because it was the scariest thing to have happen, I know deep down and everyone assures me that Huck learned a valuable lesson: not every dog wants to play with him. All dogs are not his friends. He should also come when we call him!

The next day Ben let Huck off the lead again at a different field and Huck didn’t go far…

Having a dog in India comes with a whole new set of issues, especially with the mean beach dogs.

this is india stray dogs in goaWe haven’t taken him back in those dog’s territory again because although Huck learned a lesson, he’s a little daft, and I’m afraid he’s already forgotten and will do it again! So now on top of mean monkeys, snakes, and viruses, Huck has dealt with a pack of strays.

This is India!


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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Justine August 8, 2014 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Aww, Huck is so cute! I can’t imagine being a pet owner and dealing with all of those adversities. Being from California I’m used to coyotes but cobras, monkeys and stray pups are a whole other issue. Glad Huck made it out virtually unscathed!!

    • Rachel Jones August 10, 2014 at 5:20 am - Reply

      Coyotes can be bad too! We have them in Ohio & I always hear them killing rabbits and such- locals shoot them to save their dogs!

  2. Jo August 8, 2014 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Such a lovely dog! Forget the haters, Huck, I’ll play with you!
    It sounds like he had a lucky escape, we’ve met some really vicious stray dogs in other places! Hopefully he remembers this lesson and doesn’t try it again.

    • Rachel Jones August 10, 2014 at 5:19 am - Reply

      he’s not the brightest dog lol so he may have already forgotten but I sure won’t! So scary.

  3. Krystle August 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    I am so glad your doggie is okay! that is so scary !

    Omg… Cobras! Do you have tips on how to handle a situation that involves coming across them? I will be in India in Feb next year & I am terrified of snakes! Do you see them a lot?


    • Rachel Jones August 10, 2014 at 5:13 am - Reply

      I haven’t seen one in the wild yet, but have seen pythons. I know they are in the area, but I think as long as you stay on paths it’s fine. In two years, I’ve had no problems!

  4. Michelle | Lights Camera Journey August 10, 2014 at 4:51 am - Reply

    It must be so heartbreaking to see these viruses taking hold of your precious ones! I’m a true dog lover so I’m not sure how I could handle it. So glad Huck made it through!

    • Rachel Jones August 10, 2014 at 5:10 am - Reply

      Yeah, it was a rough time & it’s sad to see some of the sick or hurt strays here too :(

  5. Laura August 11, 2014 at 12:55 am - Reply

    He is so damn cute! I would keep him close to me too!

  6. Karisa August 10, 2014 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    Aw, poor doggy!! What a sweetheart though. I hope he stays safe in the future! PS Thanks for the shout out! :)

    • Rachel Jones August 11, 2014 at 1:36 am - Reply

      He’s a devil and a sweetheart- even he can’t decide which.

  7. Yara Coelho August 13, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

    I’m glad everything is fine with him… Having a dog in India comes with a lot of “little dangers”. I have 4 dogs and I know how scary dog attacks can be, since my dogs also believe every other dog is a goofy friend.

    Can I ask you why you bought and dog instead of adopting one?

    • Rachel Jones August 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Yara, it’s a bit of a long story, but as you know there are too many dogs here and it’s quite a problem with these doggie mills so they call them. We got 2 puppies in panjim. they were only 5 weeks old & taken from their mommy too early. I wanted a dog anyways but when I saw these guys I guess we just felt compelled to save them even though we weren’t prepared for 2 puppies, they were sick with parvo and were going to die…stuck in a tiny box not eating with birds in a cage on their cage. well, one died anyways after over a week of drips and medication and staying up feeding him all night with a syringe.. and then huck lived. we paid a HUGE amount for the dogs and I’m sure the guy is using that money to buy more from a puppy mill… but you know I still would do it again.. it’s a touchy subject here in Goa for sure.

  8. Pravin May 31, 2016 at 2:12 am - Reply

    Glad huck made it through both the ordeals. With lots if love & care, they usually do. It’s like they have an obligation to their parents to live for them. Yes this stray dig thing is a menace everywhere. Territory, you see. Pet dogs don’t understandthw rules, but the strays are ferociously possessive about. We’ve lost one to a bunch of them at our home in jaipur. My elder one survived minor scare here in Calcutta. I was there both the times to scoop him off to safety. & he was not even trying to be friends with the stray. Only minor treatment was required, as with your, no penetration. It’s better to be safe than sorry. So stay away from trouble.,like mufasa tells simba in the jungle king.
    & I can assure you he will be careful next time he sees strays or unfamiliar ones after this encounter. Happy petting.

  9. Kelsey Adams October 11, 2018 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    Hey there i am taking my pup with me to goa in a few months and wondering if you can give me some advice on how to protect him, also i usually like to take him everywhere with me. are there places in goa like cafes and stuff that are okay with that.

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