Thai Village Life – A Star is Shorn

Pepsi is the second youngest of Wonderful Wi’s four dogs and by far the most mischievous of the quartet. Pepsi is also the star of one of my older posts written in May 2010 titled It Started With a Kiss. That post shows with the support of the photographs above and below, how a beautiful young puppy can metamorphose into a disheveled and dirty looking soi dog.

It’s hard to believe but those two photographs really are the same animal.

Those of you who live in a Thai village and own a dog will know just how hard it is to keep your lovable pet clean. The merest glint of daylight between the gate post and gate is the signal for most dogs to raise their tail and hotfoot it away.

Thailand’s rainy season means mud and water, a combination most dogs love but the dry and hot months also layer them with a thick crust of dust picked up chasing motorbikes and soi dogs along red dirt roads. Selling sand in Abu Dhabi would be an easier chore than keeping a village dog’s fur coat clean.

Pepsi loves splashing about in water and the dirtier he gets the happier he seems, and touchingly, Wilai never tires of showering and shampooing the young ‘Soi Boy’ clean.

This is about as bad as Pepsi gets. Soiled, dishevelled, and plain dirty, and it’s time for a shampoo and cut. Not that he’s aware of what’s about to happen.

A good shower from the garden hose and a scrub with shampoo gets Pepsi much cleaner and looking a helluva lot smaller too.

After a good rub-a-dub with a towel Pepsi spots the scissors and knows he’s in big trouble. That’s definitely a look on his face which cries ‘Help’, and I can only answer ‘rather you than me, kid’.

The scissors snap away and the ‘Soi Boy’ slowly disappears and a cleaner-cut Pepsi begins to take shape. With nowhere to run young Pepsi has to grin and bear it.

That’s Pepsi on the right looking very spic and span after his shower, shampoo and groom. Next to him is Wilai’s youngest dog, Macki, who rarely strays from the garden and regularly licks any hint of dirt away.

Keeping the ‘Soi Boy’ clean is a never-ending labour of love for Wilai, but when Pepsi’s in apple-pie order she does have the satisfaction of seeing him bear some small resemblance to the young puppy who captured her heart two years ago. Unfortunately that similarity to his puppy days rarely lasts longer than a day.

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I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

14 Responses

  1. MeMock says:

    Looks much better!

    I had a dog called Pepsi once, it was a black Kelpie. Great dog but unfortunately it went swimming in the river one too many times and got eaten by a crocodile.

  2. Martyn says:

    MeMock – What a shame about your dog Pepsi, that must have broken your heart. I guess that’s one of the drawbacks of living in rural Australia. Crocs and snakes would be too much for me. Poor old Pepsi.

  3. Catherine says:

    Martyn, sweet pics! And I love love love the one of him as a ” disheveled and dirty looking soi dog.” I know the style he’s sporting is not practical (he can barely see) but the photo makes me smile.

  4. Martyn says:

    Catherine – They are sweet pictures and trust me Pepsi is a very lovable dog. He’s one small grimy ball of fun and has so much energy it’s unbelievable. The bottom picture does however prove he can look slightly up market at times.

  5. DanPloy says:

    Don’t forget to give your dogs tablets or injections to stop ehrlichosis caused by a brown tick bite, especially if you have one that likes to run everywhere. It can be serious if not caught early. It is not expensive.
    Even our 27kg monster was grounded by that.

  6. Martyn says:

    DanPloy – Thanks for the link, I followed it through and the brown ticks are nasty blighters. All four of Wilai’s dogs have had jabs when they were puppies for this and that, but I’m not sure what this and that is. I’ll try to check it out.


  7. DanPloy says:

    No, you can’t innoculate against it, Martyn. But a couple of tablets a month stops the ticks. We didn’t know anything about it until Pinky (our dog) was bitten but luckily we caught it soon enough (off her food, being sick, listlessness) but it cost us about 3000 baht in drugs to get her cured and it was touch and go for a while. The vets here know what it is and if your dog is like ours and likes running through long grass and getting dirty then it is worth getting her protected.

  8. Martyn says:

    DanPloy – Thanks for following up my reply. I should have read your original comment a bit better.

    ‘ likes running through long grass and getting dirty ‘….that’s Pepsi.

    I’m travelling to Thailand next month and I will enquire about the tablets.

    I’ve just read your post about Pinky which convinces me I really must get some tablets for the two youngest dogs. Do you know the name of the tablets?

  9. MeMock says:

    It did hurt for sure Martyn, especially as I was away at boarding school and it was my sister who had taken it down the river. I think it was my sister who was more devastated though.

  10. Martyn says:

    MeMock – It was probably for the best that you were away from home at the time. Losing a pet can be a very painful experience and throw in a crocodile and the mind boggles at the thoughts and emotions that can throw up. Your sister must have been absolutely heartbroken.

  11. DanPloy says:

    Sorry no, but the vet will know the name of the disease. Pinky first had injections but recently she has changed to a monthly tablet which is easier on us and possibly on her. We also use a shampoo that resists ticks. It is 70 baht for the tablet I think.

  12. Martyn says:

    DanPloy – Thanks again for the information and I’ll follow it up when I’m in Udon Thani early next month. The tablet is cheap and a must have for village ‘Soi Boys’ like Pepsi.


  13. Your pictures bring back so many memories for me Martyn. Our Shih Tzu gave birth to her own pups around the time my son was born. We gave them all away except for one that looked the splitting image of your Pepsi. Unfortunately she didn’t live long.

  14. Martyn says:

    Paul – I’m very sorry to read your young puppy didn’t survive too long, hopefully the other puppies have grown into big fluffy balls of fun.

    Macki is a Shih Tzu but Pepsi is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle, the latter being where he gets all his energy from.

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