I guess on some level I knew that there were serious implications in Osa’s killing of the chicken. We live in farm country here. People either raise chickens, cows or goats, or grow vegetables. As Osa’s owner reminded me, farmers don’t like dogs that kill critters.
Osa was a stray- one of the many here in Costa Rica. She showed up one day at the home of our friends, Sandy and Mike, who took one look at her emaciated little body, and fed her. In a very short time, the stray had become one of the family.
But, as I mentioned, she chases anything that moves, much to the discomfort of our two cats. She had chased chickens before, Mike said, but never been able to get one- until now- that is.
When I saw her with the chicken, I noted with relief that there weren’t any witnesses to her crime. And I let myself find comfort in the notion that none of our close neighbors raise chickens. The chicken must have wandered here, and that probably won’t happen again, I told myself.
But I started getting nervous. Dogs aren’t as prized here as they are in the States. There’s a cultural blindness to what we would think of as abuse. And the sad truth is that folks have no compunctions about killing an offending dog. The usual method is poison, but Mike told me that some have resorted to feeding the offending dog a piece of meat with embedded pieces of glass.
Mike and Sandy are having sad and serious thoughts about putting Osa down, to protect her from execution, Costa Rican-style. He’s afraid that she’ll be “done in cheaply.” And, of course, we’re all worried that Buddha runs the risk of eating poisoned food as well. What do we do now?