Whenever I read books about the Black Death in Europe, whether fiction or non-fiction, I’m struck by the emphasis on the speed with which nature reclaimed formerly populated, domesticated areas. When the human population dies, nature quickly surges back. One of the recurring images in these books, of course, is packs of dogs and wolves hunting down the few survivors. This vaguely post-apocalyptic image popped into my head when I read about the increasing number of dog attacks in Moscow — a city with an aging, declining population in a country with a declining population:
Statistics show that since the beginning of last year 8,000 citizens reported being attacked by wild dogs in Moscow.
As the fall season approaches the behavior of our younger brethren is spinning out of control. Now they go after both children and adults, and even the harmless pet dogs showed signs of aggression towards humans.
In August alone a few dozens of people reported to hospitals with dog bites.
Liudmila Kubyshkina, an accountant from Villis Latsis Street, was taking a usual evening walk with her 2-year-old son and her 4-year-old daughter. Suddenly a huge red beast without a dog-collar jumped at them from behind the kindergarten fence. Liudmila stopped to protect the children and the dog, choosing the best moment, stuck its teeth into the woman’s leg. The unfortunate accountant and her children managed to get home with much difficulty as they tried to chase the persistent animal away with a cardboard box. Since Liudmila was pregnant her husband called the doctors immediately.
“They took me to the First Hospital for Infections,” – Liudmila recalls, – “there was another woman from Pechatniki, whom they brought along with me. She had also been bitten by a wild dog. For three days we received anti-rabies shots. I was extremely concerned about the effect that might have on the baby, but the doctors insisted that at that point the most important thing was the welfare of the mother. Right before I left the hospital I found out that since the beginning of August 5 people were brought there with similar incidents.”