We travel to find new and different experiences, but while being attacked by dogs in Antigua qualified for both categories, it was an experience we really could have done without yesterday.
We are a family of 4, we have two small children, 7 and 9. We are staying in Antigua, Guatemala for a while and just quietly getting on with our lives, the kids are doing some school work, my husband and I are blogging and planning our next move on this nomadic travel adventure.
Last night, about 4pm, we thought it was time to get out for a walk, we’d been hanging around the villa all day and needed some exercise. My husband told me about a couple of beautiful old churches he’d spotted on his run the day before, so I grabbed my camera and off we went.
Attacked by Dogs in Antigua, In a Church!
We walked around the outskirts of the town until we came to the ruins of yet another old Spanish church, My 7-year-old pushed the gate open and we wandered in to take some photos. The light was amazing as the sun set on the other side of the valley.
The kids were running around, I was snapping away, when we heard barking coming towards us rapidly, from more than one dog. We all froze. When the dogs rounded the edge of the church we knew we were in trouble, 3 big, angry aggressive dogs heading towards us at top speed.
My husband is a dog man, he normally tells the kids not to be scared of dogs and to stand their ground but this was different.
Luckily the dogs were a fair way away and the boys had time to get behind us and toward the corner with the gate before they arrived. My husband and I stood our ground, parental instinct in full flood and tried to out-bark and out-snarl the dogs-from-hell. The only object I had to hand was my camera. I swung it wildly at the dog that had decided to pick on me. It kept the animal back, but my camera got broken in the process.
The trick we use in Asia, bending down to pick up imaginary stones to throw at the mutts wasn’t going to work here, these animals were way too aggressive.
We backed away, eventually getting through the gate as the animals continued to snarl and snap at us.
I though maybe they were rabid, maybe strays. But they were wearing collars. Once we were through the gate I noticed a group of male and female heads sticking their heads around the door of the old church.
Did they set the dogs on us?
I don’t know, but they certainly didn’t make any attempt to call them off.
So that was our adventure yesterday, we’re all OK, we had a bit of a shock, but the kids don’t seem too traumatised. The gate wasn’t locked, there were no warning signs and this was a church, one of the dozens in Antigua which we have been visiting over the last few weeks. Nothing like this has ever happened to us before in any country. I thought I’d share as a warning, expect the unexpected, brief your kids on any possible eventuality and always have a plan.
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