Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young girl who decided to spend a semester studying in Cameroon. She spent lots of time preparing for her new adventure. She even endured lots of vaccines in order to be ready for travel. On the list of vaccines one shot was optional: rabies. The young girl thought long and hard about the necessity of a preventative rabies vaccine, and she eventually decided that it was expensive and not really necessary.
Then one day while the girl was walking home from school in her rural Cameroonian neighborhood she encountered a medium sized dog sitting in the road. She had seen him before and therefore she was not frightened. As she approached several children nearby shooed the dog out of her way and she continued on since her house was merely next door.
But, before she really knew what was happening, the dog came from behind and sunk his teeth into the back of her leg. Fortunately it was not a bad bite and he quickly let go. The girl, a bit shook up but not in any pain thanks to the adrenaline overwhelming her veins, hurried home. When she arrived her family was rightfully filled with concern and immediately sent her to see a doctor.
Later on as she sat in a rural African hospital, she remembered her decision to ignore the optional vaccine and was flooded with regret. She will continue to regret that decision over the course of the next month because she must return to the hospital five times to receive a series of shots against rabies.
Moral of the Story: there is no such thing as an “optional” vaccine.
Okay, I realize that having been bitten by a street dog is not really something to joke about because it could have been much worse, but sometimes the only thing to do is laugh. Honestly, I’m fine. My existing dislike of dogs has increased a bit and I’m not exactly pleased about so many shots, but I’m sure you’re imagining it worse than it really is. I have two little baby puncture wounds, one looks about like the diameter of a pencil and is maybe a quarter/half inch deep and the other is smaller than that. The hospital did a really thorough cleaning and I got a tetanus booster along with the first of five rabies shots. I just hope that Jett has better manners than this dog when I get back.