By: Ben O. Tesiorna
A HALF-breed "mysterious black dog" is now causing terror in Mati, Davao Oriental after it reportedly bit 36 people in just a span of three days.
The biting rampage started on February 3 from Barangay Bobon up to the poblacion area (more than 20 kilometers) with the skinny dog victimizing humans.
The dog even entered the provincial hospital here and bit a medical attendant at his lower leg. Victims describe the dog as black, skinny, and normal-looking.
Not one of the victims died due to rabies, however, as local authorities immediately injected them with anti-rabies medication.
Mati rural health officer Onjie Catbagan said they have now conducted an intensive campaign to fight rabies.
"So far since February 3, no rabid pets were documented by the provincial health office only dog bite cases which have been properly attended to with the local government providing assistance to most of the pets," Catbagan said.
The rabid black dog was reportedly killed by authorities sometime last week. But rumors flew thick and fast that the "mysterious black dog" is not a common canine but a "supernatural" one.
Various versions of the story are circulating in this town as to the true identity of the mysterious dog.
Some say it was a man whose family was killed by criminals in a far-flung barangay and vowed to exact vengeance from the criminals by selling his soul to the devil, thus becoming an "aswang."
Others say it was an "aswang" from Barangay Bobon whose habitat was slowly being destroyed thus, the aswang's migration to the poblacion area.
Despite the dog's reported death, many residents here are still not taking any chances. Some are opting to stay inside their homes when the night falls while others are shooing away black dogs that are seen around the streets.