I kicked a dog for the first time today.
Before you call me in to the humane society, let me just say that it is a "cultural thing." We even addressed this at staging. Seeing somebody kick a dog in one can communicate very different messages from one country to the next. For example, in the states, if you see someone kick a dog you think "That horrible, heartless asshole! Someone should kick him/her." Whereas, in Costa Rica, if you see someone kicking a dog you think "That yippy little bastard is lucky he/she wasn't carrying a gun!" It's subtle, but there is a big difference. I must say also, that it was totally in self defense. I was running down the street, minding my own business when a pack of (okay two)little yippy chihuahua dogs came after me. You must also keep in mind that the dogs here are taught to be guard dogs as in, it is perfectly acceptable for a dog to tear apart a guest because, that is the dogs job and it is not expected to be able to tell the difference between a guest and an intruder. So viscious barking and biting is generally encouraged. Add to that, that smaller dogs are not confined to their yard, so you don't have to be a guest or even anywhere near the property to be a target. I guess the philosophy behind that one is that if they are small enough to squeeze between the bars, how much damage can they really do? So, it got kicked, it wasn't hard. He didn't even yelp. Just enough to establish contact and send a message. That message being; "Oh shit! The gringa is acculturating!"