One for the Road!

Aug 12, 2011
He is always there to greet me on my way to office, longing for a biscuit from me or just a friendly pat on his head. When I walk home in the dark, his presence reassures me that I am guarded well. With a well-proportioned body, black-lined eyes, blackish snout and a curled tail, he is so irresistible. Yet, he does not wait for me to go to him; no such ego with him. Rather, he comes running, nay galloping, to me even if he sees me passing by. The scratches near my car windows are a witness to how he reaches out to me and my family with his paws on the windows, demanding to be caressed.

My recently acquired friend is just one of a pack of Indian dogs, all idling away their time in the vacant sites around my house. They run up to anyone who seems to be a dog-lover vying for their attention, totally ignoring others who are averse to them. I love their sense of dignity. They love me simply.

It is so challenging for me to convince others why I love these innocent creatures – especially when the media keeps reporting story after horrifying story of stray dog attacks on human beings. Not that I seek to convince everyone to love dogs, as much as I would like man to give equal consideration to the right of dogs to peaceful survival. For the simple reason that God created both human beings and dogs for them to live together. In fact, as per the Bible, God created animals before he made man!!
Reading up on the comments to a news item on dog attacks sometime back, I was horrified to read someone's suggestion that all stray dogs be killed to put an end to the menace. I wonder whether we would apply the same rule to human race, just because one angry, hopelessly frustrated, mislead man or woman (read terrorist) abruptly puts an end to several innocent lives without any direct provocation. 

The role of dogs in a happy societal life in Indian context cannot be ignored. Almost all of us remember growing up with atleast one ‘Moti’ or ‘Tommy’ or ‘Hero’ near home. The neighbourhood security guard would invariably have an army of mongrels guarding the premises – and a stretch of road – along with him.

Dogs have always been a faithful genre of animals – they are man's best friend. They take the least and give the most – loyalty, love, affection et all. They are guide to the blind, therapy to the disturbed, companion to the lonely. I quote – and believe – what some wise person said – 'the more people I meet the more I like my dog.'

Yet while we find it relatively easier to digest the fact of a security guard turning burglar or a killer of his own master / mistress, so much so that it would not make exciting news anymore, one dog attack makes headlines. 

My due respects to parents who have lost their children to ‘killer’ dogs. The innocent children have been hapless victims of ‘stray’ incidents – pun not intended - of needless animal rage. At the same time, one wrong does not set right another which means no amount of mass killing of stray dogs will bring back the children to life. We can only act to avoid such horrific incidents in future. 

A recent incident gave me hope that all is not lost for these friends on road. I was at the local goldsmith, when a woman came along to purchase a medal for her child. The goldsmith gave her two medals each with a different design – one of a deity and another of, guess what, a dog. I asked what for she wanted those medals and she explained that her son was getting fear spells in the evenings, and wearing the medal would dispel them. I waited to see which one she would pick up, and was pleasantly amazed when she took the medal with the dog image. See? We all need our canine friends!!

Deepa Dumblekar - Archives:

By Deepa Dumblekar
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Comment on this article

  • Ronny Machado., Udupi, Karnataka.

    Wed, Aug 17 2011

    Thank you very much Deepa,for a Nice Artical.what you say is 100% true. Animals/ Dogs specially they need Human Touch and Attention. They feel their Living is worth when someone pat them and murmur few words.It is really a wonderful write up, Fact of life is put in words.

  • Peter, Brahmavar/Sharjah

    Tue, Aug 16 2011

    - Bsavanna

  • Deedee, Mangalore, Oman

    Sun, Aug 14 2011

    It was a moving story & so very much true as we also are animal lovers esp dogs. No animal hurts another unless provoked.

  • Noel, Kuwait

    Sun, Aug 14 2011

    The story is really worth reading ,there is a english movie called "HACHI:A DOGS TALE"(2009)
    A True Story Of Faithful Dog.

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Sat, Aug 13 2011

    If given a choice i love Dogs more than human beings.... they just love you more than you love them. Expect nothing in return... only love... they are most trusted animals.....  Many people who does not love dogs may not love any human beings also... Dogs do not cheat like human beings..they give unconditional love and only love...!!!???

  • MP, mangalore

    Sat, Aug 13 2011

    doggy is so cute and has expressive eyes..

  • Savio, Dubai?Mumbai

    Sat, Aug 13 2011

    This reminds me of 2 dogs owned by different family members in Mumbai in the early 70.One Catholic lady used to come to the Market every morning and the her pet dog behind if unknown lady taps her he would bark and not at know ladies which she meets every day and dog knows them also.After finishing her marketing the dog will put the bag in his mouth and carry it home.One more Hindu gentle man after buying his veg etc gives the bag to his dog to take it home and he will go later on.Dogs are faithfully and trusted animal.

  • A. S. Mathew, U.S.A.

    Fri, Aug 12 2011

    Very interesting article. After
    getting bitter experiences in life
    from those people I have helped
    sincerely, I have quoted many times
    to my children " I rather love the
    dogs than loving some human beings". I had a German Shepherd
    and when he died, I was in India. When I came home, I was broken hearted and cried. God has
    created the dogs in all sizes and
    varieties, but even with minor
    vartiation in nature, they are all
    the most loyal-loving animals with the highest level of gratitude even
    if we beat them without any mercy.
    Even today I miss my loving dog

  • Leela, Manipal

    Fri, Aug 12 2011

    I really appreciate your article, Deepa. It is high time that people became more sensitive to stray dogs and treat them as man's best friend rather than menace. Perhaps those sad incidents of children being bitten etc. wouldn't have happened if the dogs were not hungry. It suggests that sparing some titbits for neighborhood strays will make them loyal friends, not angry enemies.

  • Genny , Mlore/Sharjah

    Fri, Aug 12 2011

    That is so sweet.........wish everyone were like you.

  • jagdish, Mumbai, UAE

    Fri, Aug 12 2011

    Artile is too good, and comments are too good specially from Alston. Well said alston. Onnce i was waiting for the bus in Mumbai on the highway, I found a young dog was struggling to come out from the gutter were he trapped. I pulled him out from the gutter with lot of struggle, because no one has helped me. Since i didnt find the bus on that stop then i move to another stop. I found some one is licking my feet. My surpise it was no other than the same dog which i rescued. Straight way i took him to my home.

  • geoffrey, hathill

    Fri, Aug 12 2011

    Agreed, dogs are good companions of humans but anyone who's had dog bite and undergone Rabies therapy might not agree with writer's stand on stray dogs. It's more heart wrenching to see children dying of hunger and malnourishment(and the indifference of the affluent) than stray dogs resorting to waste bins.

  • Alston, Mangalore

    Fri, Aug 12 2011

    Very nice story indeed. I have made friends with many stray dogs near my home and near my work place and love dogs in general. There is always a family pack of biscuits in my car which I treat these dogs I come across. Two of my female dogs are ex-strays and now they live inside our house and even sleep on our beds.
    Its heart wrenching to see these creatures on the streets eat from the bins but then thats what they need to do to survive, they dont have any other choice. I sometimes wonder how many of us can go to the extent of eating from bins when we are dead hungry and have a cool mental state of mind despite all the miseries. And haters can go on and on about killing stray dogs but how many of them would adopt one and give them a life? It is us humans to blame for their rising population. People have the habit/trend of leaving unwanted female puppies in the market or near bins and bushes with the hope that some magic will happen and the pups will live and grow. And even if they do survive, its a beginning of another litter of puppies post the mating season.
    I really feel sad for these animals and it is only we humans who can rightfully bond with and understand dogs in particular. And in return they will be ever loyal and grateful to us till their last breath, even if you give a street dog one biscuit in your life, he/she will remember and recognise you forever, that's the loyalty of animals some of us neglect!

    All the best and hope to see more such articles!

  • Felix, Udupi

    Thu, Aug 11 2011

    Nice one. Well narrated. Just few days back we lost our 3 months old dog, Romeo, whom we gave bath every week . All were saying he is my second son... It is nice to love animals, especially dogs.

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