Of doggies that go to heaven

Do little doggies go to heaven when their day is done? The thought came up as my little niece and I were walking the dog. As was her habit, the pooch stopped to sniff and smell things every now and then. To tease the young dog lover I wondered why. The chubby bright spark said, “Uncle J, dogs do that to find out who’s been around here. It’s like getting the news from the papers for them. After they’ve done reading, they leave their own message for the next dog that may come along.” About then the pet bent and watered the lamp-post. “Oh!” I said, glad to be enlightened.

As we watched the girl grow, we noticed she had much fondness and understanding of dogs. Of course this amused everyone in the family. It also caused some concern as all manner of street pups and dogs arrived outside the house gate. The girl entertained them with biscuits, chapathis, and stuff. And to grandma’s horror, she often mussed with their coats. The strays had been given names too — Tramp, Scamp, Tripod. The later was a scrawny pup with three legs. One rear limb was lost in an accident, hence the tag ‘Tripod’. “He can run as fast as the other dogs,” we were informed.

“Just as she adores them, the dogs seem to adore her,” observed grandma from behind the curtain. “But I can’t help I worrying that these dogs may be carrying fleas and disease.” The little girl, however, was dismissive of such fears. “Come on, grammie. I wash my hands every time I touch them. And please don’t complain about my friends.”

Then the unexpected happened to the little dog-lover. Coming out of school one wet morning, an irate stray leapt out of the storm-water drain, and bit her calf. Shocked passers-by quickly came to the girl’s rescue. She was rushed to the hospital for treatment. That’s where the full story unfolded.

The attacker had recently littered in a storm-water drain near the school. Overnight heavy rains swept away the new-borns. The distraught mother couldn’t save the babies and was in a blind rage when she attacked the unsuspecting little dog lover.

“And those sad little puppies, I am sure they’ll go to heaven,” said the sympathetic girl. When the talk turned to the ‘biter’, she rushed to its defence: “Just because one dog bit me doesn’t make all dogs bad!”

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