Canine fondness

Perhaps our family had a cryptic bond with the dog going back to several births.

Almost a decade ago, one became acquainted with a singularly unique dog. The brown and white specimen, somewhat reminiscent of vanilla ice-cream commingled with chocolate sauce, had acquired some obsessive fondness for me and members of my family. This affinity manifested itself in the mongrel’s ambushing us from a side lane or from behind a tree on a seemingly uneventful stroll.

This assailment was more often from the back rather than front; the esteemed dog would hurl itself repeatedly against our hapless bodies with the force of a mighty gale, pawing, drooling on and licking whatever exposed part of skin it could zero in on.

Blatant verbal threats and pretending to hurl little pebbles had a diametrically opposite effect – the canine seemed to interpret this as some kind of a cordial friendly game and would get worse with its antics.

This behaviour had reached such a zenith that all of us at home had developed a morbid fear of going out, lest we be accosted thusly!
Once, on my way to the provision store (yes, going had became imperative), the dog bolted out of nowhere and toppled me on to the ground and proceeded to lick my face.

So firm was its intent that it refused to budge even when the shopkeeper attempted to scare it away with an iron rod. Adding to the distaste of being the object of such unwelcome advances, was the embarrassment of having a large crowd swarm around to behold the spectacle and interpolating a tedious ‘why does it (the dog) behave this way only with you?’

 At that time, one was in no state to ponder on such profound issues. One knew several doggie denizens of the road that had dutifully been christened Brett, Angelina, Yuvika, Thick Neck et al, and none of them, I can assure you, behaved in this manner.
This dog must have been entranced by the scent of our own Pomeranian that emanated from us...or perhaps our family had some cryptic bond with the dog going back to several births.

India is perhaps the only country with an abundant stray dog population. Dogs, either born on the streets or pedigree ones abandoned by their soulless owners, abound ubiquitously, so much so that one feels that life bereft of this sight would be vacuous.Of late, instances of people, children in particular being mauled and injured by stray dogs have raised serious concerns about their multiplying population. Neutering, spaying and adoption could be a humane solution to this, not culling.

In this time-bound life, we may or may not be able to actively do anything to better a dog’s life. The least we could do is refraining from mistreating these entities that in all probability have qualities more exemplary than that of our own species. In a way, dogs are more human than humans themselves. This is the reason perhaps why Richard Dean Anderson had once observed ‘dogs are my favourite people’.

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