I have nothing against the dog-kind. But, what have they got against me? I have been an animal lover all my life. I like animals in the wild and in the zoo, take pictures of wild animals, spend much time and energy watching National Geographic and Animal Planet etc.. I have neither pelted stones at a stray dog nor fed any. A peace-loving soul that I am, I would expect dogs to behave in the same way – A little matured and cultured. However, the dogs have decided to make my life hell. I would be rushing to office when that undesirable event happens. My otherwise perfect day will be spoiled by the act of stepping on the dark pile of royal poo on the road. I shout, “Shit.” My shoes are now soiled with hardly any time left to go back home and clean it. So, I use leaves, litter, the edges of footpaths, garbage and what not to clean my footwear. Passers-by look at me and mock at the apparently good-looking, well-dressed man behaving in a queer way. Let me be frank with you, I am furious and at the same time disappointed with man’s loyal being. Don’t get me wrong. I am not here to blame game.. I am told that I have more senses than those so-called innocent animals. I agree, I ought to be more careful next time around!
Dogs have been with us for some billion years now. They should have at least made an effort to learn the basic toilet etiquettes from their masters. Besides, it is master’s responsibility to train their dogs to shit in their loo, preferably inside the confines of their homes. How selfish can the dog owners be! They want to keep two-three dogs, train them to guard their homes but when it comes to toilet mannerisms, they teach them to use roads, trees, parks, parked vehicles, standing men etc. I thought, it is the Indian villages where I need to be careful while walking on the roads or taking a small alley by the main road. The condition of the roads and parks in my city tell a different story!
The other day, my neighbor Kumar who owns two dogs, a Labrador and a Rottweiler, was out walking his plump dogs. Those canines were sniffing the entire area out perhaps searching for their territory markings. After half an hour of futile effort, the Rottweiler approached our house’s main gate and stopped. There was a satisfactory look on its face and a devilish smile perhaps. Then smack in the middle it peed and pooed. “Holy shit”, I cried and tried to shoo them away but without any success. Imagine, waking up everyday morning, opening your gate to a mound of dog shit. Nightmare. This became a daily affair. One fine day, I threatened Kumar that I would kill his dogs if he let any of them near my house. I swear my intention was just to scare him off. It was just out of sheer frustration than anger. The next day, one of the dogs died. To this day, Kumar believes the dog’s death was because of me. I tried convincing him, “Kumar, it is the poo.” Still so many Kumars and their loyal dogs make my walk to the park a tricky affair. One misstep and you are doomed.
The stray and the pet ones make sure that the road outside my house is a minefield of shit piles. I am powerless to change this script unless I am nominated to the cabinet as the human welfare minister. My first action item would be to build toilets for dogs and impose hefty fines for the owners if their dogs defecate anywhere outside the four walls of their homes!
Until then, I will have to imagine myself as a brave soldier or as a video game player jumping from one maze to another carefully avoiding the booby traps and clearing the levels to reach the destination!