Indian street dogs are the subaltern class of foreign high breed dogs who are preferred as pets by the Indian families over Indie street Dogs, just like high class people and the marginalized. Who would like to talk about them? And of course, who would like to keep the filthy, stinky beings in their cozy homes except the human subaltern class? They both make a good match. Why does this class even exist when we don’t need them, May be to call names?
Would you take a few minutes of your life to peep into the lives of these so called street dogs? This is Bholu, a street dog of around 8 years. Some people call him Tommy. He was born in a small society in Mumbai. He lost his parents long ago. But he has two more friends who were born in the same society, Browny and Jammy. They both are orphan sisters. The people of this society were kind enough to give them shelter here. But Tommy has hearing problem, he hears everything amplified and hence faces maximum problem during Diwali festival when the people make merry and fire crackers. Once he was so terrified of the noise that he left the society and ran far away and was lost for many days. It was when a resident of that society who took care of Tommy finally found him through his poster when a vada pav waala called her and told about Bholu that he was brought back into the society. Bholu was ecstatic to see her and readily came back.
Bholu likes to watch the children playing, so he wakes up from his afternoon nap, walks and sits like the audience watching Indian cricket match. Although he doesn’t understand anything, but watches the actions of children dumbfound. He and other street dogs feed themselves over the leftover thrown by humans. But some people specially come to feed these street dogs. Some feed them dog food, some biscuits and some others rice, roti, bread or milk.
This food keeps them alive and breathing. But at times they starve for a day or days when they don’t get any food. Sometimes they are deliberately deprived of food and water and left to suffer. They are rebuked and shoed away if they bark. They are beaten or poisoned.
For most part of the day they sprawl on the ground and spend majority of their time sleeping and dreaming day and night with stomach half filled or totally empty.
People say they are good for nothing. But some of them have learnt to shake hands with their front limb, they even roll on their back sometimes or wag tail and amuse humans. .
Some kids are fond of Bholu and pet him when they come to play. Some children offer him biscuits which he readily accepts and wags his tail.
But unfortunately, there are people who scare their children of dog bite, though Bholu has never bitten anybody in his life. These dogs have basic needs like shelter, food, water, love and medical attention when needed. When these are met, they don’t bite anybody. But we higher beings don’t understand such simple truth of life.
This is another dog, Tiger. He is quite old. When we saw him in the garden of our society, he was deeply wounded. His back bone and flesh was visible and maggots were feeding on his wound. There was blood in his eyes. He was dull and could hardly walk. He couldn’t tell about the intensity of his pain or yell like humans, the streets had definitely made him tough to bear that pain. We immediately called an NGO who arrived from Goregaon at 2:00 am and removed the maggots from his wound and injected him. Thanks to that NGO who works to rescue street dogs. Since that day he is on medication on the recovery track. Now he can run slowly. But the question is, how did he land up in that pitiable condition? Was some human responsible for his wound?
This is a nameless dog. He mostly sleeps in the trash and garbage dump. He wakes up in the evening when the pigs arrive there in search of food and feed on plastic bags. It’s then that he rushes out of the dump area, shakes his body to clean it and then takes a walk around to look for some other place to recline.
This is another nameless dog, but with an exception. He is not an Indie street dog, but a foreign breed who might have been a pet to some family but now abandoned and in a pathetic condition. His hair is all scattered which tells about his past when once he might have been a beautiful hairy dog. Some poor handcart hawkers feed him milk and biscuits.
These Indie street dogs can be saved from these sufferings if people adopt them, the Government may take measures for their sterilization and spread awareness among people to give them at least food and water. We have to be sensitive towards this neglected being and be cautious while driving rashly on the streets when some dog or small puppy can be run over. Can we tend a little affection towards these Indian street dogs when next time we see them looking for a shelter during rains or winter season? Please don’t pass by a street dog next time without giving him/her a smile of affection or feeding him with a 10 Rupee Marie biscuit packet. He will wag his tail to show how content he feels which can be your greatest earning of life. Next time you see him, say “Hello”.