Light – Poem for dog

Not all girls crave a diamond, some prefer a dog.

Not all girls crave a diamond, some prefer a dog.

The room is dark,
The night is darker

I wake up in terror,
inside a nightmare, in sweat

Quietly now, I call out his name
and feel the soft paws rest on my face

A kiss on the tears,
and I swear, I feel the dawn break

Warmth seeps through my clothes,
my skin and like a shot of adrenalin,
goes straight to my heart

He is a piece of heaven walking earth,
he makes the monsters under my bed go away,
and hunts down the demons inside my head

The night is dark
But he is bright,
he’s made of light

And If he’s here with me,
the morning, too, shall be

Author’s note: I dedicate this poem to my angel, my love, my life -Feedoh, who makes my life better in every way and to the countless other dogs who’ve brought and continue to bring comfort and unconditional love to those who are lucky enough to have them.

Dog with Blog is proud to feature the first (in a series of many, hopefully) poem for dog courtesy Mahima, our poet laureate. 

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Birds in cages

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”

― Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

From pets stranded to the periphery of chains to birds in cages, the notion of freedom and love is a tainted image. As summer creeps in and the sight of pets tied to iron gates becomes a common sight, I wish those relaxing behind the gates in their air conditioned rooms spare a thought for the life that is there in vigil guard. As they feed the love birds in that silver cage and post the picture on Instagram or facebook, I hope in the flurry of comments someone shrieks and lets them know that there is neither poetry nor grace in cages.

Visited for years by birds, dogs and cows alike, my grandmother knows that it is not cages and chains that suffice but kindness alone. Feeding the canaries and kind for seasons on, birds have taken her shoulders for branches and sights like the image below aren’t rare.

free bird

Free birds

Coming back to the Stephen King quote, let’s replace ‘some birds’ with ‘Birds’.

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Noise – a poem

noise poem - dog with blog

Far from noise of the maddening world.

And it has always been
An uneven equation
Answers too many
Not enough question

Many authors
Few writers
A motley of DSLR
Photographers yet afar

Houses for sale
A dearth of homes
Tourists in torrents
Travellers long gone

Many a lost souls
Loonies too few
Ridiculed and resigned
Lives on stroll.

Often a bystander to the suburban mayhem, a dog on the loose, I witness life through forsaken corners. In the stark oblivion of all things clear and present, I accumulate anecdotes from lives that could have been. If you happen to see me sleep on the bed of leaves and plastic wastes, do say hello, for music is rare to find in this world of noise.

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20 Reasons Why You Should Adopt A Black Cat

To the skeptics this post might come as a surprise, here’s a black dog voicing his support for the adoption of black cats. For reasons I can’t fathom,  why would anyone  regard a beauty as elegant as a black cat for bad luck. Black cats are statistically less likely to be adopted than their differently colored cousins. Superstitions have concocted them into a picture of black magic, witches and all that’s weird under the God’s green earth. As Groucho Marx aptly said, “A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere”. From being a deity in Egypt’s golden age to Edgar Allan Poe’s cerebral protagonist, Black cats have ruled like only they can.

20 reasons why you should adopt a black cat

Riya with her adopted black cat.

I may give them a friendly chase every now and then but I dote on cats. It’s another misplaced notion that a dog has to hate cats. Anyways I would quip on it sometime later. For those still at odds to adopt a black cat (or dog) here are 20 reasons why you should adopt a black cat.

1. Black cats take the longest to get adopted and need your help the most!
2. Black cats are elegance personified. Having them is like having your own style guru at home.
3. You’ll never lose a black cat in a snowstorm.
4. Black fur won’t show up on that chic black gown of yours.
5. Everything goes well with black.
6. Black cats are always appropriately dressed at cocktail parties.
7. Holding a black cat is very slimming. Go ahead, try it!
8. Black cats have a ‘black belt’ in cuddling!
9. Black cats are sleek and sophisticated. (Like cats of other colour)
10. A black cat will match any décor!
11. When you love a black cat, luck is on your side.
12. According to Scottish lore, a black cat on your porch brings prosperity to the owner.
13. Love is colour blind.
14. Black cats never look dirty. Their bright eyes and sparkling white teeth add to the aura.
15. Black cats make you look beyond the surface to find true love and beauty.
16. In England, giving a bride a black cat is believed to bring her good luck.
17. According to a Scottish lore, a black cat’s appearance at your home leads to great wealth.
18. In Britain, on the Yorkshire coast, wives of fishermen believe that their menfolk will return safely if a black cat is kept in the house.
19. In the south of France, black cats are referred to as “matagots” or “magician cats.” According to local superstition, they bring good luck to owners who feed them well and treat them with the respect they deserve.
20. Adopting a black cat may be lucky for you… and it is definitely lucky for them!

Believe the purrs and the paws.

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What the hills long to say

Encroaching upon every square feet that they could prey their sight upon, humans often suffer from this chronic illness of marking ownership on everything their lives touch ― from designations following their names to salutations prefixing them.  There however remains nature, illusive and yet so present, wild and yet riveting in her charms, reveling in its wantonness. You just can’t own her. The wild is too proud to be tamed.

collect moments not things, What the hills long to say

What the hills long to say.

Hill stations, wild life sanctuaries and all that’s now marred by men were once meant to be a retreat from the worldly noise until it became too crowded to be anything, except the victim of its tourists.

These voices that I hear have no face. At times they come like hazy lights dancing at a distance to the orchestrated noise of screeching tires and blatant honking. Oblivious or ignorant to the speed limits, they charge through these otherwise sleepy roads as a runaway prisoner. Many a times their headlights wear rabbits and squirrels in its wake.

There's more to this world than just people, you know.

There’s more to this world than just people, you know. – Calvin & Hobbes

What the hills long to say is clear and present, plastered on the marginalia in bright red and yellow,  perhaps it’s time to dwell upon tapping the mushrooming hotels, resorts, home-stays, camping sites and think of replenishment instead of revenue.   Perhaps the only vice these escapades long to renounce are humans.

In the Himalayan slopes villagers tell tales of how a mastiff would ignore the stones hurled at him without the faintest growl if you had once patted him with love. He chooses to remember the caring touch that once was, ignoring the grim today. The wag of the tail however is now but, gone.  The forests belong to the wild first and humans are but visitors who shouldn’t outstay their welcome.  Who knows if one day the mastiff realizes he has had enough.

Bring your wantonness
and your pain
loneliness
soaked in the rain

Bring your poems
and your prose
barren pages
tucked-in rose

Take these ferns,
pine cones,
Rhododendrons
take the memories

But please
leave not,
your beer bottles and
cigarette butts.

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A Dog's Will.

A Dog’s Will

I would not describe myself as a practical person. But somehow, this has suited me quite well. There are always some difficulties when I act on impulse but over a period of time, things even out and I never regret that I did something because my heart overruled my head.

Dogs have always entered my life with very little warning. They usually have a sad story behind them.

Rani was a beautiful Alsatian who had been used for breeding and discarded when she became old. She arrived as a bag of bones and I wept when I saw she couldn’t even lift herself up. She recovered very slowly and graced our lives for two years before she moved on. There was a divine beauty in her that made us feel small and humble. Then there was Nemo, who was born terribly distorted, with a twisted spine. He lived in a tray for four years. When he died, I felt I had too. Both of them came to us through friends at CUPA.

We have others. Jumble is a senior who was given away by a family that had moved from Delhi and couldn’t manage. Scotty was a little fellow found in a ditch. Zui came through a good friend’s prodding. Chunnu was an abused pug who landed up as a so-called foster. They all stayed.

Raja’s photo suddenly showed up on a Facebook page. There was something simply ghastly and revolting about his condition. There was a collection of skin and bones and it had been tied up. A collective scream of shock overwhelmed many boards. The photo was actually not a moment of cruelty as we learned later, but the effect was very stressful.

Like Rani and Nemo, here too, I had no choice. I could have been practical and looked away and hoped ‘someone’ would do ‘something’. It doesn’t work like that for me; I called friends and consulted my family. Though it was agreed that the strain of many dogs at home was already telling on us, we simply couldn’t find a way to say no. I reached the CUPA shelter and was introduced to a skeleton with an attitude that was Raja, then without a name. He was a white boxer, someone said. It really didn’t matter; it just gave him a twist in his personality that made him special. All dogs are individuals, as those of us who have dealt with them know. He jumped into my car and we were off. He was not too happy with the bath and general attention but he was too weak to resist. Over several weeks, he turned out to be a friendly and intelligent fellow. After a few days of rest and plenty of love, when he had time to develop some trust in us, he informed us that his name was Raja. Very apt, we felt.  As he grew in confidence and weight, his personality started emerging. Soon we realized that he was very clever, very athletic and very hungry!  Who knows how much he had starved before he was found roaming the streets of Bangalore, frightened and hungry. Some good friends contributed a special diet and sent him plenty of goodies. A young man insisted on coming home to be introduced to Inspector Raja. A dog had touched the lives of others, simply by overcoming suffering and becoming himself.

Many months after he came on board, he has become the alpha male of the brood. With endless energy, a stomach that needs constant filling and a slight bullying tendency that emerges sometimes, Raja has established his territory. I am not strict and he knows it and so he manipulates me. I don’t mind, though I am firm when I know he needs a bath or has to be separated when he quarrels. He has put on a lot of weight too, which is heartening, and all those who wept when they saw him first should feel reassured that he is okay now, free, unconstrained, with dog and human friends. And he is now in Goa, enjoying the beach and sun; I have moved here for a year.

As I type this, Raja has smuggled himself on my chair and made himself comfortable. He is a child and I believe in spoiling little children. That is me and at my age, I do not plan to change.

The passing away of a dog is an extremely painful event and many vow never to have another because they cannot face that grief again. That is understandable. But as human beings, can we find that reservoir in us to try to fill that hole in us by embracing the suffering of another innocent and voiceless, who respond to love and warmth? Rani and Nemo went away to another world and I remember them as you might, with watery eyes and a catch in the throat. But they would have agreed, for sure, that space should have been made for Raja and before him for the others.

My view is that we should reach out to the worst cases and love till it hurts. Pain and misery will never go away and our acts may seem irrelevant in a universe where suffering is endemic and cruelty is almost never punished. Animals bear the brunt of our distorted sense of power and superiority. While we are comfortable with dogs and cats as pets, and therefore feel a stronger sense of outrage when we hear cases of barbaric cruelty about them, the plight of other animals is no less intense. When will our sense of compassion extend beyond dogs and cats and envelope all living forms? Not in my lifetime, for sure.

Perhaps, young reader, in yours. And that is a dog’s will.

Let love be extreme. Don’t be practical. So says Raja.

― Vasudev Murthy for Dog with Blog. Connect with us  on Facebook Twitter  G+ 

Seven billion people in the world and sometimes all you need is a dog

kaalicharan - Dog with Blog, Seven billion people in the world and all you need is a dog

Seven billion people in the world and sometimes all you need is a dog.

“One of life’s quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself and watch yourself softly becoming the author of something beautiful even if it is only a
floating ash.”
― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It: And Other Stories

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Happy B’day Blue Bird!

Happy birthday Seema Rahmani

Happy Birthday Seema :)

Far from the froth of Bollywood bandwagon, a frenetic film reel on the loose, Seema Rahmani essays roles by living them. In portrayals that ridicule both rhyme and reason of commercial cinema, Seema’s Rose-Marie (Sins) sways with an essence of longing to be rescued whilst her Moira (Good night Good Morning) effuses warmth and poise that promises to save many a lost lads on the brink of heartbreak.

A dog lover to the core, Seema brought genuine warmth to NDTV Good Times Heavy Petting, leaving in her wake a void, only she can refill.

It’s easy to fall in love with Seema Rahmani. I did.

As she turns another leaf younger, one of the lost lads who got shook up to reality thanks to Moira, requested the lady’s words for a guest post. Here’s what she sent across to this dog:

A little bird inside a chamber
Takes in the world anew
He tweets of love and light and compassion
She tweets of oneness and freedom and truth

Her wings are walls that hold the world
His song the knowing within
The little bird lacks form or label
It lives through us, in every now and every then

And as the moments in calendars pass
Creating the illusion of time
It pauses and wonders why wait to celebrate
A love ever yours and mine

seema rahmani pet MagiQ

So you see MagiQ, you and I are the same. Same atoms, same energy, same space within and without. We are in fact of the same Oneness. ― Seema

From all of us at Dog with Blog, happy birthday Seema!

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Rescued Indian Dog ‘Rupee’ — the First Dog to Climb Mount Everest Base Camp

Rupee dog on Mount Everest

Rupee sits atop Mount Everest Base camp. Image courtesy Joanne Lefson.

In an awe-inspiring story which reestablishes the fact that given a chance, homeless dogs can reach great heights, literally, Joanne Lefson’s adopted mutt Rupee became the first dog in the world to climb the iconic Mount Everest base camp.

Joanne Lefson adopted Rupee – eight months old and dying of dehydration and starvation from a dump site in Ladakh, India. Back then, Rupee was too frail to even walk.

Rupee, the first dog ever officially recorded at the camp, undertook the grueling challenge against all odds becoming a fine example of what can be achieved when a homeless dog is given a second chance.

dog-climbs-everest

Rupee with Joanne Lefson earmarking the trek to Mount Everest.

A native to the Himalayas, Rupee once healthy was raring to touch snow. The vet confirmed that the pooch would not suffer from altitude sickness despite being more than 17,000 ft above sea level. Post this clearance, Joanee and Rupee began a first of its kind expedition and completed it successfully in just ten days.

Joanne said: “My greatest concern was wondering if Rupee could actually make it. I prepared for the worst and arranged an extra porter just in case Rupee needed to hitch a ride. A memorable part of the trip was seeing Rupee touch and walk on snow for the first time, he loved it.”

rupee 2 - Oscar World Woof Tour, Indian saints with dog

Joanne is no stranger to saving dogs having previously rescued and traveled the world with Oscar. After Oscar passed away in January, it is through Rupee that she wishes to inspire others to adopt homeless dogs.

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The world as the dogs sees it.