In this guest post, ‘I am a stray dog’, Amrita Paul questions the indifference the so-called ‘pet-owners’ have towards the homeless dogs. Is the pedigree that necessary for our friend; to have not the privilege of a pet, but at least the equal rights to survive? Being a dog who has seen the roads up, close and personal, I know enough to reason that not everyone who has a dog is, a dog lover.
About a month ago, a stray dog in my area had a fight with someone’s pet pit bull. But, before we begin assuming this to be a case of a stray attacking a pet, let me share the full story.
My father feeds the homeless dogs in the vicinity late into the night, when the roads are empty and all neighbours are asleep. That night, he had just finished feeding them and was on his way back home, when he saw a boy walking the pit bull and talking on the phone simultaneously. As my father parked his car outside our house, he saw the pit bull get loose from his leash and run towards my house to attack Brownie, the stray dog. As he shouted at the boy to quickly hold the pit bull, the dog just grabbed Brownie on the neck; and that very instant Brownie got hold of his mouth. The boy started hitting Brownie with a big lathi and chain, trying to get him to leave the pit bull’s mouth. My father began shouting at him saying that it is not fair to hit a dog, that too so harshly. The lathi or chain could break Brownie’s back. It was important to control the pit bull first. Some man passing by in his car stopped and explained how to get both the dogs separated, and that is when Brownie ran and sat in front of my house in total shock while the pit bull was taken away. All my father told the pit bull’s owner was that if someone keeps a big dog, then one ought to be careful. Letting a dog loose or talking on the phone while walking cannot be an option.
And all I wondered was – just because Brownie is a stray does not make his life less important or hold him accountable for the fight. The pit bull attacked Brownie first. Brownie is a brave dog. Despite being hit by a lathi and chain, he did not let go of the pit bull because he knew that holding the mouth was the only way to prevent the dog from crushing his neck further. If Brownie had not done that I shudder to think what would have happened that night. No other stray in my area has as much wits or strength to withhold such a fight for survival as Brownie did.
I sometimes wonder what happens in such situations. The pet has his owner to take him home, cuddle him and get him treated. But what happens to the stray dog, who is not only attacked by the pet but also by humans. He is blamed for the fight and then left on the road all by himself in a state of shock, with no one to love him. If not treated, he may fall sick or get maggots and die.
Brownie was at the hospital for almost three and half weeks undergoing treatment. I even heard that though initially aggressive, he slowly became very loving with the staff there. He is out on the road now and happy as ever to get his freedom back. I just want to wish him luck to get his confidence back and stay happy and healthy, always!