How to win friends: woof way!

No one ever doubted that a wag of tail could win more friends than words could ever aggregate. Dogs for sure are as full of eager vigor as a mountain stream. Here in, my friend from the west, Summer Johnston, reminisces how her beloved pet helped her win over some truly great folks who otherwise would have been just a face in the crowd.

 It is funny how sometimes, even though you are surrounded by swarms of people, you can feel completely and utterly alone.  When I first moved back to New York City after living out of state for some time, I noticed that nobody on the street would look me in the eye.  Everyone was rushing here and there, with a phone attached to their ear, or headphones playing their personal soundtrack into their ears.  Even in my own little neighbourhood of Greenwich Village, I would see the same people day in and day out, but we never exchanged more than a small smile in passing.  And then I met Oscar.

 Oscar is my Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppy.  When I went to his mother’s home in New Jersey (my boyfriend at the time had dragged me to visit the dog after reading about the breed online) and saw her litter of pups, I instantly fell in love with a particular puppy.  He was the one of the seven brothers and sisters that kept wandering off on his own, trying to take everything in, curious about every sight and sound and smell around him and further beyond how far his tiny paws could take him.  A few weeks later, I trekked back to New Jersey, but brought Oscar home with me this time.

 As with any new dog, it was difficult to train him and go through all the puppy antics.  And it was hard living in a small apartment in the middle of the city — trying to run down flights of stairs to take him to use the bathroom, making sure to bring a plastic bag for cleanup every time we went outside, and not letting him bark because my neighbours would complain.  But I soon realized how absolutely wonderful it was to have Oscar in the city.  Before long, I knew all of my immediate neighbours’ names.  I had friends at the dog park.  I spoke with shop owners on my block, and on the blocks surrounding us, and they always said Hi when I would pass.

How to win friends dogs

Oscar was not afraid of making friends, or introducing himself.  In fact, he would wiggle his head into people’s walking path so that almost every stranger who walked past us on the side walk would inadvertently pet his head, then look down to see what that furry feeling came from. Soon, I’d be explaining what breed he was, then asking people where they were from, then introducing myself.  Before Oscar, I was afraid to talk to people, worried they didn’t want to talk to me so I shouldn’t bother them.  But Oscar knew that living beings need interaction.  It warms the heart.  I knew it every time a frowning, rushing person would be taken by surprise by Oscar’s head landing beneath their hand as they passed, and then seeing the person smile or giggle.  Oscar never cared what someone looked like, or what they were wearing — like all dogs, he could just sense when someone needed to be talked to, and I simply followed suit.  I am so thankful for my friendly little City puppy, who helped me to open up and taught me how to win friends I never would have met.

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Mutt and me!

And there are moments where in the heart flutters through the otherwise prosaic backdrop called life. Sometimes looking deep into the eyes of a dog can steer you to a soul searching journey. My dog loving friend Jisha Joseph who I am sure has a secret identity as a super heroine (look out for the alliterative as in Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Matt Murdock and Clark Kent) shares this endearing incident.

Muffin Jisha Joseph

The other day I had gone to drop off a friend at the airport and I had a wait time of almost 45 minutes before I could get an Aeroexpress bus, Now Aeroexpress bus is this amazing service that I have come to love during my stay at Hyderabad. This nice air conditioned Volvo bus to and fro from the airport is completely economic, comfortable and super fast.

Now 45 minutes for a restless me was a little too much time and I thought since it was close to my lunch time I could do with a grub. I chose this teeny veg burger from the counter and sat down thinking I’ll enjoy my burger while I wait for the bus.

Followed me to my seat was this Indian dog close to two years , lean , a little dirty and a lot hungry. He just sat there like the most trained being adoring me and my teeny burger. I promised myself, ‘no spoiling the dog’, this is how people help them develop a habit of sneering and drooling at people’s food and cajoling them into sharing their food with the mutt. I continued with my burger trying to ignore the cutie. Alas! I could not do that for long , I expected him to a be a little less polished than the Vanilla Muffin I have at home ( Muffin is my 2.10 year old Labrador, see the image above) who apparently a family of four trained from the time he was 5 weeks old. I expected this one to maybe stir a little, get impatient or even try snatching it from me. But he kept still with only his eyes looking sadder by the second watching me hog the yummy burger all by myself. Where did my manners go and where went the kind heart that loves animals and feeds them. I broke a nice piece of the bun and offered it to him. That was such a proud moment, he took it just by the corner and slowly ate it with content. He ensured he did not touch my hand; Muffin would have grabbed and gobbled it down in a fraction. Of course I had to share the rest of my burger equally with him. He was my new friend and a lovely one at that. We finished our meal and dropped the plate into the dustbin; he came back and sat with me for some more time, looked right into my eyes and thanked me for sharing. Then he bid me goodbye and hopped on to find another kind burger eater.

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