A Dog’s Life

Posted: July 14, 2013 in writings
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A piece i wrote after a pack of stray dogs mauled a baby to death in Bangalore following which they were captured to be culled.

The night is hanging over my head, a blanket of navy black splattered with tiny sparkles. A light breeze is making its way over and around me. I see little Sonu at a distance. He is asking his mother something excitedly making her laugh with delight. But I can’t bring myself to enjoy this beautiful night.

A small whimper escapes me despite myself. I lie down still as the night, head on my paws, an ear stands upright. My body is bruised with the stones pelted at me. It has happened occasionally in the past. But most of the time they are indifferent to me, as I am to them. Sometimes people call out and offer pieces of bread, most of which are stale, but hey! who am I to complain? At least it saves me from scrounging for something edible in the acrid trash. I’ve always been a sensitive one. My mother often worried about that.

I break into a yawn. Do I dare sleep? I wonder for how much longer this hate wave will go on. Old Mr.Mishra called out to me kindly and gave me a bowl of milk when he saw those boys trying to hit me yesterday. But I’ve had nothing since then. The fear has numbed my hunger.


Image credit: Green Prophet

I didn’t believe Old Montu when he told me that our days were numbered. I thought that as always that old fool was barking his head off, exaggerating, the attention seeker that he was. I can’t believe that even Pappu and his gang could do something so heinous. He was always a rogue. Our mothers always warned us against him. Old Montu said they had dragged a baby and killed it. Not our own but a human baby! He told me to hide but naïve that I am, I asked him why they would want to kill us all for what Pappu did. After all, how many times have our barks alone stopped those thieves from breaking into those sleek cars I love to run behind as fast as my legs can carry me, barking as loudly as I can. Man! that gives me such a high: a good chase, panting hard, my tail wagging merrily.

Old Montu snorted and told me that these humans don’t even spare their own kind. Once some humans were burnt in a train by other humans, so more humans were killed. And then when a great lady was killed, some more humans were killed. They had also burnt alive some humans in their car.  It doesn’t make any sense to me. So if Pappu kills, they will kill us all? Funnily enough, Pappu is still roaming free.

I was lost in these thoughts when Old Montu let out a yelp. The dreaded dog catchers were after us. His old legs skid and failed him as they captured him. I could hear him whimpering while I took off at a sprint like my life depended on it. Come to think of it, my life did depend on it. I stood at a safe distance, panting hard and saw them putting him into a van which was already full. I caught sight of Mothi. She looked at me silently, her usually mischievous eyes were resigned knowing what was to come. They took off, Old Montu’s whimpers echoing in my ears. This was two days ago. It was the last time I saw Mothi and Old Montu. Since then I am sneaking around like a fugitive in these streets where I grew up.

I hear pattering feet. I jump up, a growl rising in my throat in fear. I relax as I see that it is just little Sonu. He stops and says loudly in his sing song voice, “Cheeeeekooooo”. I smile happily and wag my tail. Everything is all right. His mother comes running out. She says ‘Shoo’ rudely as she grabs Sonu and leads him away, stopping to look for a stone. I step back and growl, hurt and angry, as realization hits me. I am no longer Cheeku. I am just another stray.

© Anuradha Prasad

  1. very powerful post, you made me start my week with tears. I never understood those crazy humans who thinks everything around them is theirs & starts to kill everything at their will – i guess they are mad :/

    • zennfish says:

      thanks for reading…it is nice to know the story spoke to you…i guess it is a lack of awareness and not stopping to think beyond reactions

      • i recently read an article/post which speaks about how killing stray dogs increased mice attack in a region (if i am not wrong, Chennai).

        People just don’t understand that the dog has as much right as we do on this planet.

  2. Reblogged this on mindblogging @ my will: a plethora of thoughts and commented:
    This is a must read folks & maybe you might want to share it. I hope that people do start looking at dogs as living beings rather than an object which they can destroy and harm at their will.

  3. and great pic, forgot to mention that while getting carried away by your words 🙂

  4. Beautifully written. when will we ever realize that a dog is loyal, protect us and can be our best friends..they also have life and when will cruelty ever stop? I love how uve put urself in the skin of cheekoo. Sensitive post and very beautifully woven:)

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