A Morning Walk With Stray Dogs
When dogs live like kings on the streets
ENCOUNTER BY DR. HENNA HAMADANI
The chirping of birds and the morning call of the cock did what my alarm clock failed to achieve – woke me up from deep slumber. Such early morning sounds are a great antidote to laziness. So without opening my eyes, I let the music flow through my ears, right to my heart till I could feel energy surging through me. Lying under warm covers on a glorious day like this would have been an insult to life. So within seconds, I was out of bed feeling fresh and blissful. My room was full of warm and pleasant light and through my open window a gentle breeze blew in carrying along with it the sweet fragrance of flowers. It was yet another wonderful morning in my beautiful Kashmir. And on a day like this one couldn’t stay indoors. So I decided to go out for a morning walk. I slipped into comfortable shoes and went out into my lawn with enthusiasm.
Naturally a person so high in spirits expects beautiful things to happen. But unfortunately fairy tales are only for children. One step out of the cozy boundaries of my house put me face to face with a big yellow mongrel welcoming me menacingly into the street where he was the king! I stepped back instantly at first but then began walking in my lane putting up a brave front. The dog followed me, grabbing all my attention.
Since it was early morning, the street wore a deserted look, the shops were still closed and few people were walking on the road. This made me more nervous, for the stray dogs were already up and heavily outnumbering me. Monstrous dogs strutted the streets as if on patrol. Heavily built, teeth bared and shackles raised, they were nothing short of terrifying. It seemed as if a curfew was imposed by these strays. To add to my misery a host of huge dogs rushed out of all possible nooks and corners and started rushing in my direction. I stood rooted to the spot. It took me some time to realize their prey this time was not a human but just another stray which might have trespassed their territory. Had they decided to attack me, I would have had no option but to patiently let them make a meal out of me. A chill ran through me when I realized that things like this happen every day in our “Heaven on Earth.”
Although all I wanted to do now was to throw up, but somehow I kept going. After walking for a few minutes, the famous SMC garbage bin came into view. This yellow box these days looks more like a place where our street dogs live in a ‘Joint family’. With papa-dogs out on a hunting and biting business, the bitches and the little ones were having a gala time at home. There were dogs of all sizes and colours looking out from its open lids and broken walls. Some were eating the garbage, some barking and some still sleeping peacefully. The reek around this place was distinct. This was too much for me, and I was unable to walk on, no longer feeling tranquil and cheerful.
I was a few paces away from home when I met my neighbour looking similarly disgusted and disdainful. She had taken her pet, a cute little pup (Cuby) out for a walk and this little poodle had been scarred out of its wits by its near relatives. Its wines were pathetic and I empathized because I felt like whining too; Cuby and I had had the same near death experience!
When I turned to enter my lane, the big dog was still there as if waiting for me. It was at this moment that I wished to be airlifted to my house. But then gathering my courage once again and with a prayer on my trembling lips, I forced myself to move on. Taking care not to look at the dog, I hurried to my house, hopped in and shut the door behind me. It was then that I heaved a sigh of relief. My beautiful morning was ruined. I felt like I didn’t go out for a morning walk but watched a movie starring stray dogs – ‘The Planet of Dogs’.
(Dr. Henna Hamadani is a PG-Scholar in SKUAST-K Shuhama, Alusteng)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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