This blog contains material I wrote and posted on multiply.com between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
The Crazy Stray Dog Feeder
One of the earliest - July 2006
When I was a student in dental school in Lucknow I used to feed the stray dogs in the hostel…there were about eight of them, mostly the progeny of a small white bitch I named Dogina. The pups got names beginning with "Dog" too, but I only remember some of them now. It was eleven years ago, after all!
There was "Dogstar" (had a white blaze on her forehead), "Dogtrine" (one brown and one green eye. Very odd), "Doglet" (extremely friendly little bitch. She would wait in the morning outside my room and I once gave her a bath), "Doggerel", "Doggone" and the rest I no longer remember.
The fact that I liked and fed these dogs got me a reputation as a bit of an eccentric in the hostel. Most of the others would at best ignore them or at worst lash out when one came too close. And yet here I was walking around surrounded by a forest of wagging tails, to which (to the other end, damn it, not to the tails!) I fed crumbs, and leftovers, and sometimes my own food as well, letting them take it from my hand gently with their soft lips. But then I was regarded as an eccentric anyway. I used to wear shorts (very brief shorts) in the heat and a sleeveless T shirt, and I never went to the movies either. Not to Hindi movies anyway, and as far as Hollywood was concerned I boycotted the action film staple. As for my religious (non)preference, it drove them all mad. How dare I be an atheist? How can you pigeonhole an atheist? It was monstrous…
Oh yeah. I forgot the top reason. When I got frustrated I used to go out on the verandah of the hostel in the evening and shout "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!" at the top of my voice. Those of you who know me know I have a soft voice, but I made a pretty good volume on that. I could not manage this more than about once a week, because it would take my throat a day or two to recover fully from one shout, but I can assure you there was enough reason to scream. One of these days, in the very near future, I’ll post on the frustrations of that college.
Anyway, to get back to the dogs. The last time I saw any of them was six months after I left the college when I went back for some paperwork. My old room mate still occupied our former room and was willing to put me up. And I’d scarcely dumped my bag and changed when there was someone waiting outside the door for me…you guessed it. Doglet.
Stray dogs are dogs. They are as faithful as the most blue-blooded pedigreed Chihuahua or pit bull. And I can tell you they are a hell of a lot more grateful for any attention. Be careful of disease, though, when you are handling them. They might be carrying anything, including rabies in incubation….so be careful. This is not to discourage you. But you'd get one hell of a lot more discouraged with a bitten hand. Gain a dog's confidence first - it might not be easy with mongrels who might have had a lifetime of maltreatment at human hands - before you try and become its friend. But if you do, the rewards are awesome.
The photos below are of a Chinese Crested Dog named Sam. He won the World's Ugliest Dog contest three years in a row. He was no mongrel, but I couldn't resist posting him all the same.