I live in a small urban town of Karachi. In this close knitted society, the traditional values of knowing your neighbors are still intact to an extent that I know my neighbors and they know me. I moved to this neighborhood a year back. Born and raised in a rented flat in my yester years, my father, a government employee, finally raised enough money to buy a house of our own.
Here I encountered a dog.
A cross breed of a Labrador retriever and a Bull dog; it was a fearsome creature, at least in my eyes. Simply put, it was a beast of an animal, and had the penchant of leading the stray dogs of the vicinity. I must confess that I have always been fascinated by dogs. Moreover, I also grew up watching animal friendly movies (Hachiko a Dog’s Story, Marley and Me etc). I yearned about owning a dog of my own, until that dreaded day arrive.
That day, I was out with the boys of the neighborhood playing cricket, when I saw this particular dog approaching. This fearsome creature was in a bad mood. The foaming mouth and a flailing tongue petrified me to such an extent that I stay rooted to the spot. I turned around to check the neighbourhood kids, who were playing cricket with me moments back. They were nowhere to be seen. So I did the wisest thing that anyone could ever have thought of; I yelled ‘FETCH” and threw the ball at the dog.
The most excruciating pain spread in my leg, as the dog closed his jaw on my shin. It was quite a sight. Tears were streaming down my face. The realization of getting penetrated with ‘14’ injections in my stomach overwhelmed me, and I collapsed as soon as I reached home. Eventually the doctors discharged me after 2-3 days, but I felt scared stepping out of the fray of my home.
After some days, the stray dogs became rampant in my neighborhood. Due to increased bitten cases being reported, I called up all my friends to ponder upon this menace. So we decided to hold a meeting with the dogs to make them aware that the neighbourhood people are nice and not your enemy. My reluctant friends, fearing for their safety, didn’t feel like negotiating with the dogs. Eventually I had to present myself, to lead ‘peace talks’ with the four legged brutes. I encountered that crazy dog, on the day and time of my choosing. It tried to frighten me by barking out loud, but I held my ground. So I said, “Mr. Dog we are here to sort this mess and it would be inappropriate of you coming into our neighborhood, biting the innocent people, and making them suffer…. Leavee!”
The fangs had already sunk in by then.
Limping tenderly, I detoured the hospital, albeit briefly.
The persistence in me couldn’t let me sleep at ease, knowing that a big mad dog is roaming in the neighbourhood streets. So I called up my group of friends to discuss, once again, about this issue. We settled upon ‘Killing’ the problem.
The angry yelp from the street outside broke the state of reverie. We quickly stepped outside and witnessed a woman holding her kid in her lap and crying out loudly. After inching closer, we observed that the child had deep gashes on his face from which blood was oozing out. Again the dog had left its mark.
Incensed, we made our way to the canine owner home. The severity of the situation didn’t dawn on the owner’s face, as we tried to reason with him about his pet behavior.
“I don’t give a damn about the dog”, he said. Eventually, he showed us the door.
We had already made up our minds by then.
The Dog Pound Services agreed to catch these disease infested four legged canines, after a phone call, the very next day. These dogs were euthanized later on.
This stark episode taught me an important lesson: If a dog is becoming problematic for you, go and see the owner, but if the master doesn’t pay heed to your requests, immediately put the ‘dog’ out of misery. This will ease the situation.