Article for middle space sent on 16th Oct 2015
A dog is A Dog
By Jyoti Patil
Thomas Stearns Eliot popularly known as T S Eliot wrote a poem titled “A Dog is a Dog” in which he chanted:
“Now dogs pretend they like to fight;
They often bark, more seldom bite;
But yet a Dog is, on the whole,
What you would call a simple soul.”
I want to say this ‘seldom bite’ these days is more often and the status of ‘a simple soul’ is in question. Yes, dogs are lovable pets. For some, dogs are more than their close relatives. I don’t want to hurt the soft feelings of dog lovers who keep dogs; some for status symbol, some for security purposes and some keep dogs only for the sake of love for the species. Dogs of rare species are very costly and might cost you in lakhs. The owners are expected to take care of them and spend handsomely on their special training, medical care and food habits. But here I want to raise an issue of stray dogs. You can find them in packs anywhere, let it be a city or a village. Sometimes they pose a serious threat to the people living in that area.
Dog bite is not a big issue. It seems to be a common factor in city life. It started reverberating in my mind when I stumbled upon my first dog bite. I counted myself lucky till then that I never had any experience of dog bite. I always used to wonder whenever I read any incident of dog bite in the newspapers especially in public’s views column that how these people get bitten by stray dogs so often. They are such lovely creatures. I also happened to read nice articles on dogs. Dog bite never occurred to me as a subject until I experienced it one fine day at Seminary hills area during my morning stroll. The incident was a complete shock to me. I was walking at my usual pace without paying any attention to some dogs moving around. I crossed one dog who was running on the road, and perhaps on his second thought he turned back to attack me from behind and tried to catch my leg. I sensed something pricking on my sheen and noticed that a small black dog with white spots was trying to bite me hard. I shrieked to top of my voice but the nonchalant dog started trying again. Luckily a gentleman who was strolling behind me came to my rescue and the dog took a turn and vanished in the shrubs. I noticed blood oozing out from the bruise.
Then, there was the fear of rabies/ hydrophobia that captured me intrinsically. The first thing I did that day was to visit the doctor and get the shots of anti-rabies vaccine (ARV). The doctor advised me to keep a watch on that canine. “If it behaves normally the number of injections will be reduced” doctor suggested. “And if it dies in ten days, it will be a serious indication for me to get more injections.” And it was difficult for me to enjoy what T S Eliot sang:
“The usual Dog about the Town
Is much inclined to play the clown.
He's such an easy-going lout,
He'll answer any hail or shout.”