Have you ever wondered what happened to the timid brown dog who always wagged his tiny tail ever since you gave him a part of your softened wafer? Do you ever think why he never missed a chance to paw you and give you that endearing little grin whenever you passed by your garage? Did you ponder at least one time of what would happen to him, if you demolish the old garage where he lived? Weren’t you ever curious to know who he was, why he chose to live in your old garage and where he went after you demolished his house?

His  name is Cindy, an obedient and intelligent 3 year old Indian pariah dog. He used to dwell around the corner of your street, devouring on the pieces of bread and meat 70 year old Mrs.Field used to give him affectionately, long before you arrived here. His life was all easy squeezy until the fateful day, a year ago, Mrs.Field passed away after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. Cindy was shattered. The only person who ever cared about his existence was no more. Cindy had always thought that he was a hooman and that Mrs.Field was his mother. He hated the four nasty looking creatures with prolonged wagging bums and slimy snouts that often visited his street. Reality hit him hard when he was yet to recover from the shock that he was an orphan now and he had no where to go.While he swanning along the pavement, he came across a piece of broken mirror. He grasped at the thought that he looked strikingly similar to those ugly creatures that lived down the street. He was scared and hungry. After much contemplation and evaluation of choices with his deprived IQ, he approached those nasty creatures only to be bitten and chased away by them. He went vagabonding about the world in search of food and a place to stay and everywhere he was shooed away or beaten by hoomans whom he considered as his own species. After what seemed like an eternity of feeding off garbage cans, he thought God had finally shown some mercy on him when he found you, staring at him right into his anxious eyes.  That was the first time Cindy felt safe and  goofy ever since Mrs.Field passed away. When you offered him a piece of what you thought as softened wafer, you actually offered him a new hope on life. He gave you a piece of his heart and a lifetime of tail wagging as a payment for your wafer. From that day onward his only purpose of life, according to him was to bark at you gleefully, wag his tail, follow you with that puppy face until you surrendered a part of your evening snack and of course protect you from those nasty creatures. Life was all good until you decided to demolish his house and the neighbors thought that it was the right time to call animal control, now that you were on a vacation. He knew he had to scoot off before he is caught and killed. So began his same old life of despair and dejection.

Cindy is just one among the 30 million stray dogs that roam on the streets of our country, feeding off on our disposed left overs.Stray dogs in India live a miserable and uncertain life. Every year over 1 million stray dogs and puppies get killed in accidents and thousands are poisoned, lynched by humans.Image result for indian stray dogs

Why did we become so malevolent and inconsiderate? Isn’t this the land of the ancient Vedas which has several verses on dogs? Isn’t this the land of Kalabhairava,  a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva who had a pet dog? In fact India is the only place in the world where  there’s a temple built exclusively to worship dogs and thousands of people visit it every year. So, where did we go wrong? Why are dogs being killed by thousands across the country? Until early 1900’s Indian breeds such a Chippiparai, Rajapalayam, Indian Pariah, Kombai etc., served as companions during hunting, cattle grazing and wars. Dogs have always been considered as faithful companions, hunters, guardians, and as a treasured part of the family.It all started not very long ago with the advent of fancy looking foreign bred pedigree dogs into the Indian markets. Within a short time there was a paradigm shift in the Indian dog market and people started buying the cute looking pedigree dogs and that led to the abandonment of several Indian dogs and extinction of several breeds of native dogs . The common strays we find on streets are a mix of various Indian breeds and broadly known as Indian Pariah dogs.They  are as faithful and as loyal as any other pedigree dog. Indian community dogs are healthier and more robust than their pedigree cousins. There are too many dogs suffering on roads and languishing in shelters.Every time someone buys a foreign purebred puppy, a ‘Cindy’ looses his chance at finding a loving home. The best way to stop the mindless and inhumane killing of stray dogs is by spreading awareness about these faithful creatures. Let the kids mingle with dogs from a young age to make them compassionate human beings. Instead of chasing away the community dogs, ask the people of your society to feed just once and they themselves will realize how loyal these magnificent creatures are. Next time you see someone throwing a stone at a dog, tell them the story of Cindy.




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