This morning, I woke up at 6.30. As usual, the first thing I did was check my phone. Twitter prompted me to read an article about the habits of a successful entrepreneur. “Start your day with positivity. Exercise.”
I thought OK, that’s easy and went for a jog.
I had hardly run a 100 metres when I saw a dog. No collar, quite skinny, no owner around. A stray dog. He was lying on the pavement, apparently sun bathing. My instinct took over, I jogged towards the dog. It was only when I went up close that I realised he was dead.
Eyes sealed shut, one leg stuck upward, the rest of him like he was just taking a peaceful nap. No injuries, nothing. Just a dog who was walked onto the pavement to take his final nap.
A freshly dead dog. No flies around him. No foul smell.
I didn’t know what to think for a few seconds. Should I be sad? Should I be shocked? Should I continue jogging?
He’s dead. It won’t make a difference to him whether you stay or go. Positivity. Exercise. Go away. It’s alright.
Last option it is.
I continued jogging, my eyes on the road ahead of me, but my mind lagging behind. It’s not fair to let him lie on the street, his meekness open to the world, is it? If I was dead, I wouldn’t want anyone to see me splayed on the ground. In fact, personally, I wouldn’t want anybody to see me at all! I would want them to remember me as I was alive! Like a dog, I would love to go away from my home and rest in peace at a place where no one can see me.
Perhaps the dog would like that too.
He’s in a better place spiritually, but not physically. Get him out of there.
I went back, and told a sweeper about the dog. She said I’ve to call someone else. I went ahead and asked a man who was clearing up garbage. He told me it’s not in his jurisdiction to pick up the dog, but was kind enough to point out a phone number to me. Stay positive. I made a call, a courteous BBMP person picked up the phone and within half an hour the little mister who was so peacefully asleep was gone from the spot.
I don’t know what happened to him afterwards. Perhaps they buried him. Maybe they burnt him. I’m not sure. But he was not lying on the street for everyone to see any more.
When a human dies, grand funerals are arranged, meals served, ceremonies conducted, anniversaries remembered. When a stray dog dies, nobody even bothers to look twice. But for all you know, the dog made thousands of people happy in his 14 year long lifetime, possibly more than a human did in his 80 year lifespan.
The milkman the dog went galloping after. The newspaper man that the dog greeted happily every morning without fail. The watchman who shared his afternoon meals with the dog. The shopkeeper next door who gave the doggy Parle G every evening. The toddler who crawls around at the construction site. The girl who just came back home after a long day at work. The young boy who just had a fight with his girlfriend and went out for a smoke. I’m sure stray dogs make someone’s day everyday, no matter on how small or big a scale.
These dogs touch a thousand lives. And yet, they don’t get a goodbye, forget a funeral.
So this obituary is for all dogs out there that died unceremoniously.
Thank you for giving us your untamed love! You were special to at least one person everyday. You will be remembered for your beautiful innocent eyes, your wet nosie and your flappy ears that always swung back when you saw us. If you ever growled at us, we forgive you. And we apologise for having been mad at you too. Anger happens sometimes.
Usually, obituaries say “survived by so and so” about the person’s children, but you are survived by thousands of people who will remember you fondly for that one day or everyday that you made special.
We love you doggie. Hope to meet you in heaven and be with you forever.
On a more personal note, thank you to every single dog for instilling positivity in me. Whether it was Ramu, Simba or Gunner, all three dogs I’ve seen go away, you’ve all made a very big impact on me during different phases of my life. You’ll never be forgotten.
PS: If you find a dead dog, call your local BBMP incharge. You’ll find this number written on the auto that comes to pick up garbage every morning. Note it down sometime. You’ll never know when it could come of use. The least a dog deserves is a decent removal, if not a burial or a funeral. Do what you can.
Respect all dogs.
Peace. Love. Adopt.