Monday, June 07, 2010

Love your pet, or don't have one !

Just a few days back I got information from a friend - Amritika, that a 4 month old dog - a golden Labrador, had been abandoned by her 'human' family because she had a small white crest on her chest !

Just how that mind of a human being - the most developed brain amongst all animals, works in instances like the above, is simply beyond comprehension.

Took me back many many years to a similar story. One summer morning in RK Puram a car came to a screeching halt near my Aunt's house in a multi storey ed Government officers complex. The door opened and a small white male dog was literally pushed out. The car sped away. The poor creature was barely able to comprehend what was happening, and made a desperate attempt to chase the car in the hope of reuniting with his family. But it was too late.

The dog roamed around the residential complex for many days, before my Aunt realized the situation, and adopted him.

'Snoopy' took to his new foster home like a fish takes to water. He was a very intelligent dog. We realized that understanding commands in English was a problem for him and it appeared that he was trained in some other foreign language. Despite this, he got comfortable with English soon. 'Snoopy' went on to live a full life in my Aunt's home. He was blessed with a new home and kind people who took care of him. In return he brought a smile to every single person he came in contact with, and made his foster family much richer with all the love and happiness he gave them.

'Snoopy' was lucky.

In Delhi today, there are innumerable cases of dogs of pedigree, which have been abandoned by their owners. Many of these have been badly attacked and mauled, some have been run over but were lucky to survive, and unfortunate to be disabled due to the injuries they got. Most of these are German Shepherds, Dobermans and so on. In other words all belong to the 'pedigreed' class.

Just this morning, I came across a 'Spitz' roaming around aimlessly in the market place nearby. She was dirty and injured. When I looked closer, I saw that she was actually beautiful with beautiful eyes and a thick while fur. A kind hearted soul - a cigarette stall owner has been feeding her for some days - I learnt. This dog too - had been abandoned.

It seems people keep pets for a host of other reason other than the urge to love an animal. Maybe a pet is regarded as a toy, and the moment one is sick and tired of the toy, there is a desire to get rid of it.

Maybe is 'stylish' to own a pet. And more often than not - people go right ahead and 'buy' them. To them a dog or a cat is no more than an object of temporary pleasure that was bought by paying money. And because a person paid money, he sees himself as well within his right to simply 'throw' the animal out of his life, at his own free will.

My message to all such people is very simple. Having a pet is a life long commitment. It like having your child. You need to look after you pet the way you bring up your child. You need to feed it, ensure that it does not fall sick, or look after it when it does. In short you have to love it. You have to be in a 'relationship' with your pet - for the long haul !

If you don't know how to take care of a pet, DON'T HAVE ONE !

But for God's sake - don't be so cruel.

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