Friday, July 22, 2011

A dog is a dog is a dog is a dog.

Every time I take Jerry, my 2 month old paralysed pup out with me to the vet, I meet people who ask me one question “ Ayyo pappa, yaav jaati?” For my friends who do not understand Kannada, it literally means “How sad!Which Caste?” . In this case, they mean “Which Breed?” & I tell them Indian. For a second, they are thrown off, then regain composure & answer with a slightly amused “Oh?”. Trust me, I want to ask “ Neev yaav Jaati?”(What breed are you?) .

Let me clarify my stand here. I am not a hater of Labs & Golden retrievers & Cocker Spaniels. For me, a dog is a dog is a dog. I love them all. The problem I have is with the derogatory status attached with the term “Indian” dogs. For practically everything else, we celebrate our patriotism; we celebrate our “Indian-ness.” But why is it, that when it comes to our dogs, we shy away from calling it our own?

I understand that there is some confusion related to the term Indian Dog.For more details about the Indian native dog you must visit by Rajashree Khalap.

A ‘stray’ dog does not necessarily have to be an Indian Dog. It can be the purest of pure breeds heartlessly abandoned by the owners for various reasons. So a Bull mastiff can become a ‘stray’ in an instant & a stray dog or beedi naayi can become a pet in an instant.

My 10 year old Indian dog Sam does not know a thing about life on the street. I picked her up from my friend’s place, got her home & she has been our pampered brat ever since. Yet, I have heard people describing her as a “beedi Naayi” or “stray dog”. I have also heard “Even if it is a stray dog they take care of it so much, Mad people.”

I understand why she is called so, the reason being we have more number of dogs that look like her on the street.

Why is that? Maybe because the breeding business does not cash in on the Indian dog. Why don’t they do that? Because there is no demand. Who creates the demand? Us. Indians. Therefore they are easily available on the street. No demand. No value. But excess numbers present.

I know of people who leave their pedigreed dogs free on the street. Dogs fortunately or unfortunately are unlike humans. They do not understand all our breed/caste/race paranoia. They go out, do their business & walk right back in. The result : puppies on the street. If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years!

So we feel smug with our golden retriever who is not spayed/neutered & wonder “why are these animal activists against breed dogs?” while we marvel at his independence & intelligence of going for a walk on his own.

No animal activist is against any dog. We love all dogs the same. They can be blind, lame, with 3 legs, with 2 legs, with maggots for all we care. For us, I want to repeat again :A dog is a dog is a dog.

We just are not too fond of 2 sets of people

1. Breeders – Unlicensed, Unchecked Breeding for Profit.

2. Irresponsible pet owners

It is easy to blame breeders who I admit are one reason for the problem of stray dogs. But who will blame pet owners? Responsible pet ownership is the need of the hour. Dogs are not commodities. A lot of pet owners abandon their dog for reasons like

“Too much responsibility”

“The dog is sick”

“The dog is aggressive”

“We are moving out of the country/state/town”

Blah blah blah.

& the end result : We have organizations that ask for culling of dogs to make Bangalore stray dog free.

How will it ever become stray dog free when people are busy abandoning their pets that they acquired from a Sire & Dam that were both show champions.

Indian dogs are intelligent, affectionate, easy to maintain & handle, don’t fall sick often, if they do, recover very quickly.

I have 2 at home & I’m bloody well proud of both!Adopt an Indian dog. Trust me, you'll never regret it.

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