Jul 01, 2015

    How lonesome humans will be without dogs

    DURING World War II, my father kept a dog. Bombs were dropping and food was hard to find for a family of four.

    The most merciful thing my father did for the dog was to blindfold it and take it to a faraway place. Days later, the dog came back. Food or no food, it wanted its master.

    My in-laws kept a dog that was allowed in the house only when my father-in-law was at home. The elderly man was the master of the house. He loved the dog and the dog took full advantage of that.

    One morning, my father-in-law took a walk with the dog. It got involved in a fight with a neighbour's dog. My father-in-law intervened and was bitten by the neighbour's dog.

    When my father-in-law died, the dog slept under his coffin during the wake.

    One day, it met the master of the dog which bit my father-in-law and gave him a bite. Apparently, the dog thought that it was its duty to avenge its master.

    One of my relatives kept a dog that proved impossible to toilet train. When I was in her house, I heard her scolding the dog and saying that she had to abandon it. The dog seemed to understand and followed her wherever she went. It seemed to beg her for mercy. She kept the dog.

    Recently, I was sick and coughed my heart out. My neighbour's chihuahua heard me and barked. My neighbour told me that it tried to get out of the house to visit me.

    Curiosity? Did it care? Was it complaining? Who knows?

    During the cultural revolution in China, a man was imprisoned and given very little food, which he shared with a stray dog. One day, he was paraded along the street and the dog tried to follow him. The crowd kicked the dog. It ran away in pain.

    After his release, the man looked for the dog and learnt that it had died. The man was grief-stricken and kept on muttering: "Men are worse than dogs. Men are worse than dogs."

    In an animal cemetery in London, there was a tombstone for a dog with these words: "It was more faithful than my husband."

    Man can be very cruel to one another. In the immense universe with its trillions of stars and planets, are there other intelligent beings?

    If there are, will any of them find good reasons to love us like our dogs? How lonesome human beings will be, without dogs.

    Should man eat dog? Should dog eat man?