I am basically a dog lover. Is it a quality of a person? I think YES. Humans may not be able to recognize a dog lover at the first sight, but dogs have this quality of recognizing a dog lover at first sight. I feel that it is bliss to be an animal lover, but sometimes it creates some awkward or nasty situation. It is a natural phenomenon that dogs bark at unknown persons, but even the fiercest and unknown dog does not bark at me. Generally they would wag their tails and show affection towards me. I sometime wonder if it is a normal behavior!
Many years ago when my husband was posted in Haridwar, we were living in a ground floor quarter. There was no boundary wall. Instead of wall, there was a fencing of barbed wire. The dogs used to crawl under the wire and come into our compound. I gave them food very often. Two dogs stayed there before we moved to that quarter. One was added latter. There were many quarters in that area but the dogs stayed in our compound most of the time. WHY?? I don't know. When it rained or in the scorching summer heat, they used to take shelter under the shade of my veranda. It was such a familiar site to see the dogs in our compound that many persons in the township thought that the three dogs were our pets.
Wherever I would go walking, they would also walk with me as if they were my bodyguards. If some one on a bicycle or scooter went past me, they would chase him, barking loudly. A couple of times the cyclist fell down and got hurt. I used to feel very bad. One day I went to dispensary for some medical help and they (all three of them) went with me. As long as I sat on the bench in the waiting room outside the doctor's chamber, the three dogs sat under the bench. When my turn came, I entered the doctor's chamber. One of my self appointed bodyguards followed me into the doctor’s chamber. The doctor bounced up from her chair. "Please Mini don't bring your pets in dispensary." she said with little anger and irritation. I wanted to explain her that they were not my pet but I could not say anything because I didn't have any logic to explain that they had come with me on their own and they will follow me even if I ask them not to do so.
One afternoon it was raining and the dogs had taken shelter in my veranda. I was busy inside home with my house hold work. Meanwhile a man, who used to record our electricity meter reading, came. He was scared of the dogs and could not dare to come to veranda and push the calling bell. He started shouting "बनर्जी साहब, कुत्तों को हटाइये" <"Banerjee sahab kutton ko hataeeye."> (Mr. Banerjee please remove the dogs.) Suddenly all three of them were barking and howling in full volume. I and my maid servant came out and I picked up a stick. They left the veranda immediately. My maid went up to the road and called the man back. The man said “If you have dogs then you must train them. I am an honest humble man and they are chasing me as if I was a thief, and you ladies are laughing." I said very seriously “They are not my pets and beside that we are not laughing."The argument continued... He finished his job and went off.
From that day, I stopped giving them food - not even left over’s. Few days latter I was walking on the street, and all three of them started to walk with me wagging their tails. That night I again gave them food.
Four years later we left the quarter and I lost them forever...