With the kind of traffic situation outside our house it was quite obvious that initiating Mia into the long walks with Magic wasn’t going to be easy. Keeping that in mind we did discover a few quieter lanes about 2 kms away from our house. The only problem was to take them by car & put up with the wait of crossing the two railway gates. The lanes were nice & quiet, both Mia & Magic really enjoyed it. It was an effort to get there especially in the evenings, but it was an effort really worth the trouble.
There were three lanes about one kilometre each, so by just going up down on them & crisscrossing; it was more than 4 kms & then if we cross over to the race course side its an additional 2 kms. Plus there is a small park where we could leave them free for a while to zoom around. It was a perfect start to the day for all of us. They would come home & chill out, eat well & was more or less relaxed till late evening.
Looked like a perfect setting isn’t it ?
Till one day a jawan comes up to me & says (or orders) NO DOGS ARE ALLOWED IN THIS LANE…..
I ask why ?
He said: Its orders from above; the C-O-C’, his wife & their dogs walks around this time so no other dogs will be allowed in this lane !
I thought ….anyway we have a few other lanes, so to hell with the them.
Then another day a jawan taunts me :
Are you a civilian ? Then you are not allowed to walk here. From tomorrow please do not come.
I ignored his taunts & asked him if i tell you that you don’t come to our side of town will you like it ?
So we continued.
We see a few army people walk dogs & strangely there is no greetings (their greetings are usually based on hierarchy). Whereas in non-army area people look up or may exchange a smile or there is a silent acknowledgment from each other while we cross each other’s paths. Sometimes the dogs click & we also become friends. But here once they realise that one is not from the army they start behaving like feudal lords from the zamindari era. (But i must say there was an extraordinary exception in which a person went ahead and found a really handsome caravan hound pup for himself. Unfortunately he & his pup were going to Jaipur.)
I kind of knew it was coming……..
& ‘was not at all surprised when one day one of them who does not like the looks of Magic, Mia & me went up & told a few jawans who stand “guard” to tell me that “civilian dogs” are not allowed inside this area. I know the main suspects….. they are like the emperor without clothes types.
Any way since we are called civilians & since Magic & Mia are called civilian dogs, we tend to work a way out to find solutions to problems & we treat problems with a pinch of salt & as a challenge. Plus i do not believe in bans & fatwas.
So now it is back onto to the roads for lil’ Mia & she is forced to take fast forward lessons from Magic to handle :
1. There are a couple of stray dogs charging at us all the time & it is quite difficult to get past them
2. The early morning traffic & the noise of the ubiquitous water tankers & call centre cabs racing with each other is to be seen to be believed. Once Magic & me had a narrow escape when a biker was send hurtling towards us & how he missed us, i still don’t know. Magic was terrified with the noise & the screeching.
3. for me to handle both of them on a walk involves a few issues:
a) When some dogs come running towards us with whom Magic is comfortable but Mia wants to keep a distance. The leashes get pulled in opposite directions & what if one of the leashes come off & one of them get run over by traffic ?
b) When aggressive stray dogs charge at us, Magic brooks no-nonsense & decides to launch himself into a no holds barred reply & Mia is next to me with her tail inside her legs. In that situation its tough not to step onto each others toes.
c) Funnily sometimes Magic & Mia decides to get into “full play mode” in a narrow foot path…..phew !!
d) On weekends we have to really walk very gingerly because the footpaths are strewn with broken beer & alcohol bottles…..’forget the constant digging for cable laying.
e) There are certain people which Magic simply does not like, especially some who are sleeping on the foot paths. When he sees them he wants to bolt. I wish i could decipher why he is wary of them. Obviously there is some reason, which are unknown to us. Again it becomes very difficult to calm him down & move forward.
But otherwise she is coping & looking after herself quite well.
Bye for now