July, August & September are the most difficult months of the year to be a human companion to high-energy dogs. Due to the rains our normal schedule gets really disrupted.
In our very strange case/situation where we live for a few days in the city and a few days in the farm I cannot take them with me to the farm with me due to the following reasons: 1) If we go to the farm there is no guarantee that we can come back, land slides are a real possibility anytime. 2) Due to strong winds and the rains, there will not be electricity for months together, so there is no way one can store the doggie “protein”. 3) Our vehicle will be parked 2 kms from the farm, in a 3000 mm rainfall area, imagine walking with two sight hounds, negotiating the rains, the slippery narrow walking tracks & aggressive native dogs to deal with. 4) Imagine the mess in our house when they run out and come running back in to sit on to the furniture.
On the other hand Magic & Mia have been coping with all this very well. When it is raining outside they are not interested, they are happy to be cuddled up inside the comforts of their blankets.
Or if there is a bit of sunlight for a few minutes they venture out to the balcony to catch the warmth.
The other issue is vis-a-vis food & tummy. When to give them food and more importantly to see that they do their toilet jobs everyday and not get constipated or do not nor get any stomach infections. Keeping their feet clean has been a challenge and also even if they stink a bit, there is no question of giving them a bath in this weather.
Since Magic is a physical & intellectual freak, its a challenge to keep him mentally stimulated and exercised. Mia, on the other hand is just a normal dog, like all of us normal people. Due to the rains we cannot do our pre-dawn walk, we can only go when there is a bit of sun, so that one gets an idea of the weather, the cloud cover and estimate the chances of a downpour & makes sure there is some shelter nearby, where one can quickly run for cover. Through our walks through the lanes and by-lanes in our residence during the last few months i’ve had some interesting encounters with other dog walkers in the area:
- The one’s who want you off the road, from 500 mtrs away they start waving to you to go over to the other side… if you are so put off by our sight, then why don’t you yourself go the other side ?
- Women walking with Rottweiler’s and struggling to hold the dog when the Rottweiler and Magic gets into a barking bout… its scary… not the Rottweiler ‘though, its the women !!
- A guy with a Great dane & he is in his own world while talking on the phone and the Great dane has zeroed in on Magic & the guy is oblivious of the danger which can unfold. I have had to shout at him in full marathi explicits to catch his attention and warn him to be careful .
- People who leave their pugs off leash and says to us, there is nothing to worry & at that very instant the Pug comes charging at us… Magic would rip apart the pug into 32 pieces in a second !
- Another guy always keeps his Golden Retriever off leash and is talking on the phone and he has no idea that we are approaching… well, less said the better.
- Because of the puddles & muck we have to be a bit on the road, Drivers, instead of slowing down or waiting for a second, they would honk at us & flash head lights at us, and yell at us to get off the road…. middle finger up for them straight away.
- Once a Spaniel came charging at us, Magic & Mia could have inflicted some serious damage. In trying to prevent that from happening, i almost tripped over the spaniel. The person from whose house the spaniel came running out, confronts me You kicked my dog, i said no i was only trying to save it. There were many witnesses to that incident. I walked off saying Up yours..
- A guy with a German Shepherd, both Magic’s and the German Shepherd’s eyes are locked in. I am trying to quickly move on, the guy with the German Shepherd is standing and allowing the German Shepherd to bark & growl, so i request him to walk on.Then he tells me : You don’t like other dogs ? Wtf
- Then there is a five star dog walker, a feisty Lhasa apso and a man, they come in a fancy car. the moment he sees us coming he runs back inside his car with the apso, then comes out again after we pass…. Wtf
- Then there a person with a Beagle, every morning they just drive him around in their car, instead of walking & exercising the Beagle. While they pass us, the Beagle with almost his whole body outside the car window keeps barking at us. Why can’t they roll up the window when they see us ? The end result being through out our walk Magic will have a go at every red car !!
- Do they bite ? its an usual question posed to me on a daily basis. My answer as always been Human beings bite more than dogs. I always get the most quizzical look ever… What do you mean they ask. I reply … just look around & see the inequality, this is how human beings bite each other, its worse than a dog bite. They walk away.
- Most of the street dogs are friends with Magic & Mia, there a few of them which literally jumps on him and he tolerates it all very quietly.
- There are some dogs which actually will be barking & growling at us and sometimes even makes a charge towards us, but Magic & Mia remains very quiet.
We do live in a society which is really cruel. What can one say about someone who throws a dog down from a terrace. The dog : Bhadra survived, here is a poem for him, written by Maryam Ala Amjadi
The white hands of the clock are crooked from stealing time
and the counting eyes of the keyholes can now fully mouth
the empty echo of slogans back to the windowed will of the walls
who could not believe the mind of their own ears
that in the violent tongue of human beings
“a dog’s life” merely means
unearthing the wretched bones of the bloody questions
that were long sown and thrown:
Just who owns the human body? Who do the humans own?
Objects of affection and subjects of warmth
Living ‘things’ that break and breathe
In this Love-forsaken world, they are rare
those who know the difference between
and ‘belonging with’
Peace, love, Khudā Hāfiz.