One fine day 2 houses away, we hear a chorus of yelping and find 9 tiny adorable pups. None of the neighbours knew where they had come from or when. The pups only knew was that they were hungry, very hungry. So they yelped and yelped waiting for someone to feed them.
The owners of the house in front of which they had been abandoned, did not think it a joke. They complained about the noise and the litter, they also worried about the future- When all these pups grew up, what a noise they would make!
They were not cruel or mean. Our street already had about 3 stray dogs, they were women. So when their boyfriends came to mate them, they did make a lot of noise. When there was rivalry, or dispute about territory, this was worse. The men stayed in the parallel street, which had a whole gang of stray dogs, who were much more aggressive. We were happy with the women- they took care of our children and scared off unfamiliar people.
The first one who moved in was a female, who stranded in our shed on a very rainy day. She brought with her the only surviving child of that set. She stayed for a while, had babies again, which grew up, moved on. She stayed on till she died. Her children then moved into the neighbourhood and they all steadily increased in number. The neighbourhood had mixed feelings, but soon got used to them. They ate all the leftover food, and protected the street from unfamiliar people.
Coming back to the 9 babies, we knew that until their tummies were full, they would not stop whining. Someone got a bowl of milk, which was greedily emptied, with each competing with the other. This was amid warnings from the conservatives, if you feed them, they will not leave, etc.
It was lovely to see their personalities. A doormat, who let the others drink first and got almost nothing in the end. A playful one, who once tummy full pushed everyone else around. A naughty one, biting the kutty one’s ears. The curious one, who wanted to know where the milk had come from. The smart one, who approached the bowl from the other side for better access.
We said good night and went to sleep in our warm little houses, while the little ones cuddled together in a ball.
The next day evening when we came back from work, they were gone. We searched 2 streets to no avail. 2 days later, they were in the parallel street- in the male territory. We were worried and afraid, till we realised that one of our ladies who had just lost her entire litter had adopted them in a way, by not letting the men get near them. I wonder what sacrifices she had to make to do that. She did not for long- probably it was just too much to take on.
By then there were just 8 and one was sick making moaning sounds. Her brothers and sisters licked her fur, as if trying to comfort her. The next day they were just 7. One got run over by a car, it was the main road after all, one fell into the open ditch at the road side. And then there were 3, we weren’t sure what happened to the others. They stuck together, slept curled up together, as if making up for the absent mother. They followed any human that passed by, till they got kicked or shooed away. The other day when we passed by, we saw there was just this one left.
He did not seem curious, scared or hungry- he just stared. I wondered if he had post traumatic stress disorder. And if he lacked the warmth of a mother and if he would become a delinquent when he grew up. That is if he survived of course.
He had this horrible habit of lying right in the middle of the road as if he thought that there was no fate other than what befell his siblings.
I wondered if he was depressed and trying to commit suicide.
Maybe it was stupid to think that.
“Survival of the fittest and the smartest and cruelest?”
Is there justice in the law of nature?
But I wonder, when God commanded us to take care of animals, what he expected of us.
I wonder, when we use animals for our purposes and kill them to suit our palate or convenience, if they cry out to our God.
I really look forward to a world, where we will not have to watch any animal suffer and die.
A world where justice prevails.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Revelations 21: 4-5