Our conversation was going on smoothly, when he asked me something that quite disturbed me. He asked me if we ever chain Chikoo, or let him move around freely at home. I was quite taken aback since the question came from a pet parent. Why in the world should we chain him up? I told him we can’t ever think of doing such a thing because it was outright cruel, and that our Chikoo was a very well behaved fellow. Secondly, it is his house, too. He can roam around anywhere he wants. Moreover, tying up dogs makes them aggressive. He said they did not chain Tuffy either. I was relieved to hear that piece of news, for sure.
There are quite a many eccentric people and pet owners out there, from whom I have heard worst things:
* “Can you tie him up, or lock him up in another room? We are scared. Will he bite?” they say when they come visiting.
Well, we sure will do it, if you tie up or lock up your kids when we come visiting at your place. We are scared of your kids. We may not have ‘kids’ of our own, but we do have a fair idea how ‘well-behaved’ some kids can be! And, biting humans is not the motto of a dog’s life, for heaven’s sake! We are here to see that he does not make you uncomfortable in any way, so, just relax.
* “I never allow my dog to enter the kitchen or the temple room (where the deities are placed)” said a pet parent I met long time ago.
Why in the world do such people bring home pets when they have reservations about the dog’s movements in the house? Why not treat the dog as a member of the family and train him in such a way that he knows his area well enough and keeps to it? And, what is the problem if the pet does visit the temple room? It is God who created the animal, too. So, I am sure God won’t have a problem with the dog coming to ‘visit’ him once in a while, will he? When he was a kid, my Chikoo used to pick up idols of gods from the temple room and take them on a tour of our house. I often found some or other idol enjoying some peace and quiet in a cozy corner Chikoo had left it in!
*”My husband has asked me to get rid of the dog before he returns home“, said a neighbour, who had brought home a cute little pup in her husband’s absence.
I was so disturbed! The pup, who after staying with this woman, had gotten so used to her and her sons, so attached to them. And, now she wanted to ‘get rid of him’?! Poor baby! How would he be able to survive anywhere without his ‘mum’ and his ‘brothers’?
Getting home a pet just because somebody in the neighbourhood has one, or just because the kids fancy one, makes no sense. A pet can change your entire world, your entire schedule and life style. One needs to discuss the issue with the family, be ready to accept the changes that will take place if they really are keen on having a pet.
Dogs are ‘pack animals’. They may not be born to the ‘pet parents’, but they feel a kinship with their families for as long as they live. And. to think of getting rid of such loving creatures just because they seem a nuisance, or they have grown old is as good as torturing them to death. Once a dog learns that you are family, he will do everything he can to please you, shower you with his unconditional love and be faithful to you till his last breath.
I plead with the people who may be contemplating getting home a pet to please consider the changes that are going to take place in their lives on the arrival of the pet; to treat the pet as a member of their family and give it the respect it deserves; train the pet in the best possible way so that having him around becomes a wonderful experience that will be cherished for the rest of your life. The pet may be an animal, but he has feelings and emotions, which he will express in a different way, showering you with all his love and affection to last you a lifetime. And, if making changes in your life style seems an impediment, then just go, get a stuffed toy!