By Biswadeep Ghosh (Courtesy: The Times of India dated July 13, 2011)
He may not have a name. He might be a stray dog. But, he deserves every ounce of love he gets.
He stays near my house. He doesn’t have a name, must be six-seven years old, and seems to smile whenever he sees me. He hates dog food, but loves biscuits. We meet each other once a day, every day. He waits for me, for a hug, for the biscuits. I feed him. After he is through, I leave the place. He follows me till I reach my door and ring the bell. Then, he leaves me, and goes away. That is his way of saying ‘thank you’ I think. When I am at home, playing with my cocker pup, there are times when his sight intrudes upon my mind. A nice, decent fellow that he is, I start missing him.
I am not the only person who feeds a stray dog every day. Millions like me do the same, finding time for their much-loved four-pawed beauties who seek a few moments of affection every day. We see them trudging on the streets, looking for food here and there. When they are with friendly company, they play, making happy noises that we can’t help but notice. When ruthless passers-by throw stones at them, they try to dodge. At times, they succeed. At times, they don’t. When strangers enter society buildings, they are alert enough to bark the moment they sniff unfamiliarity. Some become so attached that they care for us in their own characteristic way. Only, it comes to them so naturally that they don’t even realise they do.
The gentlemanly dog is one of them. Whenever my vehicle slows down, I see him running towards me. When I buy his daily packet of biscuits – a big one, since he is a big dog – he waits patiently next to me. There are days when he is extremely hungry. I can sense that when he polishes off the entire pack much faster than he normally does. On such occasions, I buy him another pack. He finishes that, too, with joy and gratitude.
Apart from my pet who is a son to me, this dog with no name is someone I really love. Something in his large eyes tells me he is a good soul. I don’t know how many of us can say that about our own selves.