Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Of Cats and Dogs

When we talk of pets , perhaps cats and dogs top the list and between these two, dogs win hands down. The reason being that dog is the most faithful friend of man. Some years back a nationalized bank had the face of a dog as its logo with the caption “faithful & friendly”. There was a movie “ Teri Meharbaniyan” with the title song dedicated to a faithful dog.Further a gramophone recording company has the name HMV -His Master's Voice- and has the logo of a dog facing a gramophone. In my school days , I came across a book in the school library titled “Drishti Daatri”, about the dogs in Europe and America specially trained to help blind people. We have dog squads in Police and Military to do the assigned jobs. And yet , we do not treat this friendly animal the way we should. We have idioms and proverbs like “Every dog has his day” and “to die a dog's death” , always used in a negative sense. Dog is often a metaphor for a mean ,wicked and a crooked person as used in Bollywood film dialogues. A married couple , not having the best of terms is said to be living a cat and dog life. It is said to be raining cats and dogs during the monsoons. And a cat , though devoid of the qualities that a dog has ,on the other hand is blessed with nine lives.
My mother , as a child had had a dog as a pet and would tell us that it was a vegetarian dog, always fed on milk and bread that would turn its head away if anything non-veg was offered to it. She would always say that a dog wishes that there are more members in a family so that it could survive on food left over by each one of them : while a cat , selfish and self-seeking , as always , wished that there should be a lone person around that too blind so that it could willfully eat or drink anything available without any hindrance- no one checking or stopping it. It is natural that I have a liking for dogs and prefer them over cats, when it comes to having pets. For some having a dog as a pet is a status symbol and walking the dog , the best pastime. Now a days , only the well to do in urban areas can afford to have a pet.
A dog recognizes its true master and owner and would not do any mistake on this account. Years ago, it so happened that our landlord brought a pup , an Alsatian and we children showered more love , care and affection on it than him and even named it Tiger. It would always live with us and even sleep in the verandah attached to our accommodation , so much so that people thought we were the owners.
After some years when we were to shift to a Govt. accommodation allotted to my father, every one thought , it would accompany us. For all the love affection and care showered on it by us, Tiger did not move with us and lived there till death.But this however does not mean that Tiger forgot us or that its affection for us diminished to any degree. The few occasions, when we visited the place , it would come running to us, wagging its tail and expecting a loving caress or a pat on the back. What can be a better example of dog's faithfulness !

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