A million and one damnations

 It’s the turn of the General Dog.

Dear Aristotle,

The letter from the Tow Cow is very interesting. How I envy her! She has found food as well as peace in her tumultuous life. Perhaps, her life is a little different from ours — she being a cow and we being stray dogs. Maybe, she has not known the contempt of people; never stoned by children; never having to rummage through trash cans for a few morsels of food and never ever to be stuffed into overcrowded pounds!

Our life is one of eternal condemnation and punishment. We are but a million and one damnations of every city in India.

Wolf to woof!

My letter is not to plead our cause. We will survive come what may. But I would like to bust some myths and misconceptions about us; maybe that might make you look at us in a whole new light.

It is interesting to know that domestic dogs are descendants of the grey wolf. Incredible change that — from wolf to woof! About 15,000 to 17, 000 years ago, man and wolf learned to live in close proximity to each other. But why? Nobody knows. It doesn’t matter, for the friendship has been great. Over the last few centuries, many breeds of Canis lupus familiaris (that is our name) have evolved. Each breed has its own special ability that makes it unique. But what can I say for my kind that roams the streets and parks of every town and village in this country?

We are homeless and belong to no one. You are right to call us stray dogs. Not all street dogs are shabby, rabid or mangy. Most of us are healthy, alert, friendly, adaptable and with a good sense of bearing. So I ask the human readers of this page, “Would you adopt one of us now that you know more about us”?

General mongrel

Reply from Aristotle

Hello General Sir,

Your letter reminds me of one that I received from a rat who lives on the Nicobar Islands of India.

Dear Aristotle,

Why do people adopt only cats and dogs as their pets? How come no one wants us? We are cute too! Besides we may soon become extinct!

Nonsense rat

Published as part of a series titled ‘Aristotle’s Mailbag’ in Young World, The Hindu, dt. April 29, 2013

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