Sunday, October 26, 2008

The mystery of dogs

Rani's passing on hit us severely. Its easy to acquire a pup and make it happy, but taking in an old dog that must have been treated badly and then allaying her fears is something else. We learned a lot in the two years Rani lived with us. I learned to interpret her barks and moods. I knew when she was calling me to help her or was angry about something. I regret some moments of impatience when she wanted something and I was on the phone or busy elsewhere. Nevertheless, we have to move on.

A couple of months ago, another interesting vagrant moved in. A terrier called Scotty with a tremendous attitude. A truly attractive dog with an extraordinary personality - photos later with long white hair with a light brown saddle and bangs over his eyes. A single bark has a decibel level intended to crack open your skull. He is impervious to commands and declines to listen to remonstrations that he get off the couch. He does whatever he wants. NOTHING is acceptable to him - a dog outside, a strange voice or noise, a squirrel running about in a jungle in Madagascar. His walk is like a ballerina and he has enormous strength though he hardly eats. If he wants to be scratched, he gets it and there's nothing I can do but obey!

The dogs react to the presence of a person at the gate in an interesting way even though they cannot see the gate. A known person clanging on the gate gets no response - they continue snoozing. An unknown person opening the gate gets a loud volley of head-splitting barks. HOW DO THEY KNOW??

But less about that - the area I live is full of dog lovers. Strays abound. In the market areas, there is a shopkeeper who has kept his personal comfort aside and maintains a family of dogs who come and go as they please. He has a TV. Everyone stands and watches as the dogs lie about everywhere, including seats and occasionally ON him, when he's snoozing. Dogs KNOW. No irrational fear of diseases, 'will he bite', 'dogs are dirty!' etc.

My house under construction is full of stray dogs who are not concerned if I stroll in and out inspecting things. They may look up in a bored way "Oh its you..." and go right back to sleep. I think they are advanced creatures with a well developed sixth sense.

I think they are truly evolved. I think I'd do a dog test to evaluate interviewees - how they react will tell me what I would need time and experience to conclude upon.....

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