My boss has a dog. He loves him. He though treats his employees like dogs. A Chennai doctor is flown to Delhi to treat if his dog is sick. Capital’s plush India International Centre is booked to host the doctor. Once, his dog walked the red carpet in our news office as the photo editor-on extension kept clicking the smartest chap on Planet Earth.
One of his friends, a renowned editor of one of the two surviving English magazines, is a dog lover too. He has even named his dog ‘Editor’. For him, the difference between the Almighty and this descendant of the gray wolf appears null – maybe he’d reason that it’s just the use of the letters ‘d’ and ‘g’ which stands for the disparity.
I was a dog lover too, never bothering signboards that would hang over nameplates with the warning sign, ‘Beware of Dogs’! We ourselves had several dogs – to name a few: Shahanshah, Sonia, Silky and Dolly. Many of my friends too are out of the world dog lovers – a buddy has a Labrador named ‘Whiskey’, who ensures we finish all the yellow beverage during any get together at his house.
Others in my gang also believe there’s unique friendship between them and their dogs. I have, however, developed a fear of the dogs who roam inside houses. Those on the streets have never barked at me, except for biting my niece once. But on one occasion, I nearly escaped at a friend’s house. Following that crash, I was given to understand that it was my fault as I had come too close to the kids for whom the German Shepherd was the protector.
Dogs may be God’s greatest gifts to my friends and editors to my editors, yet they do turn wolf at times. Last weekend, a former mayor of Bullhead City, Arizona, was injured by the family dog who also killed her husband. Diane Vick, 65, and her husband, Thomas Vick, 64, were both attacked by their boxer after they tried to break up a fight between the boxer and their family pet cocker spaniel.
The couple may be among the million people who’re bitten by dogs every year, but must I record sitting at the side of a dog in the year gone by when he lay lifeless, unmoved when I visited him one last time in the middle of the year, with this tribute: “Goodbye, Alfa. Rest In Peace. Your Love & Care For The House Will Always Be Remembered. We Stand Today, In Prayers.”
Tailpiece: George Graham Vest served as U.S. Senator from Missouri from 1879 to 1903 and became one of the leading orators and debaters of his time. Once, when he practised law, he represented a man who sued another for the killing of his dog. During the trial, Vest ignored the testimony, and when his turn came to present a summation to the jury, he made a delightful speech in defence of dogs and won the case. A line from the speech: “The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy… those who are nearest and dearest may become traitors… the one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.”