One of my favorite things about walking through the city is stopping by and petting stray dogs. Pune has so many of them- precious mongrels who walk over to us and stretch their bodies lazily! Often, I think about the things they’d say to us if they could talk. They would be wiser than us, kinder than us. So giving in to this unnatural thought, I decided to pen down this hypothetical piece- if Pune’s dogs could talk! Here are some of the things they’d say to us…
Clean the city!
Stray dogs, or even our pet dogs, smell and see Pune unlike we do. If they could talk, they’d request us to maintain cleanliness and to provide our furry as well as human companions a hygienic environment to live in.
Stop the unspoken violence
Can you imagine what the stray dogs must see every day on the streets? Much worse, the amount of roughness they must face from some of our fellow citizens? People show their vile side when they know they won’t be opposed or questions. Our dogs would have them confessing!
You are always in a rush
Our pet dogs have seen the way we rush and obey the monotonous schedule. They have seen us at our weakest moments when we face the brunt of our daily life, especially after coming back home from long days facing heavy traffic. Our stray dogs would tell us to take a breather and maybe a quick nap.
Your festivities cause more damage than you imagine
Be it any festival, our dogs would probably tell us about the air and noise pollution it leads to. If there’s an unspoken rule of not being loud in a hospital’s proximity, we probably need to stretch it towards other areas as well. Animals, old people, babies, we affect them all, especially during festivals.
Loneliness is too, too common
Dogs see us at our loneliest, at our lowest. Imagine feeling the loneliness and not being able to talk about it, which happens with them often when we leave them alone for an entire day. The same thing happens to our grandparents or even parents; our Puneri lifestyle is very goal/career oriented with little time for anything else.
Be what you are with us, even when we aren’t with you
I think this is so, so important. The traditional Indian culture often refrains us from opening up and being fragile. Being raised in a typical, strict Puneri family, I grew up quiet, shy, and unsure of opening up. With my dog, I am everything without being afraid of being judged.
Kindness is an act, not just a thought
We so often wish to do so many things for people. We want to help people, but these just remain thoughts, we don’t act upon them. Our dogs don’t reconsider their actions, they love and give everything without a single question. If only we could be more like them, no?
Feature image by @misspunekar