By Dr. Kuhu Roy
There is rising propaganda against stray dogs aimed at whipping up hysteria that has a long lasting ripple effect. So, here is a small effort to counter that by sharing some real-life episodes in the subsequent posts, that the two of us have experienced on the streets while tending to strays over the years.
Here is an incident concerning our Manohar, the saintly soul in the picture. Manohar was a very gentle dog who would show affection no matter how the humans around him behaved. In one such incident, the year 2016, while he was eating from his bowl, a man kicked him out of sadistic pleasure and walked away. While I took him to task, Manohar’s magnanimity, he wagged his tail for him as well. What if Manohar had retaliated in self defense? It would have been a case of a dog bite. Who would have told his side of the story then if I was not around? The point is, the stray dogs cannot present their side of the story when news of ‘sensational dog bites’ are made viral and that is what those with vested interests and criminal tendencies cash on.
No stray dog will ever bite until and unless provoked. It is only when they sense harm or fear for their life that they retaliate in self defense. All the untoward incidents can well be avoided if we humans learn to behave ourselves with animals. The need of the hour is awareness and education drives at the grass root level in the form of kindness clubs for children, sensitization campaigns for resident welfare organizations and a need for a transparent animal birth control programme.