By Dr. Kuhu Roy

In order to portray stray dogs as enemies of mankind, the elderly as victims are drawn into the picture, primarily for sympathy factor. So, when instances of stray dogs targeting them make news, I prefer to take it with a pinch of salt. In continuation with the ‘Their side of the story’ series, here is one among many of the episodes that will reflect upon why;

The Year 2015. One day before leaving work, an Associate Professor drew me aside. With grave concern on her face, she said, “Kuhu, I want to share something with you.” I nodded my head and said, “Hmm, please tell me.” She continued, “You know, the other day my father-in-law was going for a walk. It is then he saw this one stray dog who had dug a place in the community park. He stepped in to shoo the dog, fell and broke his leg.” “So how is the dog at fault for that?” Silence followed from her end, she then walked away. We never spoke again and another round of my social boycott at workplace followed. Maybe I was supposed to offer sympathy or sugarcoat my words. But what for?

The news in the local circle was, “A senior citizen suffers a fracture because of a stray dog.” Why not share the other side of the story? It should have been none of that old man’s business to disturb a sleeping dog. What if the old man had really managed to kick the sleeping dog? What if the stray dog had retaliated? Then the news would have been, “Stray dog bites a senior citizen.” In a nutshell, stray dogs will be blamed even when they are not at fault. If someone wants to target them, they will, no matter what. It is on us to present their side of the story.

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