Mad about Dogs

December 17, 2008
By Pragya Mukherjee, New Delhi, ZZ

A cute little pug or a friendly lab, an intimidating Doberman or an adorable mongrel, dogs can just make anyone’s day. Nothing beats the affection they harbor for you. Their evident joy upon seeing you return home after a long day chases away all your tiredness and frustration. Owning a dog is complete bliss, so why doesn’t everyone in the world hurry to the nearby pet shop to get one of these delightful furry companions for themselves?
The answer is simple. It’s because they know better than to believe everything a dog adoption pamphlet says. Let me clear up all confusions on this issue. Owning a dog is nothing but WORK. Caring for a dog is even more traumatic than caring for a new born baby. At least with babies there are chances that it will grow up and cease to be a burden, but dogs are a pain their whole life. They need constant care, are the most shameless attention seekers, and consider any moment of your time not spent doing a hundred and one things for them as wasted. Their ‘potty training’ can last from months to years, and they will still adorn your house with their oh so endearing faeces every once in a while for the express purpose of keeping you on your toes. Dirtying the house’s front entrance just when you are about to entertain special guests happens to be their forte. The number of medicines they need to be fed outnumber those had by the whole family put together, and each visit to the vet is fraught with peril for anyone in the vicinity. They happen to be the most ungrateful creatures on the planet, giving you the dirtiest of looks every time you force a pill down their throats or make them take a bath- ruining your own clothes in the process. You take great pains to teach them a clever trick but when you take them around to show off to your friends they mysteriously forget all that they had learned, leaving you looking considerably sillier than before. You have to brush their coat, file their nails, groom their skin, use particular shampoos, conditioners and perfumes until your bathroom cupboard gets completely filled with your dog’s cosmetic necessities leaving you no space for your small bar of soap. The family budget is clearly defined the moment you get a dog. Half the income must be reserved for your dog’s expenses and the other half can be used for less pressing needs such as the rent and the groceries and the college fees.
Our flea-bitten, tick-ridden lords and masters need us humble servants to do all in our power to keep them happy and contented. We must scratch their ears for long hours irrespective of our aching arms. If they demand to go out for a walk we must drop all other things at hand and rush to take them. Our requirement for sleep is less important than theirs, so while we are not allowed to disturb their precious napping hours, they may come and wake us up as and when they please. Our beds, pillows and blankets are there for their express use, even if it means shoving us off the bed to use them. They must not be expected to sleep in their own separate corner. They can and will take the best couch in the living room.
Yes, owning a dog means all of these hardships and much much more. So why are we so ready to embrace a life of servitude when we decide to adopt a dog? Are all dog-owners masochists to revel in such a life? Why do my eyes well with tears at the thought of losing my dog? You see, there is one thing that atones for all of this suffering, one irrational habit we develop which makes us look upon these demons through rose tinted glasses. Because...believe it or not folks...We LOVE ’em!

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This article has 1 comment.

on Dec. 24 2008 at 6:12 pm
I love dogs. I have three, and they aren't a burden, but a joy. Well written though. =D

My book that I'm reading is taking place in New Delhi. It seems like a town full of culture and sadly, poverty.

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