It's a dog's life. Really!

The mangled body of a dead dog - how many times have you seen this sight? If you travel on Indian roads, I would say you would see one such picture at least once a week. I like road trips and drive long distances whenever I get a chance to do so. Dog kills (if you know what I mean) is a common sight on highways. Till sometime I used to see these lifeless masses and they did not really mean anything to me. In fact many times I was able to muster a joke or two. Slowly, however, I started realizing that what is lying on the road - either flattened and stuck to the road by a truck or tossed around by cars - was a living being running around not many hours ago. And then an incident, that curiously did not involve a dog, brought about a sea change in my attitude and feelings towards them. It was an accident involving a cat that I saw and also wrote about.

I do realize that for many of us the issue is too insignificant to warrant attention. In fact, I will not be surprised if it elicits a laugh or two from some. I can understand. After all with so many sights of human suffering around us why do we care about "other" creatures especially those that come by the dozen. But if we chose to slow down (literally and figuratively) and observe a dog walking by the side of the road, we would realize the futility of these innocent being killed just because neither many of us nor dogs follow traffic rules.

Today on my way to office, I saw yet another pup lying on the ground hit most probably by a car because it was intact. I knew the accident was very recent since I had not seen it in the morning when I passed that way. And I thought, what makes us speed even on colony roads. Do we realize that the pain we feel when a fellow human dies may be more than when a dog dies; but the pain felt by those who die - dog or man - is actually the same. Maybe more for the dog because it practically has no chances of surviving accident. People (the blogger included) pass by the carcasses - some like me feel bad about it but move ahead, some others don't even notice it.

Reminds me of an incident when I went running on a stretch in Hyderabad. I saw a crowd gathered around what looked to me like a "tomcat". I just tried putting some water on it thinking it may want to drink. Many people too were interested. Since they were talking mostly in Telegu, only after sometime did I realize that because of it not looking like a normal cat, they had mistaken it for a leopard cub. The moment they ascertained that its just a normal cat, it was put away on the side of the road and people proceeded. The cat would have died a slow and lonely death. I wonder what do they think when they die. Like humans, does their life come flashing before their eyes? Do they remember their loved ones - do they have loved ones? These are intriguing questions.

Next time you see a dog carcass on the road, try to think of how the accident may have happened. Would the death have been instantaneous or would the dog be howling in pain calling for attention? Any death is sad. Be it that of a deer at the hands of a tiger. But that is how nature works. Wondering if in a few years from now - dogs killed on roads would be termed as a natural death!

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