“What is your first name?” The motel owner pointed to my name tag while playing with her dark yellow gold ear-ring.
“Inder. How long have the dogs been in the room, madam?” I jotted the details on my note-pad.
“I recognised your Kada. You’re a sikh.” She pointed at my iron bangle representing one of the 5 symbols of my religion.
I raised my eyebrows.
“5 days- he abandoned them 5 days ago.”
“Have you given them any water? Food?” I took down information of the renter.
“No sir, I’ve always been very scared of dogs. They bite.”
I thought to myself- so do most of us humans. They bite when they are scared or hurt. We bite because we like to play games.
“Our workers are very scared to even open the door.” She did the indian nod.
Gosh. Not a drop of water for 5 days and no food. I slid the card in the slot and entered the room. The brindle pitiful charged at me and then stopped.
Dogs are cowards.
Yes. Dogs are the biggest cowards in the world. They will achieve their goal using the minimum required force. They fake you out with their aggression and test its effect and then they wait. If you don’t flinch- they back off.
It never fails.
He recedes back on the bed where he has shredded newspapers, peed and pooped and made a royal mess. But its we, the humans who messed up their lives.
I sit on the chair and turn on the TV.
The dog stops barking. Thats when I see the other black dog cowering under a sink. He’s protecting her. He comes toward me, unsure but calm now.
The motel owner and his wife are staring wide-eyed through the window of the room.
I put some water in front of the dog. His tail starts wagging but he is unsure of drinking. I put water in front of the dog under the sink and she drinks right away. I caress her face. The brindle male starts drinking too.
In less than 5 minutes, I’m their new best friend. They are licking my face.
In the next ten minutes they are on my truck and when I take his picture he makes this absolutely angelic face which says. I didn’t do anything back there. It wasn’t me.
They are now at the shelter- in the same kennel. That’s the least I could do for them- to ensure they don’t feel even more abandoned; separated from each other.
So starts another vigil to find them a home- and this time hopefully together. The dogs don’t stop coming. The cruelty and abandonment and callousness never ceases to hurt my heart.
We humans are cowards too.
I was a coward for the longest time. Shutting my eyes to the plight of these animals.
I’m just trying my best to face up to the cruelty this world has inflicted on these animals now.
Just trying to NOT be a coward anymore.