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Sunday, April 06, 2014

A Couple of New, Stray Friends...

It's been a couple of months at this new job that I've been working at, and I've befriended a couple of the stray dogs that live on the premises. Loved by most of my animal-lover colleagues, and left well alone by those who generally keep a safe distance from them, they seem to identify me as a ready source of snacks. In particular, and no matter how many times I tell them that in excessive quantities, Parle-G Original Gluco Biscuits are bad for them, they seem to ignore this warning as they continue to wolf down this apparently delectable snack. There was a time when I too ate my fair share of this biscuit, by the packet-load even. However, of late, the overall trends in most packaged foods and my perhaps imagined sense of 'artificial flavors' in all of them have turned me off of them, at least in terms of what was once a pretty regular pattern of consumption. This concern of mine doesn't seem to translate well, or at all to my canine friends, and that kind of worries me...the fact that I am feeding them, but that it's more like a slow poisoning. Anyway, without much further introduction, here is the first of the two, and I will have to leave the description thus because in light of the fact that different people have different names for them, I have refrained from adding to this confusion by giving them some random nomenclature that I believe will suit them.

Some people call her 'Kaalee' and I'm guessing it is because she sports black fur, the word referring to this color, but she seems to be at least 7 or 8 years old, but that's just my rough estimate judging by the telltale lines and wrinkles that I've noticed on her face.

She does this really cute thing where without being asked she will raise her left paw in a sort of handshake motion, but a lot of the times it is to physically get my attention by pawing at me very deliberately. Although I can't see if there is any dental issues troubling her, she prefers me to break these biscuits into smaller pieces before she will eat them. Today, she seemed to be suffering from a mild bout of indigestion because she seemed to prefer the odd patch of grass on the premises, and even though she guarded her small grouping of Parle-G pieces that I had laid down in front of her, she didn't manage to eat them. In fact, as I moved position to sit down and spend a little time with them, petting them and just being around them which is quite cathartic for me, crows moved in to make off with the pieces and she got up to rush them, charging at them several times most aggressively. It's evening now, and while she seems to be much better, I haven't tried to feed her these biscuits, or anything else to see if her appetite is back. Will attempt to do so after this post.

This gentleman of a dog is referred to by a multitude of names, being called "Rathey" and even "Norbu" by some.
As you can see, his right eye is differently colored, and if you pay attention, he has white whiskers on the right side of his muzzle, and black whiskers on the left, although not evident from this photograph, sorrily enough. According to some people, he has put on some weight since I started feeding him his favorite snack, and unlike Kaalee, he wolfs down the biscuits in a great hurry, often resulting in a little hiccup after he has gone through an entire packet in the blink of an eye. I feed them to him one at a time, but that doesn't seem to slow him down much because he takes it more like a challenge as he eyes the next biscuit in my hand, even though he is still chewing on the one I just fed him. He's quite loveable because he has this little whimpering thing that he does, even though I have seen him assert his dominance over the others, not so much Kaalee, who I suspect could be his mother. In fact, he defers to her staring at him, showing an element of seniority in their two-dog hierarchy that he is not keen on challenging at all. No matter, he has also been called a bit of a rowdy, harassing a couple of the other dogs on the premises who till date have refused to approach me, no matter how snack-laden I may be.

They both have bits of their ears missing, and when I asked about this it was apparently done by a local veterinarian who had administered a dose of anti-rabies a while ago, attempting to mark them so that he didn't end up doubling on the dosage by mistake. I don't know if I totally agree with this method, but at the very least, at least he seemed to have made the effort to ensure their longevity on the whole.

I love the fact that I can just hang out with them first thing in the morning, and now that I've attempted to provide them with a source of fresh water in the form of a reclaimed, shallow earthern pot, they seem to understand the routine a little better. It's great to be around animals, and like I mentioned earlier, the catharsis that comes from being to engage with them, no matter how limited this engagement may be, does wonders for the soul. In the process, I hope I'm doing them some service other than the slow, long-term poisoning I was referring to. Oh well, new friends are always welcome, no matter what shape, size or species. :)
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