Photo: Dogs nap in a neighborhood in Leh, India. Christopher John SSF/Flickr
India is a diverse country where the way of life, the habits, the languages and accent, the culture and the traditions change from state to state. But one of the things most common amongst us is our most popular pet. Be it Hindu, be it Muslim or Christian or any other religion or caste, we all love dogs.
In cities we can find a board saying “be aware of dogs” in every third or fourth house. A dog is an animal that can be found in every nook and corner of this country, be it a city or a village. While in cities, we prefer to keep them as our personal pets and lock them inside the walls of our apartments; in villages and towns most of these pets are free. They are free to roam around as they wish to; free to have food in any house they want and free to have fun with their mates.
Photo: Dog sitting in the street of Mumbai. Alexander Pfeiffenberger/Flickr
But when it comes to loyalty, they are known to be the most loyal animals on our planet. Their loyalty reminds me of a pet we once had. Her name was Julie. Though she used to stay at our home most of the time, she was loved by the entire colony. If we were to go for a walk, she accompanied us all the way. If she was sad, she would make the neighborhood crazy with her cries. But on one ill-fated night, she died protecting our colony. Some thieves barged into the neighborhood and she fought them till her last breath and was killed by the thieves. Such is the loyalty of this animal. This is what makes dogs the most popular animal of our country. This animal would love you, will play with you, will follow you and, yes, sometimes will bite you, too; but it will never betray you. We may like cats, we may have cows and buffalo for the need of milk, or goats for that matter, but when it comes to real love for a pet, there is no match to a dog.
Photo: Man feeding stray dogs in Kalupur, Ahmedabad (India). Frederic Spycher/Flickr
Pratham Dwivedi for Vox Orbis, 2015