“No pets allowed!” were the first words we heard from the landlady when we moved to a new house. We already had Splash with us. So, with a sad heart, we gave him away to a family friend. The very next day a white dog sat down before our house wagging its tail. He looked well fed and seemed vaccinated so I thought he had lost his owner. Suddenly my little neighbour came up calling, “Whitey! Whitey!” and he followed her. It took some time before I found out that he was not owned by my neighbour. In fact he had several owners: the entire colony, except of course, my landlady.
He, in return, was the guardian for the entire colony, barking at strangers and watching over the little children while they were playing. He would never allow a non-resident to enter without alerting the entire colony. He had a life to envy; he could choose the best meal from all the houses in the colony and sleep anywhere. One day the dog catchers came and cornered Whitey. He let out a bark as that of a warrior commanding his army to charge and there came the army ready to redeem their beloved warrior. The entire colony surrounded the dog catcher’s van, who ultimately gave up.
After that he got an orange collar with a small metal plate hanging on it stating that he was not a stray dog but owned by an entire colony. And that was what I recalled one day as I offered him a chocolate chip cookie, which he refused and went over to a neighbour for a meal of chicken bones.
DIANA EVANGELINE II Year, M.A., Dept. of Humanities & Social Sciences, IIT-M
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