Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dog blog from India

Dog blog from India

A mass of mutts in Mussoorie. Photo: My dear wife
Wherever you go in India there are dogs everywhere. Scrawny, emaciated mutts lie on the edge of the road or scavenge around in rubbish.

You can't help but feel sorry for the dejected-looking dogs, frequently told to "Hut" ("Go away") by all and sundry as they struggle to survive.

Many of them limp around and are injured, probably from being hit by vehicles, but there is little hope any of them will receive veterinary care.

It's a far cry from the pampered pooches in the west who have the luxury of a daily walk, regular feeds and a kennel. It makes you realise just how ridiculous and extravagant the whole concept of designer dogs in the west is - where celebrities give them pedicures or put them up in luxury pet hotels.

Some of the kids here at Woodstock have helped to set up a dog shelter to look after stray dogs in the vicinty, which will also have a sterilisation programme to stop the increase in strays. It's a worthy scheme but feels like something of a drop in the ocean for the whole country.

I guess in a country when so many people go hungry and eke out an existence it's not surprising dogs are left to roam the streets, and there's little sentimental attachment to such animals.
The coolest dog in India

In the meantime I'll try and give big dog love to any canines I encounter on my travels. The other day we almost ran over one of the downcast dogs as we tried to park the scooter, so I gave him some leftovers from our meal that night.

But I won't be stroking any of these dogs I'm afraid to say. Having just read that a woman in the UK died from rabies after being bitten by a dog in south east Asia, I'll just toss them the odd morsel and avoid any dog dentures.

Finally: my wife gets footy

On a totally unrelated subject I can confirm my wife has finally understood my passion for football. After years of incomprehension as to why I could spend so much time, money and emotional energy on perennial underachievers Southend United and 22 men chasing a cow's bladder around a field, Kirsten finally experienced the wonder and amazement of football.

To be fair the Southend games she's accompanied me to have been two of the worst football matches I've ever experienced (most recently Southend 0-1 Bradford, Dec 2011 - a result that cost us automatic promotion).

But football fell into place for her during the culmination of the English Premier League season when Manchester City won the title in extraordinary circumstances.

As you probably saw, City were trailing QPR 2-1 with just four minutes to go, needing two goals to win the title. It looked like they had blown what should have been an easy win, and their chance to win their first title in 44 years, and get one over Manchester United. Kirsten was in tears as she saw all the crying Man City fans on the TV.

Then incredibly Dzecko and Aguero scored two goals in the final few minutes, and in an incredible finale City had come back from the dead. We were jumping around embracing each other in the most amazing climax to a league season in years, possibly ever.

At long last Kirsten had experienced the joy and despair football can bring, and that Sunday night she finally got a glimpse of that rush of emotion when the ball hits the back of the net, gaining an insight into the profound and somewhat eccentric mind of the football fan.

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