Tuesday, July 5, 2016
This weekend, as Chetan and Shwetha (both from India originally) hiked along with me in the hills overlooking the East Bay, with their wonderful 5-month-old pup, Rocky. The discussion came up, as we hiked, of the seeming fear of off-leash dogs when we come across hikers from India. The viewpoint shared was very enlightening. I will "leash-up" Bailey and Chloe, when in doubt, for everyone's well being.
"Regarding the insight of pet/dog culture in India, it's largely to do with the fact that, most parts of India have large numbers of stray dogs (on almost every street). Because of that, almost every other person (including Shwetha and myself) have been attacked and bitten by several stary dogs. They form groups and define their own territory and boundary. Every night, you sleep to the sound of dogs barking, which is common. Some of them also chase bikes, cars and bicycles when they are in their boundary. In some cases, for no reason, they even attack people and bite them leading to the ugly process of injections (those that we had to take to our stomach, 14 injections OUCH!!) etc. Several instances, even pet owners, raise their dogs to be specifically aggressive because most owners want their pets to alert them if any strangers that enter or pass by their house/property. But poor pouch has no idea who is who, when it comes to a stranger and they end up barking/attacking almost every unknown person.
Consequently, having grown up in such an environment, where we have to sometimes change a walk route to avoid a certain street dog, we end up being nervous coming across any dog. Its kind of physiologically biased reaction. The first instinct for many Indians is that a dog may bite them and so they probably won't be a fan and will tend to be nervous of off-the-leash dogs here is the United States. This is many times misunderstood between cultures.
However, pet culture in U.S. has completely changed our frame of mind. I feel so lucky for having access to resources, knowledge about pets in general, and hands on experience with our friend's dogs (here in U.S.). Vs in particular, being the sweetest of all breeds have transformed our biases. Very quickly our V showed us a new word of coexisting together with purest form of love and affection. We have a long way to go, and hopefully in this process we also influence pet/dog culture back in India (at least a few) starting with our own relatives and friends :)
Thank you so much Rod for everything. Hope to see Chloe next time, very soon!
Posted by Rod Michaelson at 6:36 PM