Street Dogs have a right to life, too

Filed in Personal

I call them street dogs altho they’re better known, to most people, as stray dogs, or simply as strays.

We have a group of them here in Damansara Perdana. I used to see them during my morning walks. Then the group got smaller. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I hear howling from the streets below. Were they being abused, killed off?

I used to be really terrified of dogs, but now, when I pass them (or they pass me) in the streets, I keep calm and they mind their own business. I think animals smell fear and hatred and react accordingly.

The group dwindled down to 3, then 2. I’d see one and ask in my heart “where are your buddies?” Once, while doing a U-turn near my apartment block, I saw a brown dog up close, and saw that his back was one long open red wound. But he didn’t behave like he was hurting; in fact, he was quite a healthy dog except for the wound. It was from there that I started thinking of them as street, not stray, dogs. For sure, they are streetwise dogs.

Yesterday, while out on my first morning walk in almost a month, I was glad to see a group of 4 or 5. They were walking like they knew where they were going, like they own that particular street. A motorcyclist came a little too close to one of them and got barked at (maybe he slowed to kick the dog, but I couldn’t see). He then rode off, took the junction without looking and got honked at by an on-coming car. Served him right.

I wish there’s more I can do for the street dogs in my neighbourhood. I left messages on Facebook pages, I sent emails, and in the process, learned the politics that divide so-called “animal rescue” groups. Yet, despite the disappointment, I am heartened by the occasional individual who goes out of her way to do more.

I have seen that brown dog with the open wound again. He is still around, walking and running, the wound healing. For sure, he is a street(smart) dog, like his buddies.