I have always stayed away from dogs and when people asked me if I had had a bad experience, I would answer in the negative. That changed today. I actually just wrote a post about my relationship with animals - can dogs actually read or is this some weird jinx factor that I have aroused ?
Sunday with good weather means runners, children and above all dogs catching balls, running around, playing frisbee and simply basking in the sun with their owners. As I was humming ''Guzarish'' and walking along, a ''brilliant'' dog owner threw a ball towards the pedestrian path and I saw a tiny mean looking dog (don't know what kind) running towards it.
As luck would have it, it caught the ball just a feet away from me. I mustered all my courage and started walking away as if the dog wasn't there. Either it liked me or my shoes. It came towards my feet and my heart beat rose. I said loud enough for the owner to hear ''Ich habe Angst für Hunde'' (I am scared of dogs) and I don't know if he responded because by then I was focussing my attention on the dog that sniffed/licked my shoes and I said ''Aiyyo''....the dog probably understood Thamizh and it responded my jumping on me and I screamed !!
The dog jumped on me again and started biting my skirt (I was so glad I wore a long flowing skirt with layers instead of pants) and I am now in tug-of-war for my favorite skirt with the dog's teeth and all the while I am screaming my head off...I don't know how long this lasted, probably about 10 seconds but it seemed like an eternity to me. Finally the owner manages to tear the dog off my skirt and says ''sorry'' and walks away as if he just bumped into me !!!
There I am in the middle of a large ground, with a torn skirt, completely shook up, scared, embarassed with tears welling up in my eyes. I managed to pull myself together and started walking home (it was at least 1 km away) and I start wondering at how irresponsible the dog owner was and how I should have made him pay for the skirt !! I was also wondering about how no one in the whole place even offered to comfort me with a perfunctory ''are you ok'' !
I was hurrying to get home when I notice another dog running towards me and while I am thinking how in the world I am going to muster strength to deal with it, a Turkish guy stopped me, held my hand and said ''don't move'', the dog came, smelled me and left. He then says he saw the whole episode and he was shocked at the dog owner's behaviour and that I should go home and make sure that the dog did not actually make skin contact. Finally before leaving, he tells me ''never let a dog know you are scared''...I made a mental note to remember it but then its a whole other issue when you actually have to do it, right ?
I came home, took a dettol-shower (yup, I still use dettol!) and was relieved to find there were no teeth marks anywhere. I looked at my torn skirt and I remembered what my appa used to say whenever I bought any ragged looking, faded clothes in the name of fashion - ''ennadhu idhu, nai pidingina madhri irukku?''....for once, its actually true !!
I am a vegetarian and I have never knowingly hurt an animal but if it has to stay that way, all you pet owners out there, for God's sake, keep your pets to yourself !!!!