Picture Credits: Shivendra Shukla
A lot of people call JGU their home – the students, faculty members, the Sodexo didis and bhaiyas, and also the numerous dogs that can be seen basking under the sun in the lawns during summer or hibernating under benches in the winter. They accompany us to classes, and often to our rooms, or just look at us with smug grins as we rush in a zombie-like state for our 9am lecture. Yet, their happy lives are marred by many insensitive people on campus who truly believe that dogs are pests. These people believe humans and dogs cannot co-exist in harmony.
This is a letter by Rambo, also known as Salman Khan by many, a black and white dog, who roams around campus and sees us not as law school/liberal arts students or business school students, not as musicians or debaters, nor as researchers or orators, but as plain human beings, who choose to pet him (or abuse him) as we go about our days.
A lot of you call me Rambo. Some of you think I am Salman Khan (please don’t, I chase cars but wouldn’t run over people even if I could drive) and some of you just know me as the grimy dog with pointy ears who follows people everywhere.
I do love walking with you guys. It is fun. I sit with you in the evenings as you whine about your latest assignment or discuss your new crush. Sometimes I become playful and decide to chew your scarf. Well it was because you probably didn’t look good in it anyway. I know I am a handful, but I never want to or will hurt anyone.
You need to know that.
I know you read about violence occurring across the world every hour—humankind is going through a tough phase. You debate about this violence, maybe write thesis papers on it or make PPTs about it. But are you really globally aware compassionate humans if you allow or perpetuate violence against animals in your own surroundings?
Don’t throw things at us or hit us please? We are not lifeless toys that you can kick out of the way if we happen to be in your path. When we get hurt, no one will come help us till we are discovered and that takes a lot of time here. There are a bunch of nice people who take care of us but often we do still end up starved, cold and frustrated. Yes, that does mean we sometimes look at you with puppydog eyes in the foodcourt. Give us some milk and biscuits now and then? You won’t have to give up much to buy us that. Maybe one cold coffee a day?
My friend Alan was loitering around Amul once, sniffing around in a forlorn manner. This random girl who he had never seen before (most probably a fresher) went to Amul, bought him milk, got a container from Gulab and poured out the milk for him. He finished the entire milk packet. He was speechless (Dogs generally cannot talk I know but this was different) He now accompanies her to the hostel or Academic Block whenever he sees her alone. They are good friends now. One generous act is all it takes.
We know you lead busy lives: Busy with friends or engrossed in studies, you couldn’t care less about a group of dirty furry orphans but because of this indifference, one of us dies of infection or starvation, or gets beaten up with a stick by the guards. Two of our youngest pups’ mom died when a visitor ran her over while driving off. It is heartbreaking. If you don’t take responsibility for us and stand up for us, who will?
Gaining our love is really easy- all you have to do is show some compassion, and yet, a lot of you fail at that too.
Please help us? We need you.
(on behalf of all the wonderful dogs who hope that they are as much a part of the JGU community as you are.)
P.S – It really won’t take much effort to help us. Maybe refill our water bowls if you see them empty? Or just don’t harass us, especially during Holi and Diwali. Such small actions will make a huge difference for us trust me.