No other animal has come this close to human beings. Yes, only dogs have accepted human domination and have been following human beings for thousands of years now without meaning any harm.
Even cats would not obey humans like dogs did. If you try to go very close to cats, for example, you will see that cats react strongly and often reject you. For not being very close to humans, I do not mean cats deserve any less attention. However, the fact that dogs are one of the kindest and most faithful creatures on earth cannot be denied.
Unfortunately, people in the country have always been so cruel to dogs. They throw rocks, beat them brutally to death, hold the rear legs and twirl the body wildly for fun, pour hot water or hot oil on them, drive vehicles recklessly over them.
Also, everywhere across the country, the mass killing of dogs with poisonous injection has become a regular practice. Such treatment of dogs is unfair and unkind. With progress in the fields of education, technology, and everything else, it has become imperative that we advance the attitude of people towards stray dogs as well.
There are laws which state that dogs have a right to live, and there is even an order issued by the High Court banning dog culling. Unfortunately, these laws exist only on paper, not in reality. Even the government organisations, including the city corporations, kill dogs systematically and regularly.
The recent dog culling by Chittagong City Corporation is just one cruel example. Laws have become a farce in this country of lawlessness, so the mere existence of laws is not enough. People should rather feel for dogs from within, and laws should follow those feelings.
These feelings are already adversely influenced by the existing beliefs. These beliefs result in cruelty towards dogs and thus, instead of glorifying the existing beliefs and values, people should question them. This questioning can no doubt lead human beings to kinder ways of treating dogs.
In the dictionary of dogs, there is no “cheating” or “betrayal.” Their vocabulary is rather short, and the few words they have are love, friendship, faithfulness, security, sincerity, selflessness, innocence. Along with your family members, try having a dog at home. Dogs will fill your heart and whole existence with endless love and hope.
A dog will restore you to life every day, so that you can smoothly take on the next day. By the time you come back from your interaction with human beings, machines, noises, and what not, you are exhausted and the dog is ready to spread love all over you. As soon as you enter, you will see what I mean: The dog will hold and hug you and also express love in such a way, which is beyond imagination by any other creature.
It will let you know how much it missed you throughout the whole day. The dog will wait for you at home like no one else can. The love of a dog will invite you to forget all your problems.
Next, a dog cannot be unholy. The mind of an individual is responsible for making anything either holy or unholy. There is no essential holiness or unholiness in any matter, living or dead. If you believe this dog is holy, then it becomes holy. Similarly, if you consider it unholy, only then it is unholy.
When there is no distinction between holy and unholy, you will discover a condition free of any duality. Because of this belief, caught between holy and unholy, people have such resentment against dogs. Thus, is it any wonder that we witness such cruelty against them?
Human beings believe in the axiom that they are the best among all creatures. I, too, once believed this blindly and without question. My parents and religious and social institutions taught me so, and at one point I found that point of view natural.
But something happened towards the end of my teenage years, when reality struck me and opened my eyes.
In theory, I believed humans were the best, but in practice, I found otherwise.
Reality showed me how cruel, greedy, and selfish humans can be. There are wars, bloodshed, famine, robberies, injustice, conflicts across the globe, and humans are directly responsible for all these. Dogs, on the contrary, are faithful, kind, obedient.
Some may argue that many people in Bangladesh do not have food and shelter, so how can people at large pay any attention to stray dogs? This conclusion is flawed and unkind
Dogs have always been unnecessarily and illogically inferiorised. People have used the power of the brain, pen, and paper against a creature as kind as a dog. Of course, there are kind human beings, but, in general, people can be so cruel.
Sadly, the most cruel claims to be the most kind. They claim so, probably because with the claim they consciously or unconsciously want to hide their actual identities.
Some may argue that many people in Bangladesh do not have food and shelter, so how can people at large pay any attention to stray dogs? This conclusion is flawed and unkind. Both the rights of people and animals should move together.
Also, I must point out the fact that the people in need can be so kind to dogs. If you go to the High Court area in Dhaka one evening, for instance, you will find many homeless people on the pavements, which have become their home.
You will also find some dogs being fed by the same people even though they struggle to get food for themselves.
Not only that, the dogs even lie with them on their beds -- just a tattered piece of cloth.
Those kind people hold the dogs so warmly, that words are simply insufficient to express the true feeling.
Some may now point at the rapidly increasing number of dogs. Well, an animal birth control program can be implemented, if the number is really needed to be kept small. But once a dog is born, no one should murder it deliberately. Few might still argue that dogs spread rabies but this is the 21st century, and rabies is absolutely preventable through antibodies.
Mother Earth is not only for humans; it’s also for dogs. Dogs don’t know about betrayal, dogs are not unholy, and dogs are good. These qualities make dogs the most kind and faithful creatures, so let’s not hurt any more dogs.
M Shakhaowat Hossain is a lecturer of English literature and language at North South University.