By S. Mahmood
If you’re a Desi and you keep a dog in the house, then congrats, you’re a rare breed yourself and pray do tell us how many years it took to convince your parents? Also, you’ll agree wholeheartedly, that your experience is completely different than that of a regular (read: lucky) dog-owner from any other part of the world.
Here are 10 annoying little things which you must experience on a regular basis.
“What about its saliva?” they ask with an endearing mixture of disgust and wonder.
…What about it? It…exists. Just like human saliva. (Which, for some reason, escapes the interrogation). Also, have you heard of soap? It can be used on dogs too you know.
It can literally take up to 18 years or more to convince your parents…
You promise them grades. You say you’ll never smoke again. You tell them you’ll agree to an arranged marriage. You promise to even eat Loki!
…And on the off chance that they agree, you’ll be left to do all the feeding and training and playing!
Because when they said he will be your sole responsibility, they really meant it. Your parents will ensure that they do not lend a helping hand! Especially if it involves the dog’s skin, saliva, or sometimes even the presence, because all of these are a direct threat to one’s wuzu-for-namaz (which seems to be your family’s perpetual state ever since the dog’s arrival).
And if you’re a girl who wants to walk the dog herself…
Prepare for the cat calls, wolf whistles, car honks, and stares from men. You will have to endure them with every step you take. Not to mention the disapproving death stares from the neighborhood aunties, to whom you are now officially un-marriageable material.
Calling your dog “it” (refer to #1)
Stop objectifying dogs. They are not things. He has a name. A personality. Feelings. Aaaand Bye.
You find yourself having falsely promised future puppies to at least 10 people.
Apparently, everyone wants kuttay kay bachay?! The pressure on your dog to reproduce is even higher than the pressure on you to reproduce – Err…once you’re married bhai! how else can you bear children – and that is saying something.
Regardless of whether or not they’ve ever wanted a dog before, or can care for it, and most importantly regardless of the fact that your dog at the time may only be four weeks old himself – these people would have you sign a contract if they could, promising the handover of any future children of your dog to them – free of cost, of course! We are dealing with Desis here…consideration is best when not paid.
People blame everything that happens to you on your dog.
The house is a mess? It’s because of the dog. You’re sneezing? It’s because of the dog. Inflamed eardrum? Dog did it. Back hurts? We told you not to get a dog. Failed your exam? How can you study if you have a dog? Engagement broke off? Of course any respectable dude won’t marry you, you have a dog!
Your friends can’t understand how you can cancel plans to be with your dog.
The question, “Can’t somebody else just feed him”, often arises when you excuse yourself, because you haven’t seen your dog’s face all day.
No. And even if somebody could, the unfortunate fact remains that more often than not, we prefer to be home and hang with our dogs than to be out and without them. Yes. That officially makes you less desirable company than a creature who cannot speak or understand what we say.
Let that sink in…
The “Farishtay vs. Dog” debate.
Now religion is a complex topic, but it is frustrating when people come over only to tell you that the angels of heaven refuse to enter your home because of the presence of your dog. Well, to be fair, if I don’t come to your house to tell you what your brother doing in Las Vegas is ‘haraam’, then I don’t understand how it is okay to make me and my poor dog a target!
When you’re out of dog food, and people tell you to feed your dog “anything” because stray dogs survive on garbage too.
Stray dogs are barely able to survive! WHAT ARE YOU EVEN SAYING? This dog is the equivalent of a family member. I don’t recall my mother telling me to eat from the garbage outside if the khaansama took too many chuttis and there was no roti to eat the aforementioned Loki with.
So, my point is…
Brown people can love dogs too! May there be a day in the future when all of us desis can accept dogs as readily as our children accept Eidi.