Yesterday I had a lazy day…and what I do on my lazy days is to browse and surf the internet…I do that for most of the day (up to 16 hours on a very lazy day) and spend the rest of the day feeling bad for having waste the day. Just before falling to sleep, I always do the same thing…I cheer myself up…one of my guiding philosophy is “never go to bed with sadness”…especially on a lazy day. I am myself’s best motivational speaker and I often times do a very not so good job of it. Yesterday was one of such days and I needed to give me that pep talk before sleeping and this is what made me smile again.
I made a quick mental scan of all I browsed on the internet and I found myself stuck with a story I read sometime in the afternoon. It was the story of Figo, a police dog which lost its Partner Police officer Jason Ellis. Jason was shot and brutally murdered by yet to be identified men a few days ago…but that wasn’t what made the story go viral. It was the grief of Figo the dog. Figo was so heartbroken and was videoed during the funeral rites looking sad as it joined others in paying respect to a departed friend. The police had to retire Figo and now Figo will leave the rest of its life with late Jason’s family. You can read the full story here.
Figo’s story moved me, but since I am not one who is easily moved to tears, 🙂 I tried to shed a few tears only not to cry. It also got me thinking of some classic movies featuring dogs. Haichi and Dog Jack are two movies based on true life stories centered around dogs who I call heroes…if you have not watched either…place it on top of your “to watch list” now. It is no secret I love dogs. I am not sure when my love for dogs started. I remember growing up in a house full of dogs…literally…different breeds. It was not difficult describing our house…“that dog house” is enough. That special status came with its up and down sides the up side is everyone within 50 km radius of our house will give you directions to the “dog house” so you can’t get lost.
The downside however, was that no one will bring you to the house!!! That was how terrified people were of our dogs…it was so bad even car owners dread driving past our house as the dogs “rise up in arms” to defend their territory. The commercial bike men popularly called Okada men will NEVER bring anyone to our street talk-less of the house…it doesn’t matter how much you are willing to pay…it was simply a no go area and that was it..they know the house but won’t take you there…they will tell you upfront that you will be dropped a street away and no further take the deal or leave it. Now with the house located just off the street, confrontation between the dogs and road users was common place. To make matters worse our house was not fenced so there was no restriction of any sort as the dogs proudly roamed around their territory without hindrance.
Ok, so before you start hating on my dogs, please know that they are lovely and honestly they were all bark and no bite. There was never an incidence of a “bite”…they were only doing their job – Guidance and Protection. 🙂 . Now if like me you grew in a house where you are sometimes surrounded by more dogs than humans you can’t help but fall in love with dogs. It’s that simple so I think this was how my special bond with dogs developed and over the years, the bond has only grown stronger.
I then had a special love for my dogs for many reasons among which is how they helped me climb the “respect ladder” back in primary school. I was among the smallest and youngest in the class so as you would expect, I became a natural target for bullies. I had a small body but my spirit was so huge. I quickly reached my tolerance limit and I could not take the bullying any more. I knew I had to evolve strategies to fight back somehow…I came up with two options; First, I befriended one of the bullies…it was easy, I was that intelligent 🙂 and I used that strength to get him to fight my battles while I pay him back in kind like helping out with class assignments and feeding him with stories that were half true half fiction enough to get him hooked and ask for more…that did the trick…a very symbiotic relationship developed.
This partnership didn’t last long however…it had a lot of loop holes. First, my bully friend was not always around me so the other bullies could target me when I am away from him. This happens more often than not as I was a free spirit and love roaming around. Secondly, he had his ‘off days’…you know what I mean….employee-employer crisis 😀 so some days he became the bully. To this day I still wonder what attracted those bullies to me you know.
Now that led me to evolve option B…the Dogs!! And a dog’s love, no man can break. Most of these bullies live around my area so they always had to use the main street which passed right in front of our house and from my vantage position from the window, I can see everything and everyone who walks pass…even when the dogs are taking an afternoon nap (Yes they get tired too you know!!! It is real hard work running after cars, bikes and people in the day while keeping vigil at night… :-). I stand sentry by the window and wait patiently for my time to shine.
When I see the bully walking pass my house, I give the war cry marshal my dogs and head for the confrontation…usually I make this move “coded-ly”- yes I have watched enough James bond movies even at that age to know how to make some “below the radar moves” J. I could not afford to foil my project at this stage by drawing the attention of my parents and/or siblings. I had developed a special bond with the dogs that all I need to do was make eye contact with one and the message is passed it…it was that simple and worked efficiently… 🙂 I then
match walk with my troop of goons and confront my bully…I demand for two things: An apology and a promise to never bully me again…that wasn’t much to ask and usually we agreed quite quickly (The dogs made sure of that…you know what I mean). Any resistance or reluctance to sign the deal gave the dogs an opportunity to motivate the bully….I won’t bore you with how 🙂 . Yes, that was how I overcame my bullies at that stage of life.
But as I was soon to discover, in my life, bullies never really stop coming. Bullying is like a continuous process…you either bully or get bullied on one front or the other. It is same with me… I still face bullies in various aspects of my daily life. These bullies are sometimes not physical so I cannot fight with my trusted dogs but I had to face them each day and fight them anyways. I miss my dogs of those days. I wish I can still see them but like Agnes Sligh said “Dog’s lives are too short…their only fault, really”; I agree with her…now I can only think back with great fondness mixed with emotion of the nice times we spent together as all the dogs of that era have since died and moved on…and so have I…in some way that it…Yes, I am no longer a small bodied primary school boy. I have moved on from that stage but I have not moved on from my love for dogs…I still love and adore them completely.
I currently don’t own a dog of my own because I stay in a “no-pet apartment” and also live a super busy and highly mobile life, but all that will soon change. In the meantime however, I have a couple of dog-friends I keep track of…dogs I love specially. The one is called Jack…he is my sister’s 1 and a half year old best friend and secondly there is Simba who is on top of my “to meet” list. I however read a lot about Simba and his numerous adventures and stunts. You can read one of his stories here…and if you want to know more about Simba, and keep abreast of his adventures, just subscribe to “Longer, Harder”; the blog of Simba’s owner or “ father and poo packer” as he puts it…who I think is a terrific and extremely hilarious writer…one of my favorites.
For Updates on Jack and my other Dog- friends, stay right here as I will dish out all the stories and adventures.