"Please take note that someone in the neighborhood is poisoning dogs. Non-veg food has been found laced with poison. It was determined by authorities that our dog died of such poisoning. Remember that killing dogs is a criminal offense and protect your pets."
Something like that. It was actually much longer and used big words.
The next day, I saw a banner sign hanging over the neighborhood park entrance that read:
"Killing dogs is a criminal offense. Street dogs are our security guard."
Our security guards? Really. These starving, mangy dogs wandering the streets eating from the trash?
Well, okay, if you insist. But I hope the security force I pay each month to walk through the neighborhood with whistles and lathis is also doing its part.
The thing that really strikes me here is not that I don't care about dogs or pets, or the owners who are saddened by the loss of them, but that there are children--real, live children, human beings--also walking the streets, starving, unkempt and eating from the trash.
I mean, what if one of them ate this alleged laced-with-poison non-veg food? Would there be banners and mailbox notices and "investigations"?
Why isn't there more concern about them?
Why are there overweight dogs and malnourished children in the same neighborhood?
How do we so easily close our eyes to the poverty and suffering around us, yet manage to get upset about dogs?
Hear me: Dogs are great. Having and loving and caring for pets is a good and responsible thing. It is legitimate to be attached to and sad about losing a pet.
But I will still insist that a hungry child is more important.