TODAY -

The London dog and our dogs

Free Thinker *

Through the lens of Chanin Sarutpong (from Thailand) in United Kingdom (UK) :: 2011
Through the lens of Chanin Sarutpong (from Thailand) in United Kingdom (UK) :: 2011



I was in London for 18 days. For me, with London, it was love at first sight. When I came out of the Heathrow airport I saw many attractive young ladies with beautiful dogs of different sizes; their dogs were very tidy and well dressed; perhaps they might have come back from a kind of a dog contest.

In London, I was really impressed by the clean streets (though narrow), the double decker buses, the underground tubes (train), Victorian style street lamps. And above all, the citizens were well behaved and well mannered. I spent many hours every day roaming around the city particularly in Central London. As my hotel was located in Central London I could walk down to Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester, China Town, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben etc.

I used to walk a lot. Whenever I had time I moved around on foot. In the morning as well as in the evening I jogged/walked along the Embankment (bank of the Themes River) or went to other places.

Whenever I came down from my hotel for a walk I always saw a beggar on the street along with his dog. It appeared to me that the beggar was not very worried about himself but he took extra care of his dog. Prima facie the young man did not look like a beggar as he was well dressed; he was wearing a jean trousers a thick wind-proof jacket and a leather- boot.

His dog was a big Doberman wearing a red waist coat. They sat on a sleeping bag together in a corner of the Strand (the name of the street in Central London). I often saw them taking coke, burger or sausages. A big bowl was kept in front of them. The passersby drop coins into the bowl. It was really a strange thing to me to see many Englishmen and women giving money to the beggar and his dog.

It was again a surprise to me was that there was no other beggar on the street of Strand except the young man with his dog. Perhaps the gentleman (and his dog) was the only beggar in that area. The street must be of one km or so. I came to know many things about the beggar and the dog as I could observe them every now and then.

Both the beggar and the dog were quite healthy and good looking. The beggar kept talking to his dog; the dog simply wagged his tail. Whenever I came on the street I saw them together. The dog was not in chains and without leash. He was free to move wherever he wanted to move. But his master did not allow him to move far away from him. The beggar called him 'Bond', if I heard him correctly.

I was very eager to talk to the beggar, but I was reluctant to do so; because I saw none speaking to him. People simply drop pounds and pennies on them. May be after a week or so I had decided to talk to the beggar.

I came out from my hotel and went straight to the beggar. That moment the beggar might be thinking of getting some money from me. He was perhaps stunned when I started talking to him all of a sudden.

I had a brief conversation with him. Then I realized that why people were pouring pounds on them. As a matter of fact those people who gave money to the beggar were either animal lovers or animal rights activists. They were giving money not to the young man but to the dog. The beggar frankly told me that his dog was actually earning for him. The beggar was indeed dependent on the dog and not vice versa.

Recently I have learnt from a close friend that a beautiful Alsatian which belonged to a minister was missing. The minister asked his security boys to find his dog. The local police were informed about the missing dog. A picture of the dog was given to the police. The police personnel had given the news to the media. The local cable TV network had also highlighted the news and even showed the picture of the VIP dog. Despite all efforts the minister could not trace his dog.

Meanwhile many street dogs are missing in the city and the police suspected that there could be some dog eaters in the locality. In order to catch the dog lifters or killers they became alert at night. On the third night they arrested a group of young boys around midnight; they were carrying bread and biscuits with the powdered sleeping pills. They admitted that the dogs are drugged and supply to the buyers/smugglers.

One corporater told me that our city will be free from the menace of stray dogs. I thought he was joking. As a matter of fact the street dogs are missing; not only the street canines, the private dogs are also missing in and around the city.

"I have nothing against dog lovers but please spare the domesticated ones."


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on September 14, 2016.


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