In Odisha the common man, by and large, shows a lot of tolerance ( I had to use this word!!) for the street dogs. In fact you can broaden the ambit a bit and include crows, pigeons, cats, cows and bulls too. Almost everyone has a soft corner for one or two of them. They keep feeding and pampering them almost as a daily chore.The crows incidentally are thought to be harbinger of rains, symbolize the coming of guests and are also believed to be embodying the souls of the deceased relatives!! Almost everyone has a soft corner for one or two of them.
I remember our Odiya neighbour once saying that he does not shoo away an animal because ‘you never know God has come in witch avatar to test you.’ I did not believe it then but today realize that it’s a nice philosophy to have. Fortune Tower, where our office is located, is full of such good Samaritans too.
This season, two mama dogs gave birth to a dozen puppies and unfortunately one of them died soon thereafter. The other mama quietly adopted the naughty dozen. But it was taking a toll on her health. Very soon the guards realized that not only was the mama getting weak but few of the pups too had died, possibly of malnutrition. The word got around and very soon volunteers began bringing in milk and biscuits while the guards kept an eye on them round the clock. It’s quite a sight watching them all bond together and fight for survival. While we all are doing our bit its hats off to the brave ‘mummy’ of 12 (now 9) kids.
Many of us look down upon these 'street dogs'. But honestly, hand on heart, could anyone from the human species discover this motherhood so naturally and feed them all even at the risk of her life? A point to ponder.
Then one day she was no more there. Where is she, I enquired from the guards. "The municipal van came and took her away" was his matter of fact reply.
No wonder the Fortune Tower is considered Misfortune Towers by many. And it's not a corporate thing.