I’ve been facing a serious problem since the last few weeks. An unwanted guest has been staying in my hostel, spoiling my peace of mind. No, this guest is not a guy or a human being. It’s a dog. Yes, a DIRTY STREET DOG!
Two years back, there was just one dog; then came another. Few weeks later, we had six puppies. Some guys took away those puppies during their vacations. One by one, all the puppies were gone. What stayed back was just one dog. All was fine till then.
Now there were two dogs again until April. Came May and came another dog – a thin, ugly, stinky and malnourished one. This skinny dog was a peculiar one. He could not be shooed away. When someone tried to chase it away, it just lied where it was, without any reaction. Either he wasn’t afraid of anything or he was deaf. Someone from the girl’s hostel asked a junior student to take it to his hostel as it was not getting proper food there. That guy agreed and brought it here.
I don’t hate dogs. I love the good ones like German shepherd, Labrador etc. But I can’t tolerate the dirty street dogs. And this peculiar dog soon became the thing I hated the most. I’m a night owl; I sleep quite late. During the night hours, this dog would just lie in some dark part of the corridor. I feared that someday I might just step on it accidentally while roaming around and then it would bite me, forcing me to get 5-6 painful anti-rabies injections. I needed to chalk out something before that happened.
One evening, I saw this dog lying at the edge of one of the open corridors of first floor. I found a long stick (one used to hang a mosquito net over a bed), stealthily walked towards the dog, lowered the stick and gave a forceful push. THUD! It flew some 12-15 feet and landed on the ground. I watched it shrieking. After a few seconds of sharp shrieks, it felt silent, motionless.
I went back to my room, satisfied with a feeling of accomplishment. No more fears at night. I lied on my bed to take a nap. But, I was not able to sleep. The scene of the dog shrieking in pain kept coming to my mind. Gradually, I felt devastated. I started getting Goosebumps. I felt guilty. How could I do that? No matter the dog was dirty and abnormal, but how could I kill such a helpless creature? It felt so weird. I wished I could undo what I did. That sense of guilt was killing me. Three hours had passed and I was still lying on the bed, thinking of what I had done. I didn’t have the guts to step out of my room and have a glimpse of the helpless creature I had just killed.
The bell rang. 9:30 p.m. – Dinner time.
I stepped out of my room (it’s on the first floor). Gathering as much courage I can, I looked down to the spot where the dog fell. To my dismay, the dog wasn’t there. May be, someone had the dead dog removed. I felt the pain again. Just as I was about to step into the dining room, I saw this dog. It wasn’t dead – just a fractured hind leg which had it limping! A spark of joy filled my heart. All that guilt was gone. I hadn’t killed it after all. That creature was still alive. I dined in a happy mood.
The dog spent the night on the ground floor. It could not climb the stairs to reach the top floors. It wasn’t dead, so weren’t my fears. Once again, I kept thinking what would happen once it is healthy again. What if I step on it someday? Something had to be done. One thing was sure – I would not kill it. I didn’t want to feel all those guilt again. But I could not even let it stay alive like that…
Just then, an idea struck my mind!
The next morning, I called one of the sweepers of the hostel to my room and gave him a hundred rupees. I haven’t seen that dirty dog since then.
PS: This is a work of fiction. No animals were hurt in reality.