Sunday, August 7, 2011
Dogs teach us a lot of things. Among undying love towards the master and loyalty till death are lessons like “we eat a lot and by lot we don’t mean a lot, we mean A LOT” (dogs can stuff themselves beyond our imagination) and “we don’t really hate cats, it is just a popular misconception. Though postmen and plump aunties scurrying along are still on our list” (I’m shaking my head along with you). So having a dog (you don’t own a dog) exposes you to a world of curious happenings. For example my dog, a shiny black Labrador, who is going through an identity crisis at home, is mesmerized by cockroaches. During our walks together when she chances upon a roach jerking along, she freezes up and perks her ears up and stares at the nocturnal insect. She tries to sniff at it and the burgundy night crawler just speeds up. This excites her more! She brings out her paw now. She gingerly prods the nuclear-holocaust-surviving-creepy-crawly and grins a doggie grin when she sets it off on a different direction. She loves the fact that it irritates Mr. Roach Coach to be prodded away in a wrong direction. She waits for the long-whiskered-biology-lab-scalpel-food to grumble back to its original path to prod again and experience the fun once more.
One such enlightening walk inspired me to type these words. Recently on a warm, Bermuda-chaddi deserving night, we were walking our usual route when I noticed she pee’d at a different spot than the one she normally likes. This set the wheels in my brain in motion. I cooked up the following theory. Read on, pudgy little midgets (what! They are cute!)
Back in the cold war times, there existed a simple yet effective way of communicating with your fellow spies behind enemy lines. The dead drop box. The idea was simple. If you have a piece of information you want to send to the headquarters, be it a film roll or an envelope of documents, all you have to do is choose one of the pre-determined dates and times and go to the pre-determined place or the “drop” (it’ll be anything from a run-down building to a numbered post box to a loose pavement stone in an alley somewhere) and place your information at the drop and in order to let the right people know that you have made the drop you draw a pre-determined diagram (anything from a chalked cross on a tree in a park to a harmless “I love pooja” sketched on a wall behind a Chinese restaurant in another alley) every diagram, every word has a pre-determined meaning (example: a cross on the tree means the drop is made at the run down building three blocks away) so the right people know when and where the drop is made. Dogs use pee to do this…
There is this video- Daniel Powter’s “bad day”, which shows a boy and a girl communicating with each other in the form of sketches in a New York subway. They haven’t met but each day the other person adds another element to the sketch on the wall of the sub way. The next day the other person sees the new element and smiles and adds another. Full love. Dogs use pee to do this…
The road is like a matrimonial site for dogs. Male dogs spray around their territorial squirtings (eww) on car bumpers or heaps of sand at construction sites or blatantly on the road itself. Female dogs saunter about sniffing and giggling at potential hot spots and replying next to the ones they like. Some butch male dogs take matters very personally and go about re-spraying on their rival’s spot- “I shall see you at pee and raise you a pee-pee”
As I type these words I can sense my dog’s eyes boring into my back, behind me… she knows I know.