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Straying from the Path



Forgive me if this blog post seems a little disjointed, I didn't get too much sleep last night on account of the stray dogs yelling outside. We've all been there, particularly in Bangalore, haven't we? Bunch of strays fighting and barking, denying us our precious sleep... Not my idea of fun at all. They even take all the fun out of walking, too. Fifteen stray dogs coming at you at a rate of mph with a shared goal of finding out the taste of your tender, tender flesh really ruins the walking experience for me, somehow.

Our house is in an absolutely awful position because we have some neighbours, a delightful elderly couple who leave food out for the dogs at night. They dump the food on street corners and leave the dogs to tear into each other to actually get at it. The dogs come out to eat, and the two packs that rule our area get into a fight. By 12am, the fight reaches its cacophonous peak, and everyone wakes up and wishes they could load up a shotgun and blow the dogs away. I wish I was exaggerating.

We called in the dog catchers once, to at least move some of the strays. Before they could do any catching, though, the same elderly couple stopped them and explained to them how they were doing the area a "service". In the most complimentary manner possible, they explained that they were doing society a favour by feeding ravenous stray dogs food at odd times of day. Now, irrespective of whether or not they were really improving our lives by setting strays on us, the bottom line is that the pound didn't manage to catch any dogs, and the problem is as bad as ever.

It's not even just our home turf that is overrun with strays. My friends all over this grand old city, indeed, all over the country have the same problem. It's one thing to have to surrender the streets to the dogs post-5pm, but an altogether different one to be losing sleep on their account. Indian laws actually go so far as to protect the strays. It's illegal, in India, to chase a stray dog away.

Now, if you, hypothetically, had a stray dog problem, and you needed a way to get rid of the dogs, you could hypothetically put some vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the dogs. The unfamiliar smell will get rid of most of the dogs. You can't chase street dogs away in India, though, so you didn't hear that from me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I here a dog barking outside. I need to re-enter that hypothetical vinegar situation...

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