Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Stray Dogs Life

I cover many miles a day, never know where I am going to sleep, never know when I will have my next meal.
I am on my own in this big world, me against everyone, always looking over my shoulder and always on full alert.
Trotting along with my head held confidently high, the crisp wind blows against my fur and my paws bounce energetically off the tarmac, as I make my way closer to town.
I have a focus and a target I can see in the distance, I know exactly where I am off to, although I am sure
there will be plenty of stopping along the way.
Along the way I stop for occasional scents, cross the road every now and then and stop at the familiar food bins on route, using my nose to detect whether there is any spare food laying around.
No not my lucky day today, there is no food here, onwards and upwards I continue my journey, past people waiting at a bus stop, past a group of men loudly chatting, past noisy and excited children waiting for school to start and past an old woman holding her fresh loaf of bread.
I keep my head down and try to pass by these people as unobtrusively as possible, hoping to get past unnoticed and unharmed.
Across the road I spot one of my doggy pals, so I cross the road with my tail held high, avoiding a car here and a car there, I pause in the middle of the road, stiff and nervous, waiting for a gap in the traffic and to get my confidence, so that I can make it across the other half of the road and go and greet him.
In a day sometimes we bump into each other a few times, sometimes we may not see each other for a few days at a time but its always enjoyable to have fun and a frolic with one of my chums along the way.
I am so hungry but I always find some hidden energy from deep within to play with my pals, I suppose the rolling around and play biting each others bodies and necks provides a much welcomed sidetrack to my hunger pains.
After a fun filled ten minutes we go our separate ways, him wagging his tail, following some friendly looking woman and hopeful of bagging some food and me the opposite direction, following a fresh male dog scent, as I turn a corner I spot a single pizza crust laying on the ground...mmm a pizza crust never tasted so good.
After passing some shops and having numerous lamp post and bin stops on the way I arrive at a grass area, time for a well earned break, after all I have been trotting around constantly for the past hour.
I awake to a screaming noise, a young mum has sat on the bench nearby with her baby and it is crying uncontrollably, they are not looking at me, I realise there is no danger so I rearrange myself and start to doze again, a few minutes later I can hear a tapping noise, I open one eye, I notice an old man walking very slowly towards me with a walking stick, tap tap tap......I sit tense with my eyes wide and on full alert while the man gets closer, the relief I feel when he passes by and I realise I am unscathed, is incredible,......not all humans are bad, I look up to the sky before I slowly lower my head with a sigh and rest my chin rather comfortably on one of my paws, before drifting off again.
I awake later, rather hungry this time, the smell of pastries fills my nose, I am automatically guided towards the smell of these rather tasty human snacks, I follow the smell, which leads me up the road and around the corner, I find myself frozen and staring into a glass cabinet full of pastries, all different flavours cheese, meat, spinach and vegetable, as many as you can eat, I sniff around, why can't I get to all this tasty food that is on display?, why can't I taste those smells that are making my mouth water? I am ushered away from the pastry stand and I hear the loud clap of hands, so with my ears pinned back and tail down I scurry back and compose myself a few metres away, staring at the stand and watching in dismay as these humans walk up to the stand and come away a few seconds later with pastry after pastry.
I see a woman, she is standing by the wall eating her spinach pastry and texting on her phone, it smells so good, cautiously I wander over to her, unsure of the reaction that will greet me, she waves her hands around in the air, I mistakenly think she is throwing me some food but when I look over there, there is nothing there but an empty space, after turning her back on me I become overwhelmed with another smell, this time it is a fillet burger, mmm.....its smells so good, even better than the pastries did, I walk to where the smell ends, a man is standing by his van stuffing the burger in his mouth at a very fast pace, I cautiously approach him as I waft the glorious smell of food, he kicks his short leg out as long as it reaches, lucky I am not so close to him, those big boots would have hurt my delicate body, I get the message and I wont be staying around.
I am about to turn around and move away when I hear this familiar voice saying 'hello', I look up to see a friendly hand getting bigger and bigger, as it works its way closer to my head, it is a nice couple that live here, the lady always talks to me and if they see me around they sometimes give me food, but mainly they give me love and attention, which always seems to melt my sadness and make me forget my troubles and for those few minutes when they stroke my face, my eyes close, a warm feeling comes over me and I feel like I am on top of the world and completely safe, because while this people are here, no one can hurt me.
They feed me some dry dog food, so at least now I have eaten something, I follow them all the way home with my tail up high, for this short time I feel like I have a role in life, it feels good and for a minute or two I feel like I am actually loved and owned.
As we approach the familiar building I watch in sadness as they stroke me, say 'goodbye' and disappear, as they always do, in that big front door.
After a couple of minutes I realise they are gone and that the night is drawing in, I am feeling kind of thirsty so I make my way to the water source, a unused water feature in town, after lapping up lots of  water, my stomach starts to feel quite full, so I step down from the water feature, immediately the comfy hedgerow comes into my view, I slowly walk over and step into the low hedge, after some squashing and stomping, a few minutes later it has been successfully transformed into a cosy bed fit for a king and after 3 or 4 body spins, I am finally settled and ready for a snooze, until the next sound or action awakes me.

This is my view of the life of a stray dog or a street dog and what they go through everyday, obviously their thoughts are not so complexed in real life, but this is written from my observation and time studying stray dog behaviour.
The 'nice couple' in this reading, is me and my partner who always try our best to cheer the stray dogs up and look after them, whenever we see them around.

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