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24 Jan 2010

No Photos Please!

The intelligence and behaviour of dogs has never failed to amaze me. Some of their actions are so common that they may be the most natural thing, yet excite me to a great extent.

I woke up this morning to two dog-stories. My friend tells me how his little one that takes up his side of the bed and there is a fight for territory. Go back a few years. It's Sonu and dad fighting every night, for the spot next to mum. Dogs, the world over, are so similar. The husband, during our morning tea together, tells me how the little black pup near our house got chased off by the bigger dogs and his dad went across to comfort him. In a flash, the little one had forgotten all about the bullies and was jumping about excitedly. I've always known the big dad dog as a quiet, inexpressive dog. To hear that he acknowledges his little baby in the absence of the mother is so heart-warming.

Last night, as Lucky, the husband and I did our routine walk, we passed by the wine store down the road. There's a pack of 3 dogs and 2 puppies that sleep there. The black pup is very territorial and goes 'yap, yap, yap' the moment we hit the spot. His sibling, the white one, stands and eyes us warily. Sometimes he yaps too. Yesterday was one of those times. The moment the little ones start yelping, three fawn dogs come running out of nowhere. If there were two, I'd say the parents. I never understood the story of 3 but there they are, always together, all equally protective of the puppies.

So, if you pass by that corner with a dog, you'll see 2 pups who raise an alarm (and then head off into the side lane to hide) and 3 dogs who take position at the turning of the main street and the side lane.

They looked so beautiful, watching each other's backs, that I had to have a picture. The ever-obliging husband pulled out his cell phone and started clicking. Immediately, the mother of the pups stood up and crossed the road, to hide behind a road-sign. She hates it. I wonder how she knows but she does and she hides if you're taking a picture. Just like my Lucky. Just like my Sonu. He used to love posing as a kid but turned camera-shy as he grew older. The little ones of my friend's, they seem to love it, staring right at the camera. Maybe, it's a universal thing. Pups love being photographed but the older ones don't. Maybe it's a natural instinct to grow cynical about the whims of humans as dogs grow older.

I guess I'll never know but things like these fascinate me to no end. How do they know so much, without being taught? How do they understand?

As we passed them by and the husband stopped taking pictures, the mother returned to her place with the other two. We turned around and took another shot at them. They had to go on my blog. The mother is the one in the centre, in the picture below.

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