After spending few days in this part of the world, I realized that dog is not a dog here. Dog is a buddy, a kid, a girl or a boy, a very intimate and adorable person of the family.
At first when I saw this sign while walking on a trail “Stoop and Scoop, pick up after your pet”, with the picture of a dog, I wondered what it meant? The next day, while walking on a trail, came across a couple with a kid in stroller and waiting for the dog to get relieved from his poop. The man was holding a plastic bag; he covered his hand with the bag, quickly stooped, scooped the dog’s poop and put it securely in his jacket’s pocket. What a civilized nation! I was about to vomit my freshly eaten dinner. “Isn’t it a very dirty job?” I just could not keep silent. “Yeah, he is just like our kid and we do this for our kid too.” Though it was just a wilderness around but he did not throw it, rather he waited for the litter box.
It is a common phrase here two kids and a dog is a perfect American family. Here when two people meet each other with their dogs, both of them will first appreciate each other’s dog, its beauty, appearance, looks and then they will describe about their family tree and ancestors. His father was so and so and his mother was of such and such breed. In a way dogs are far luckier than the human beings here, keeping their family strings, traits and DNAs. Kissing, hugging and luring dogs are a common practice. Dogs sleep with you, sit with you on a couch or chair even take shower with you. While walking on paths, you come across a lot many dogs; some leashed some unleashed, big, small, black, brown, white, tan, fat, thin and skinny. Crossing through the path one day, noticing a very thin dog, I tried to be courteous, “is this dog suffering from some disease?” “No, it’s a miniature of Alsatian.
Once when I felt like running from an unleashed one, the owner at once reacted “She is such a friendly girl; she is not going to harm you.” Though there are signs everywhere that say “put your dogs on leash.” But here they show more kindness to their dogs. I have adopted a stern attitude. No more courtesy for dogs and their owners. So now coming across a dog I switch my way down and try to avoid it. It saves me in many ways, “sorry I have a canine allergy.”” Oh yeah you should be careful then.”
The poodles are very cuddly and cute but the big dogs are real frightening. Instead of the all care and precaution many dog mulling cases are reported too in media. Sometimes they are life threatening. Most of the dogs live here inside the homes, the poodles in cozy beds inside the bedrooms or living rooms. Big dogs have real nice dog houses. In the chilly, freezing temperatures, all the dogs are kept inside, even in small condos or apartments.
There are humane societies which take care of these animals. They are better than humans with an E. There are Dog clubs, Canine Societies, Kennels, dog shelters, dog rescuers and many websites about dogs. Dogs are pretty expensive here; the cheapest one would be about six to seven hundred dollars and then to keep them is more expensive. At first there is a license for keeping a dog, then it goes through all the medical checkups, anti-rabies vaccines regularly and lots are paid to veterinarians. So being a vet here is a great rewarding job.
You have to buy real nice ready to serve dried or other food, dried bones and toys for them at PetSmart and other stores. Dogs trainers earns a handsome amount for training and disciplining a dog with wild and unruly behavior. There are so many TV program and a lot on the internet how to train your pet. Dogs here live in such a great luxury for which even lots of people back home could not imagine. Every grocery store and big stores have isles and shelves for dog’s foods, toys, clothing, shampoos, body wash, beddings and pillows. So much research is done for making their food healthier & tastier. There are Pets day cares with catchy names, pet’s parlors, grooming centers, dogs’ swimming pools, dog sitters like baby sitters and dog walkers.
I wish they could develop some proper toilet system for dogs or something like cats. In heaps of heavy snow, rain and freezing weather, dogs are taken out for walk and to get them relieved. The most important task after work or before, is to take the dog out for walk around and to get him or her relieved. For population control, there are some other surgical methods applied. I cannot forget herds of stray dogs roaming in our streets in Pakistan and frequent cases of dog biting. When they outnumbered then there was a dog killing spree from the Municipality. It is still a common fashion there.
A dog would really wonder what a status it has got in this society?