They thought I was an Angel, when I was just a Messenger!
One of the key reasons of starting this blog was to pen down my anger on the reality and suffering of animals in Pakistan and all over the world. As humans, we may have achieved zillions of milestones in myriad walks of life, but when it comes to compassion we have reached nowhere.
Of course, I am referring to mankind in general, whom I often refer to as man-cruel. It is evident from the efforts that humans have put in destroying so many wild species from the face of earth over the last century. Unfortunately, now we are left with a handful of species; the rare ones at the verge of extinction and all of this leading towards an ecological imbalance, which would ultimately lead to the end of all life.
I feel this world is cruel to animals as well as animal lovers. They may both share a handful of joyous moments and years together (oblivious to the world), but mostly this companionship is short-lived and followed by suffering wherever the world gets a chance to intrude.
Today, I want to write about a similar intrusion. Last year, my family met someone beautiful quite accidently. There was this stray female dog in our neighborhood. She had given birth to a litter and those little fur balls were living outside our neighbor’s house. Before we could know, we became quite attached to the dog whom we started calling ‘Angel’. We put a collar around her neck so everyone would know she is a pet. She used to visit us every morning and evening; she was friendly and harmless.
However, in Karachi like many other metros of Pakistan, the authorities had come up with a vicious practice of shooting all dogs regardless of caring whether they were actually dangerous or suffering from rabies or were they really a serious threat to people. We were always afraid for Angel because of this looming danger. Sadly, we couldn’t keep her with us in our rented space and a hater of a landlady. At that time, our hands were tied real bad so we did whatever we could.
We sent Angel and her pups to an animal shelter – the best in town as was claimed, for their safety. However, when we visited the shelter, Angel seemed sad and uncared for. While the shelter became a home for her litter, it was clearly not her place. Looking at her sadness, we brought Angel back to our neighborhood.
We got her neutered, put a collar around her and cared for her. Angel was so happy as we could see her beautiful transformation through her pictures. She had her stray pals here; they played together. She continued to visit us daily. There was this spot outside our house where she used to sit gracefully. Everybody in the locality knew she was our pet dog. Life was good.
Until, one morning when we were getting ready for work we heard a few gun shots. We went out looking for Angel to bring her inside till the shooters left. We didn’t find her, but we saw two of her strays pals dead. They looked so innocent even when they were dead. At last, we saw Angel on the opposite side of the road. We ran towards her but in an instant, there was a gunshot and the shooter had hit her heart.
It was devastating. While my brother fought with the shooter and everyone else shamed the shooter for killing dogs unreasonably considering them a nuisance, I stood by our dying Angel. She was looking at me and then she was gone. What could fighting achieve…the poor animal had suffered and was dead already.
The sight of her walking, getting shot and then dying in my hands never leaves me. Of course, I don’t expect people to understand such bonds – people are hardly faithful and loyal to each other to figure out the friendship of a human and dog. Angel was too good for this world and it seemed like her death was waiting for her in the neighborhood. Though, we loved her so much, we couldn’t do anything. We couldn’t save her, although she was a dream pet for any dog lover. The next few months were depressing and I often felt sad for all those mornings when I didn’t get up to see her.
Although Angel will never be forgotten, but I feel all this was so unnecessary. She could still be alive today.
Like Angel, 100s of dogs were killed in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Some are shot and some are being poisoned to death. It doesn’t matter if you put collars around their necks. People feel society will be cleansed by wiping them off. The concept of TNR (Trap-Nueter-Release) is unknown to authorities and governing bodies here. After every few months, we see papers covering news of how 300 dogs were killed in the line of some kind of duty. I mean don’t we have terrorists and suicide bombers to deal with or stray dogs the biggest threat to our country’s existence?
Though, I stopped following these updates after Angel was shot, my siblings tell me there have been petitions and a case has been filed too against the killing of dogs leading to a supposed halt to such massive killings.
Maybe, one day there will be a bill that abandons such dog killings in Pakistan, but what we really need are the basics – we need to be taught of compassion from the beginning. People need to respect each other and animals. We need to learn to coexist. Only, then can we see the change that brings positivity and life. Till then, I know, there will be many more Angels crossing the rainbow bridge before their time and many more broken hearts lamenting over their loss.