Monday, 16 April 2012

Why Dogs Cry

         Rover was the second dog we had in my nuclear family. Energetic, frolicking and always up to something, he never allowed a moment of emptiness to have its way. If he was not hiding a bone, he was excavating the earth for one. I still recall having to shovel up sands and stones and garner fatigued tyres to protect the earth from the ecstatic dog’s gymnastic exercises. I have uploaded a couple of videos from Youtube in this post to feed your curiousity on the behavioral pattern of some dogs.

 Now, something was peculiar about Rovers. He was not just a dog; he was a dog’s dog. I observed severally that whenever a car or a train of automobiles blew sirens, Rovers would uprightly extend his head towards the skies and howl like a grieving wolf in the dead woods. Fitfully, he would transit between the lawn and the junk yard as though trying to find a way out of the fenced compound. Initially, I thought he was just trying to be funky or show territorial presence. So, one day, I busted outdoors to shout him down till he obliged and resort to mellowed noises and grumbling. But on a second thought, I realized he was attempting to communicate with the other guy at the remote end and left him alone. He probably perceived someone in danger was trying to get his help or attention. That person or supposed someone was the other guy. What a nice dog Rovers was! He was not human yet his affection for other “people” was deep-rooted.

But have you ever wondered why your dog cries? Or if you don’t own one, do you know why the ones trying to wake up the entire neighbourhood cry at night? Some say, they see ghosts and that if you removed some of the vitreous waste on the tips of their eyes and applied it to yours, you would see what they see. Entities like ghosts, vampires, witches, members of the underworld, etc, would appear to you. Others have screamed out in response, “superstition and white lies!”. Well, I do not know if those holding either claim have been wearing dogs’ eyes to confirm their speculations. But if it’s true, I think you’re better off not experimenting, especially if you are not an ophthalmologist.  That's a word of advice from someone who thinks you shouldn't try it in Africa; except, of course, if you know exactly what you are doing. But most dogs actually cry because they are afraid and want company. Yes, dogs could get scared too. In the midst of whispering winds and humming birds, dogs could pee in their pants. That finally explains why Rovers often jumped at my lanky frame to lick me in the face whenever I had a reason to go outdoors at night. And I often did because of "Up Nepa" or just to tuck our generator in its bed sheets.

As human beings, we sleep at night to recharge our bodies and cool our "engine" (the heart). But dogs have to stay awake and watch in fear. So, they would be glad if you could, at least, walk them out before the night arrives. Most dogs relish this ritual, particularly those left at home all day long. In the absence of activity, almost all dogs find time to sleep during the day. Then in the thick of the night, when trees throw their shadows across the lawn, under the moon’s torch and the breeze forms a wizardly hum, the insomniac dogs are left alone in the dark. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t hallucinate? Even if a ghost does not appear you would believe you have seen one. Dogs have to bear all that while you snore aloud. From the spoken burdens we cannot hear to the pending dangers we cannot see, they keep a lot within their hearts. Yet, in the morning, they run at us and cheer us up. They are faithful, persevering and brave and we should care  about them too. So, when next the night comes and your dog is wide awake and very bored, show him\her some care and offer a pat before you go and snore aloud.

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