Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Hippie in Heels.
What I was up to other than here:
- I’ve been catching up on work after my time at Alila Diwa. Ben’s been in Ratnagiri working and almost all my friends are out of town! A good time to work and read :)
- This weekend I’m checking out two new Shunya properties in Goa – you can see a preview on Instagram.
- Collecting Labels listed me as one of her 10 favorite stylish travelers, pretty cool!
Now your story,
We stopped along our way to Itanigar at a house that is well known for being this long house with 4 kitchens for this man’s FOUR wives. It’s interesting for sure to see that way of life, and our guide from Holiday Scout took us to the house.
Unfortunately it was locked, and no one was home. This man’s pets however were home. We started to play with the little puppies, who were happily chilling out with the chicken, sheep and goats in the yard.
We noticed one of the dogs, the cutest one, was injured and looked pretty skinny. Sange had biscuits in the car so we started to feed them. A man came over and Sange asked what happened to the injured dog and he said it was hit by a car. In these instances, this is “village life” and it’s sad (I LOVE dogs) but understandable that when people don’t have enough money for themselves, they don’t have money to take animals to vets that could be 50 km away from their home. I asked if I gave money to them to get the dog help, would they- and it was clear that they money would not go to the dog. The dog had to heal on it’s own. I asked if they got fed and it was reported that they eat what tourists give them and any leftover food. Again, it’s sad but this is rural India and it’s not actually as shocking anymore. The next bit was.
this dog on the left was injured, and couldn’t fight the other dogs for food.
While we were playing three little boys from this village came to see what was happening. they walked up pretty close to us, giggling, seeming quite adorable. Then, one boy RAN at the injured dog full speed and kicked it. I shrieked saying NO! what are you doing! and they laughed… running in circles, coming back for more. The boys kicked at the other small dogs and threw rocks. I sort of grabbed one by the arm (really lightly just to stop him) and was telling him ‘don’t do that’. Sange was upset telling them in their language to stop, that it wasn’t right. They were only 4 or 5 years old I’d guess. So, who taught them to hurt innocent animals?
It didn’t stop and I stood near the injured dog, ready to block out a four year old if necessary… I know it sounds crazy but I just started crying. These little shits (I know, you shouldn’t call children little shits….) were having the best fun hurting these dogs. It was so uncivilized and effed up. The mom came to watch over the fence and I wanted to tell her off, but what would I accomplish? Then, Anna went toward the fence to take a photo of sunset and the boys threw sticks and rocks at her! She threw a stick right back (not hitting them just to make them go away) and they laughed and laughed.
It was seriously depressing and after I stopped crying (I mean, I wasn’t sobbing, I was just upset), I told Sange let’s go. There’s no way to fix a problem like this. Perhaps the people have so little food, they don’t want the dogs getting food. Perhaps they just hate dogs… I don’t know but I was angry. If I were a kid and kicked an injured dog, I’d have been spanked and grounded and told what a little shit I was for sure!
In the US, a kid who hurts animals for fun, is seen as a future sociopath… On the TV show Criminal Minds, they do these flashbacks where the serial killer is torturing a cute bunny or something and I think okay these kids can’t ALL be sociopaths, but what is going on here?
It’s not the first time I’ve seen a kid hurt an animal in India but this one just got to me. Luckily, Anna and Sange didn’t think I was crazy for crying, they were sad too. Sad it happened, and sad to leave the animals near this. But, if those dogs were hurt that badly, I suppose they would leave (and they don’t; they live here) or they would bite humans who came close.
What do you think?
This is India!
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That is absolutely heartbreaking! You have every right to be upset. kudos to you for keeping your cool around those little brats. I would have been much meaner. That’s animal abuse. I don’t care where you live. That is animal abuse.
This is so sad and it is extra sad because there is nothing you can do in this situation. I’m in Nicaragua at the moment- we were in a taxi and I saw a kid kicking a dog as we drove past! Then today I saw guys throwing rocks and sticks at one. I was so sad but we couldn’t stop. It makes me feel really upset. I wish I could rescue them. :(
Ugh I would hate to see it while driving- then you really can’t do anything. It is so weird! It’s not just dogs here but cows too (which is the opposite of what people think).
well written ..thanks..this is india too..i feel people are treated this way too..a person who is down on his luck ,and is having a hard time because of the system..is treated like he is a pariah or an untouchable and an outcaste..as he /she is badluck..and people should keep away from him,or they may get infected too..and it is all done very subtly..in how they look at you or treat you..and that is why people are reluctant to try to change the system..even if it is unjust and corrupt..’cos if you fail..people will blame you and not the system..if you succeed they will glorify you and may worship you..
Thanks for sharing your insight. I always appreciate your views on life in India! :D
That’s horrible. It’s so hard to understand such things, especially true how you mentioned in the US (and AUS) kids that hurt animals are known as sociopaths, I guess it’s a cultural thing… do they just not respect dogs? I guess dogs are not so highly loved in India perhaps? Could this be because they are known to carry diseases? Its so sad!
It’s weird because some Indians I know LOVE dogs so much, so I don’t know if it’s education or what :(
Maybe it’s just a lack of education for these kids and being taught to respect animals. Or maybe it’s something similar to what you said, their own lives are so hard that they/their parent don’t care or have the inclination to give much thought to the rights of animals.
I’ve seen a lot of dogs get kicked in the subcontinent – it seems to be just a way of dealing with them for many people. It’s quite alien to me :(
Yes, it’s really sad.
Very sad. My kids would of been majorly busted for treating any animals like that. I appreciate all your stories, and trying to think from an outside perspective as well as your natural reaction. I really enjoy all you have to share as it is giving me good insights to the beauty and culture of India
Yes, as kids should be! It’s so strange to see parents just watch. Thanks for reading!
Taking some good things from your blog- visiting India for the first time around Holi. A friend is there and visiting a female Indian friend already, and she said she hasn’t had a lot of trouble beyond the staring. I currently live in Namibia (southern Africa) so I am already used to being stared at.
As far as the animal abuse thing- abuse and violence are always forms of power at least in the absence of sociopathic/disordered behavior. These little boys are probably hit and kicked, and their mother as well; and they therefore also want someone to hit or kick. In a country with that many people, the proportion of people in poverty and without power becomes intensified = more abuse of anyone/thing “lesser”. Oh, and I would also cry. And not little cry, like full-on cry.
This is horrible and at least you tried to do the right thing. Like you said there’s no way of changing that situation. In China animals are somewehere on the same level of interior decoration and luckily I found it to be a little better in India. To be really honest I think I would have slapped the kids. It’s quite common from my background (Former Yugoslavia rural area) to lecture kids like that, even when the parents are around (I never hit children but feel in this situation it would have been “appropriate”). I have no idea if you were afraid of the kids or something but kids are like animals and can smell your fear. If they had the feeling you guys were somehow scared of them that’s the reason they kept on going. Anyway a sad story not matter how you spin it :-(
I like your reaction haha they did deserve to be punished, I just don’t want to upset the cultural balance you know? But I should send you up there to take care of it! ha ha