Live and Let Live The Eternal Love

By S. Krishna Sharma Leh, Apr 28, 2015
Leh :
An excavation site of Ain Mallaha in Israel, the site of Natufian Culture dating back to 12,000 BC; shows the remains of an elderly human and a five-month-old puppy that were found buried together. In the Contemporary society, dog breeds like the Saint Bernard, are credited with saving thousands of human lives stuck in the snow in the higher mountainous regions of the world. These analogies indicate that for the last several thousands of years, among all the living species; the most widespread form of interspecies bonding transpires between humans and dogs, so much so that; they are named as - “The Man’s best Friend”.

The Infamous Rise of the Homeless Dogs

Over the course of last 20 years, Ladakh has moved from an agrarian economy to a tourism economy, which is predominantly seasonal in nature. For the last several centuries, the communities of Ladakh were quite passionate about Man’s loyal friend. Almost every household had sheltered dogs and they were quite well fed and taken care of. But with the advent of Globalization and lifestyle changes, this practice has ceased to exist. By abandoning the practice of accommodating dogs at homes, the poor little creatures were left to fend for themselves.  Once the “Apple of the Eye” of the households is now called “The Stray Dogs”.

The Most Misunderstood of the Species

Who are the most intelligent species on the planet? Certainly humans, but dogs are not very far away. They not only have an innate ability to foresee catastrophic events but can also sniff out diseases from a human body; much before your family doctor can diagnose. Their intelligence far outweighs the thinking of a common man to such an extent, that they can discriminate the emotional expressions of human faces. 

Take a look at some of these and you would be no less than stunned……

    The co- relation between dogs and the relative mental & physical health of their masters is quite well known. Research have shown that people who keep pet dogs at home exhibit better mental and physical health and make fewer visits to the doctors rather than their counterparts.

    Science has proved that the hearing and sensing mechanism of dogs is at least 75 times more than human beings, who are considered as the most superior of the species. During the 2004 Tsunami and the 2013 Uttarakhand floods, an estimated 370000 people perished, but not even one single dog.
    Dogs have an amazing ability to sniff out diseases before they start affecting the human fighter cells. Studies have shown that dogs can sniff out cancers of the lung, breast, skin, prostate & bladder or can even detect diabetes and epilepsy attacks.

    Animal-assisted intervention research has shown that animal-assisted therapy with a dog can increase social behaviors, such as smiling and laughing even among people with Alzheimer's disease. 

    One study demonstrated that children with ADHD and conduct disorders who participated in an education program with dogs showed increased attendance, increased knowledge and decreased antisocial and violent behavior compared to those who were not in an animal-assisted program.
    In addition to all of the above, dogs are very defensive of their masters and their families and act as a homely policeman protecting lives and property. 
Man – Animal Love to Man – Animal Conflict...... Is it Dog’s Blemish?

During the soaring economic activity of the peak tourist season in Ladakh, dogs have access to food leftovers from restaurants, guest houses, and shops.  The onset of winter triggering receding economic activity coupled with severe climatic conditions compels the dogs to scout for their food. Dogs like humans are territorial in nature. They identify and mark their territory by peeing on a particular space, which gives them control over their territory. Dogs do not bite or chase people, unless and until they are threatened or provoked within their territory. If an intruder walks into your home, for sure; he is challenged by you and your family. Likewise, once an intruder (a human) trespasses into the dog’s territory with an intention to terrorize them (by throwing stones, sticks or running away from them); the dogs feel threatened in their own territory and hence in order to protect their territory (homes), attack them. This is a psychosomatic approach adopted by any living being when threatened, whether be it human beings, animals or even plants. 

Live and Let Live

The sophisticated forms of social cognition and communication in dogs account for the trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human households and social situations. Various Social Organizations, particularly Live to Rescue have been working hand in hand with the Animal Husbandry Department of Leh in neutering and bestow dogs for adoption in the neighboring villages. But to feel the impact of this good work, we need to buy time. In the meanwhile, Let us follow the below Golden Rules to avoid confrontation with the dogs.

    Never throw stones or sticks at dogs. 
    Don’t try to outrun or to run away from a dog 
    Never approach dogs when they are having food or if they are near their pups.
    Do not stare at a dog straight into their eye. This is a sign of provoking them
    Dogs may get provoked when they are startled or frightened. Let us not confront them.

Being homeless, does not make dog’s lives less valuable. Dogs are humans most devoted companions. Malnourished and constantly fighting for survival, their lives are miserable and in peril. Let’s not inflict more pain on them! 

Man is a social animal, but an animal nevertheless. Few hundred thousand years ago, our evolution from a four legged animal to a two legged one transformed us into Homo – Sapiens - “The Torch Bearer of Living Organisms”. It took us several thousand years to evolve from an animal to Homo sapiens. Let us not inflict cruelty on these animals and turn the clock backward………….Let us Live and Let Live.

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