Every morning, I come to catch the bus to my office, I see this dog. The moment I see him, my heart wilts with pain. No life could be worse than his. He cannot walk. He drags his abdomen with his two front legs. He struggles a lot to move a meter. And I wonder how he manages to find food for his survival.
This morning he has managed to pull himself out of the sleeping place to the area where sun falls. Thimphu is chilly cold and he is basking in the morning sun. When he rests, he sits like a man with his abdomen on the ground.
His life story in retrospection, local residents say that he was a pet dog; loved and cared by a family. He used to sleep on the sofa and eat from a clean plate. However, one unlucky day, when he was out with the family, he was run-over by a vehicle with major cuts. His loving family left him on the spot. They did not bother to medicate him (perhaps they felt they could get a better one instead of spending money medicating him).
Since then, local residents say, he was left in the place where he was hurt: physically by the vehicle and mentally by his loving owner. We do not know the pains that he has undergone. He must have cried like us through days and nights in pain. But who cared to look after him? And he has no attendant like us.
Buddhism teaches us that all sentient beings are our parents: “They have been our parent, one time or the other, in our life.” But this has just become a verbal mantra. Who takes care to put into practice? The owner, who left him, has to go a long way to understand the relations. Should a family member of him be hurt, he would have spent millions to cure him. But the dog could not be considered the member of his family although he lived with them.
If I was to question the dog about his sadness (as I did to the people when I was a journalist) and he was to answer, I knew he would speak in ocean-full of tears about the man-in-good-times and man-in-bad-times. He would have pages of stories to narrate and I would have been saddened by that. It was better, on my part, that I did not question him. And on his part, it was better that he could not speak. Lest, I would have made him cry and his tears would have wet my heart. This is the hardest thing a journalist's heart has to face. In the pretext of covering the beat, you land up sharing your heart. If your heart is not as hard as stone, you cannot leave a distorted face and run away.
In the same way, I keep on thinking about the dog. I wish to help him but I am late. With his ears hanging low, he drags down the dusty ground heavily.
I find him waiting for the death to come sooner than before.