What does it take for us to think before we leap?

As human beings we always express regret or concern over only those issues that affect us personally. A wise man once said to me, most behavior altering changes occur only when one has either something to gain or loose from it. In other words, when you can mentally put yourself in someone else shoes and feel his/her pain is when you are most likely to empathize with the affected person. 

Now to give you a background in to that thought. About a week ago, we got our four month old puppy fixed. What does that mean, you ask?

Well, to put it simply, he underwent a tiny surgery called ‘neutering’. Like most well-informed doggie parents, we too did our research, consulted several experts including doctors, read a million yelp reviews and almost a month later took an appointment with a local non-profit called Emancipet for his sterilization. My experience so far in this episode has been extremely positive and my pup is recovering just fine with our love and affection, but the only thing amusing in this entire process were the extreme reactions that he received. It is good to see and hear that so many men and a handful of women have expressed their deepest regret at the puppy’s lack of possible sexual activity in the future. (I am sorry that he is not going to be casanova and will always be our little baby. I am extremely regretful that he never going to be a ladies man.) But what is more unsettling is that most people have a stronger reaction to him loosing his genitals than a 16-year old girl being raped over and over again and dumped in the field to die. 

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard everything from “you got him fixed, huh!” to “what’s he good for now”, “did he loose his you know what” and “what’s he, a girl now?”, “what does he know about the pleasures of life”.

Surprisingly, something that moves these people to make such harsh statements about a four month old puppy, also makes them flip the pages of a newspaper every time they read of a brutal murder and rape.  Why is that? Is it only because they know that it will never happen to them? But are they really thinking straight? That they sleep every night feeling secure.

So when a woman in India is forced to abandon her girl child in the trash can, where the baby dies due to lack any post natal care and dehydration, nobody so much as points a finger at her family, because apparently only women are responsible for giving birth to a girl child. No man every played a role in it. And what gives anybody the right to demand a woman to abort her child based on it’s gender? Why doesn’t this move anyone enough to make a comment about it? Even if it is in the passing. Why doesn’t anyone talk about having more girls in a normal conversation or making this world a better/safer place for women to be themselves and not just some puppets born to bred more irresponsible men?

Why are there more corpses of newborn girls in the wells in India than there is water for irrigation? Why don’t we spend a precious moment from objectifying women and think about these little souls who never got a chance? When we talk about women in the most degrading manner, why are we forgetting that we have mothers and we will have daughters at someday. I want a daughter and I feel sorry for the people who don’t want one. I hope, wish and pray that you don’t regret saying every horrible lusting statement you’ve made about a woman when your teenage daughter steps out of the house. I hope she feels safe with you, because if you don’t want her right now, I doubt you will ever really make her truly comfortable. 

Why don’t people think about the consequences of what they do or express? When they call a woman fat or blonde. When they reduce her entire identity to her appreance? Is that how you would like to be seen? Would you be happy if your entire existence was reduced to the lack of teeth in your mouth? 

How much do we have to grow up before we stop doing any of this? Or should we just sweep this under the carpet because it’s easier to let boys be boys and when we have sisters and daughters we’d just follow them till the day we die to ensure their safety. 

 

 

A wish list for our puppy in the year 2014.

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Typically as the year approaches the last week of it’s existence, most people reflect on the ups and downs it brought. I am no exception to this and some intellectually reflective conversations with myself over the last few days have helped me put together a list of things I would like the next year to be a part of.

But, instead of listing boring ‘to do’ items for myself, I made this wish list for my puppy. In a very strange way, I want the same things for my puppy and me in the coming year. Barely four months old, my yellow labrador pup ‘Sunny’, is just only beginning to get a hang of life. And just like me, he is refusing to open up to the world. He loves his parents and he takes comfort in the fact that we will always be around to protect him, but what he’s missing out on is a world of adventure and experiences. So here’s what I wish 2014 brings his way and helps him grow.

  1. Health: Like all responsible parents, I want our puppy ‘Sunny’, to be hale and hearty. He has spent the last few days recovering from a stomach bug that has left him weak and pale. I wish good health and steady growth for my little one. I love watching him run around the house and I hope the new year brings him more energy and strength to take his exploration to new levels.
  2. Trust: As secure as he feels with us, he is very mistrusting of other people and his friends. I wish that he musters the courage to give people a chance to prove themselves worth the while. I want him to judge less based on appearances and superficial traits and wait a moment longer before he jumps to conclusions. I want him to walk up to people and confidently greet them and not hide behind me every time he sees a stranger pass by. I want him to accept people based on the good they have to offer and ignore the negatives.
  3. Confidence: It took Sunny over a week before he could finally climb up or down the stairs leading to the entrance to our door. And it makes him very nervous every time a well-groomed dog passes by. Although, he is by far the most good looking puppy I’ve ever seen, he doesn’t quite know it yet. I want him to take a good look at himself in the mirror and then I want him to notice his big strong paws. I know he has it in him to be the best dog there is and I just want to help him see it for himself.
  4. I want him to concentrate less on the rewards and more on learning the tricks of life.
  5. I want him to bring himself up to playing with the same toy at least for a whole day. Even though he knows his mummy daddy have a million tricks in their bag to keep him entertained all day long, I want him to know that he has to be on his own one day and that his toys would come in very handy then.
  6. I want him to learn to fetch and bring the ball back. This is purely a wish for my puppy and it has no reflection on my own life whatsoever.
  7. I want him to appreciate and trust the people he is with. I want him to know that he can sleep soundly as long as the people he is with are alive and kicking.
  8. I want him to understand the difference between plastic, paper, metal and kibble. He seems really confused at this point.
  9. I want him to be more adventurous and for a change chase the squirrels that tease him, rather than just watching them run up and down the tree.
  10. I want him to have a set of godparents. Applications welcomed.
  11. I want him to be thankful for the beautiful life he lives and for the people he loves the most. Likewise.
  12. Finally, I want him to be happy always. Because, there’s no other joy than to see a happy puppy jumping around the living room wagging his long tail.

Here’s wishing that 2014 brings him joy, more love and bacon treats!

Love,

Mommy.