Can I do you a favour?

Can I do you a favour?

There are many dog owners in my colony. The fact that they own dogs makes them superior to people like me, who don’t own (read love) dogs. They...

There are many dog owners in my colony. The fact that they own dogs makes them superior to people like me, who don’t own (read love) dogs. They consider themselves more human because they love dogs. And we, less human, because we don’t love dogs and thereby, have no finer feelings.

(Though in my private observations I found that most dog owners love their dogs more than other humans.) Anyway this is not about haves and have-nots as much as about how their assumed superiority gives dog owners a power to do certain favours. This phenomenon naturally occurs when they take their dogs for walks.

We all know that dog owners and their dogs share certain motives on an emotional level when they go for walks. Dogs look for romance (like their owners), look to fight (like their owners) and even look for one walk stands. But all similarity ends there because on a physical level, for all dogs, walks are the No 1 (and No 2) signal to go to their great, big, outdoors bathroom.

When they move out of their homes, doggy bowels move first, and then move the other parts. And when doggy bowels move, dogs yearn for places far away from their own homes. And this is where we lesser humans, the non-dog owners fit into their scheme.

Along with some others, my gate and driveway have been marked by the dogs as our colony’s preferred doggy bathrooms. As dog and owner come close to my driveway, I can sense the dog owner relaxing his hold, and the dog getting excited about the impending relief.

Soon the dog proceeds to unburden itself while the owner looks on proudly at his pet’s evacuative prowess. I don’t know what to do when these things happen under my nose…it’s a private affair and sure the dog needs to go but its messing up my driveway too. How about your driveway?

The owner informs me indulgently that his dog likes my driveway. The dog agrees. Then they both look at me like they have done me a favour and walk away leaving hard evidence behind that I can do nothing with. I guess I am supposed to be thrilled at this and gift my driveway to them.

They certainly behave like they own it. This is still level 1. At level 2, we have dog owners who believe dogs must not be chained (except at their home) and let them run free on the rest of the world. One such freshly unleashed canine adopted my home as the perfect place to let go. It walked up to my doorstep and proceeded to do the said favour.

I protested. The owner was offended. She told me to wash the area with some vinegar solution to solve the problem. Who will clear the mess I asked. She gave me the same look. How crude and ungrateful can you get, said that look.

Am I missing something? I look around and find that there are many such people doling out favours like these. Like my neighbour who unburdens her boring life and when done, gives me free advise on how to improve my life. The look on her face is clear - I did you a favour.

From maid servants to the government, parking lot attendants to guys who ask directions while I am on my phone, the world is full of people doing me favours I don’t want. On my driveway, my time, my space. Do they even qualify as favours? At times I think I need a legal expert to clarify – who’s doing who a favour really?

By: Harimohan Paruvu

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