Has Bangalore Gone To The Dogs?

Daisy wishes that the people of Bangalore carried more bones in their pockets

Daisy wishes that the people of Bangalore carried more bones in their pockets

Bangalore Mirror, 11 Dec 2012

Well, my neighbourhood has, I’m pleased to report. It all started about four years ago. Back then, the people in my family, the ones in my building, those who strode energetically around Milton Street Park, jaywalkers on the street, everyone around Cooke Town were extremely grumpy, grouchy, sullen.

No one smiled at anyone. I didn’t know the names of my neighbours and they didn’t know mine. We lived inside our lives and didn’t let anyone in.
Then one morning, a little dog, all of three weeks, arrived at our front gate, a stray from nowhere. Black, white, brown and feisty. She yelped and howled and nipped at the heels of everyone entering and leaving the building.  She was so tiny.
We fed her some scraps. The folks in 202 fed her some scraps which prompted the people in 303 to feed her some scraps. Pretty soon, she became a scrappy little thing, protecting everyone in the building. The watchmen took turns keeping an eye on her so she would not be hauled off by dog-catchers.
She was so adorable that the people in 303 couldn’t bear to let her sleep out on the streets, exposed to the nasties at night. They bought her a beautiful basket, layered in the softest goose down covered in colour-coordinated satin sheet-and-pillows. They adopted her and she became their princess.
Very quickly Daisy (what else would you call a dog?) had the residents of 201 talking with the ones in 203.  “Have you seen Daisy?” they would ask. “We had pork chops for dinner and she loves bones.”
The people in 104 bought a ball to toss around with Daisy. Daisy didn’t know much about balls back then, so she just ripped it to shreds, prompting the people of 301 to buy several more just so she wouldn’t get bored. And so on and so forth.
Today, all of us know each other’s names. Daisy has learned to scratch on the front door of the apartment she’s interested in (depending on what’s cooking of course) and eats at least six meals a day, which I hear is better for you than just the traditional three.
She gets plenty of exercise in the park across the street (although dogs aren’t allowed in there) and everyone in the neighbourhood knows the Princess of Milton Street.
I realised how famous she really is at a recent rehearsal with my jazz band. We were auditioning a new bass player and I had to give him directions to our apartment. I launched into a laborious explanation with landmarks and road signs when suddenly Tony said, “Stop. I know where it is! You live in Daisy’s building, don’t you?”
— Radha Thomas is a Jazz singer 

—Coordinated by Jayanthi Madhukar
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