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The first time I saw the dog, it was standing outside the locked gate of a building two houses down from mine, staring intently inside and whimpering. I assumed it had been locked out by mistake. The next time, which was probably the second time we drove down that day with the stuff we were moving to the new house in the locality, I saw the same dog being chased by some strays.

With a dirt collar and a small length of metal chain hanging from it, it looked scruffy, but still too well bred to be a street dog. It is a local friend who dropped in the next day who told me the sad story. The dog’s owners had last stayed for a week in the building (which was a sort of guest house) outside which the dog now waited, and when it was time for them to go, they simply left the dog behind.

How do they do it, these dog owners, abandon a pet they have taken responsibility for, a pet that they have loved (I presume) and one who loves them and sees them as family? How different is abandoning a dog different from abandoning your human baby? Wouldn’t it have been better to at least euthanize the dog, give it a love-filled decent farewell, before they left?

The next day the abandoned dog was found dead, run over by some car or other.

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©Shail Mohan 2015

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