|Death: ||May 8, 2009|
Thank you for visiting Pisu, also known as Doggy. I believe my nephew hasn't told too many people about the loss of this warm creature because he may not feel they will understand. I have shown him this site and he is surprised and appreciative of other folks' kindness in remembering and honoring his dear dog. With your visits and whatever kind comments you would care to leave, my nephew knows that other people do understand and care, and recognize that Doggy is worth remembering.
When I met Doggy, it was 2000, and I was on my first trip to India. Back then he was known as Pisu, but over the years his name evolved to Doggy.
Doggy was probably born on the streets of Bangalore, and somebody laid claim to him by putting a collar on him with no tags. Whoever they were, that bond did not last. In 1996 Doggy was on the street again and not looking particularly well-fed. That's how my sister in law found him when she lived in Bangalore, and they struck up a friendship. Soon he was part of the family and faithfully guarding their house. As dogs' lives go, his was pretty full, taking care of the extended family and kids, keeping an eye on the gate, and spending part of each day and evening romping with his dog pals out on the street.
Pisu was a handsome fellow in the jaunty way of Indian street dogs, especially in his younger years. He had overall light fur, dark soulful eyes with perfect furry "eyeliner", a great smile, and a wonderful expressive tail. DNA tests show that most Indian street dogs (also known as "pye-dogs", "pi-dogs", "Pariah dogs" and "INDogs") are descended and evolved from East Asian or Chinese stock. Nature breeds the perfect survivor for whatever the prevailing conditions are, so street dogs tend to be smart, wiry, tough and able to thrive despite crowding and adversity. Many Indian cities do not have the infrastructure to offer dependable garbage collection, which leads street dogs to scavange leftovers to survive, along with whatever offerings kindly people leave them. These dogs have an adaptable, friendly nature, high intelligence and overall good health, as they have evolved for survival. Their territorial instinct makes them good watchdogs who are extraordinarily loyal and devoted to their family. This general breed description suits Doggy very well.
India is hard to describe if you have not been there, and very varied from place to place. One consistent thing that amazed me in every city I visited was the number of animals on the loose in the middle of huge human populations. In the midst of impossibly crowded sidewalks and very busy streets, it was not unusual to see a pile of sleeping kittens, a snoozing dog, or a wandering cow, and people and cars and cycles would just go very nicely around them. It feels like chaos, but somehow it works.
Anyhow, during my first trip to India, despite how kind everyone was, I was very self conscious, worried about my manners and the cultural differences, sure that at any moment I might do something unintentionally rude or buffoonish. With Pisu it was different because I always knew dogs while growing up, and feel I understand or read them well. I know they accept unconditionally. I could just play.
It took some time for Pisu and I to get comfy with each other because he took his guarding responsibilities very seriously. I was staying in the family's upper apartment, and every time I went up the outer stairs, he would try to block me and make menacing noises. He wasn't sure about me, so I decided I had to make it clear to him that I was his friend. This was accomplished by offering him a few cream biscuits while speaking kindly to him, which over a few days progressed to patting him and scratching his back. My husband jokingly said that Pisu sold out, but I think Pisu just finally understood I meant no harm and from then on, we got on very well.
He was a joyful creature, moving with happy confidence through his indoor and outdoor lives, boisterous with his street dog friends, vigilant at home, and bouncy when playing with me. I found him utterly enchanting. We rough-housed and played fetch, and I can remember feeling trust enough that when we played tug of war, and he growled, I could growl back, and we'd escalate, going back and forth. At one point, I remember my hand in his mouth, my fingers wrapped around his lower jaw, and he was growling up a storm, but we both knew it was play, and he never bit down. My young nephew had noticed this and asked his mom how it was that I could put my hand in Pisu's mouth and not get bitten. Now my nephew is older and has more experience with animals and knows the answer himself- that animals are generally worthy of our trust, and don't want to hurt us at all. If only the reverse were always true, that we humans are worthy of the trust animals show, and that we too never want to hurt them.
Accustomed to human contact, probably Doggy thought nothing of it when he heard human voices nearby one night in April of 2009 around 11 o'clock. Doggy was sleeping outside the gates of the family compound when some young thugs poured alcohol over him and set him on fire. They then took off on their scooters while neighbors heard Doggy's terrible cries and came to his aid. It was clear homecare would not be enough so he was taken to one of the few hospitals for animals. With third degree burns over much of his body, the hospital's best treatments could not help him, and dear Doggy passed away after three weeks.
This is very difficult to understand or process. If one hears of awful abuse stories anywhere, they ask themselves "Why would someone even think to do such a thing?" The question is made harder for me in that this happened in India where there is generally more respect for life. Even the economics don't make sense... drinking is out of the norm, and alcohol is expensive, so who would think to throw their money away for such a cruel act? Probably such questions can never be answered to anyone's satisfaction. It just seems extra tragic to me that Pisu was a dog who stepped away from his street life and made the choice to trust humans, and it was possibly that very trust that may have helped lead to his sad end. Yet, thankfully, also because of that trust, he had a very full and happy life with a family he loved, and who loved him back.
Again, thank you for visiting and caring, and for any kind thoughts you can share that might bring comfort to my nephew and all of Doggy's family. Perhaps at some point they will want to add some memories as well.
One kind anonymous visitor to this site left the following note for Doggy Pisu and his family:
A touching speech many dog lovers know.
The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death. -- George Graham Vest- c. 1855.
George Graham Vest was a U.S. Senator from Missouri from 1879 to 1903. The speech is from an earlier period when he practiced law in a small Missouri town. It was given in court while representing a man who sued another man for the killing of his dog. Vest made the speech and WON the case.
Kind visitor Wayne Osborne left these thoughts:
"Strength Without Insolence, Courage Without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man without the Vices." ~ Lord Byron, upon the death of his dog, Boatswain
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: May 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36980337