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Sunday, September 26 2021

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International Dog Day: Time to switch your inner animal!

Many years ago, there was a political leader who turned down a top leadership position after listening to his / her inner voice. But who was talking is a mystery that I hope to unravel here. It’s a transcription of my inner voice!

Do you find it tough to be a human being? I mean HUMAN being… not just a human being. Probably. Because inside of each one of us there is an animal and its instincts and natural behavior often overpower our human finesse which is mostly acquired in the schools of life – home, school, at work, and around the world. It’s because of all these acquisitions we are called Social Animals! Basically, we as social animals know what it is to stand and stay upright through our lives but rarely do! Because of our inner animals!

But which animal is a key question.  Is it domesticated or wild? Is it a dog or a cat or an elephant or a giraffe? Or a mouse? that runs away with each keystroke?

If you read the jungle book, you will find that each of the inhabitants of the jungle has their own fish to fry in a manner of speaking and has developed instincts on how to do it over centuries of practice.  Uniquely all the animals in the jungle are in congruence with their inner animals – because they are one and the same. No conflict. Just inflict. No philosophy. They just do it even if they can’t afford the Nike shoes – They must buy four remember?

But humans? their inner animals always try to escape their human cages, especially when it’s dark, and he is alone. No matter how hard the human tries to bolt the cage – he is only able to do it in the sunlight when people are around. Sometimes not even then. The Animal in him is involuntarily rusticated! It comes with practice.

But most, if not all humans, would love their animal to be a dog… Not an aggressive Rottweiler or Doberman, but a gentle pom, or a Lab, which they can let out both in the dark or in the sunlight in the fond surety that they will not be embarrassed, imprisoned, ridiculed, or trolled.

Very often you don’t get a choice when you are born to choose your inner animal. In fact, you don’t have control over most of the important aspects of your life – yet you fight for them as if they were your own! – Your date of birth, your name your religion, your date of death, and its manner. That’s why the International Dog Day celebrated on Aug 26th each year is an important event in every human being’s calendar!  It is a reminder to each of us that a switch of animals is due. some make it. Some cant. Some don’t even try. They remain happy with tigers in them.

But seriously, the day was founded by Animal Welfare Advocate and Pet Lifestyle Expert Collen Paige. …  Its aim is to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of (human) dogs that need to be rescued each year. If a dog lover, one will do it for free and spend a fortune thereafter. If not, well, you may still be able to nurture one inside. Take him for a walk, let him off the leash – he won’t bite if you have treated him right – and get him a chew toy. Nothing compares to it – whether internal or external because they know what love is. in fact, they don’t know any other word, four-letter or otherwise. If they did, they would still be none the wise for their inner animal is always in sync with them. It’s we who have a problem that we want others to solve… and there lies the beginning of social disorganization – something our sociology books go on and on about but without knowing its secret!

A dog’s love transcends breeds, creed, colour, size, or shape and is a joy to behold. Their tongues wag as much as their tails but it’s only to signify their love and longing for human company. And because they love unconditionally, they endear themselves to humans, and humans can understand them as if they were living in a dog’s world – their body language, their bark – from a helpless yelp to a warning growl and a call to play!  You can’t do that with a bird, or a tiger can you? Or a fish. And if you have them in you better make the switch soon by adopting a dog.

Coz your relationship with other animals is commercial – whether it’s for milk eggs or meat. But with a dog – Oh that’s different. It’s symbiotic. He pulls your love strings, even as you pull his play strings. And he’s not bothered about your purse strings. That’s a rarity. It’s a relationship that history says began 14000 years ago. They came hungry to the campsite, and at first, tried to feed, but were outrun, caught and fed. And this bonded them forever. Try feeding a cat and see if it stays with you or in you…

The human dog – the one inside of us – teaches us to love – both, to give and receive. Sometimes we wag our tongue to signify it, sometimes to fry it. This is because we don’t have that basic love instinct. We must cultivate it, even though we consider ourselves superior!  Cultivation is hard especially in times of drought. You’ve got to pump the water!

Have you seen a dog sad? Depressed? yes sure, when you are away, or you ignore him. Once sad and depressed, it will work on you, and you will experience what it is experiencing… you may even despise your inner dog and try to harm it. But don’t. All it takes is a kind word and the dog will wag its tail and you can get back to wagging your tongue!

And they make you jealous because they too are possessive. If you really love someone you will experience it too. But the dog goes one step further. Deep down it hates your act, but it does not stop loving you, even if you pat a better-looking more interactive and intelligent dog! And we must be intelligent enough to realize and learn from that.

They tell us how to find love, give love, grieve with us, all because they understand our human frailties and our language both body and oral. They empathize, never sympathize. They expect us to learn from them, or they will switch hosts and leave us with our demons and tigers.

They even know where to poop – if you train them as your parents trained you and if they don’t then you will have to pick up after them. It’s because you didn’t either love, talk to, or just listen to your inner dog when he yelped, growled, whined, or just barked in frustration….

You could love and nurture your inner animal whichever it is, but I advise you to make the switch, not because the word rhymes with the word you use for a female dog, but in spite of it… It’s just my inner dog’s advice that he has freely given to keep you on a leash until next week!


Disclaimer: This article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Image by Randy Rodriguez

Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of Toastamasters.org and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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