During my childhood days, walking past a particular neighbour’s house had always been a dread as more often than not I’ll end up running for dear life with the irresponsible owner’s pet dogs hot my trail.
Ok they may be a pair of Shih Tzus, but the thought of being eaten alive by these midget mutts was enough reason for me to take a longer route home from school daily.
Back then it was quite common for kids my age, especially the Muslim kids, to fear them. Some would run a million miles by a mere sight of the animal...even from a million miles away.
In our tiny mind if we are bitten, the thought that we are ritually unclean will haunt us for the rest of the day.
Naturally I loathed them, and felt those neighbourhood canines ought to be captured and sold to the mobile satay vendor who plies his trade from house door to door.
But decades have passed. And my perception towards the animal have since changed.
To a certain extent, I have yet to conquer the fear, and it still pretty much dogs me. However, long gone the days when I thought they’re nothing but a racist animal with appetite only for flesh of a Muslim boy.
Throughout the years, I learned that apart from it being an intelligent animal, dogs make great companionship. And due to their helpful nature, certain breeds are considered god sent to the disabled community. They are known to fetch items that are beyond reach especially for those with physical limitations and serves as an eye for the visually-impaired.
No, I don’t intend to own one for obvious reason but I make no bones about people keeping dogs as pets, as long they do it responsibly.
But do they all?
So in commemorating with the World Animal Day, a first ever dog forum organised by MBPJ will be held this Sunday to discuss on this very topic.
Besides lending my support to a dear buddy, I’ll be there yet for another attempt at overcoming one of my childhood’s worst nightmares, which now I’m beginning to believe to be a bit unfounded.