meandog02_1Living in Mithakali, we came to gain many dog friends. Amongst them was a strong, muscular male dog, who Mark named Scooter. Scooter looked intimidating – the kind of dog you would not want to have against you. Fortunately, Scooter took a particular liking to us and came running to greet us whenever he caught site. He would jump up on us and would love to be pet. Mark said that if anyone ever tried to harm us, Scooter would always have our back.

One day, Loveleen and I went to say hi to him and he let off some quiet growls. This didn’t fit at all with his affection for us, so I thought he must be growling at a nearby dog, protecting his unique bond with us.

Several weeks later, Scooter came by with his lady friend and again said hi. He was again happy to see us, but again let out some quiet growls. This time, Scooter had an enormous wound on his head. It’s likely that someone threw a brick at him, which seems to be very common. We had seen this far too often and felt disgusted and sad.

hulkScooter was licking our hands like crazy, but still letting out occasional growls. All of a sudden, he started nipping at our hands a little, aggressively. Mark and I both sensed some danger. Mark left and I stayed, hoping to overcome any hostile behavior with affection. It was clear that something started switching on and off in his mind. Like the Incredible Hulk, he would suddenly shift into an attack mindset and his little nips started to become more menacing.

It was clearly as if human cruelty had splintered his spirit and he began to start losing it indiscriminately. Likely, memories of abuse would flash on and he would project them onto my form as a human.

Soon again, he would revert back into all loving licks, and then again start growing more fierce. This time, the violent switch turned on completely and in an altered state of mind, he bit me on the leg. It was just a small bite with a minor puncture that left both a bruise on my flesh, and also on my feelings. It was immediately after this that I wrote the poem “Something More.”

I am very sad for Scooter. He won’t survive long here as a violent dog. I’m actually not looking forward to the next time I see him, for fear of being attacked. I’ve always felt that love and benevolence can overcome any negativity, but this was a clear example of an altered state where all sight of my kind meandog011intentions disappeared. I suppose this is a good lesson going into Pakistan. Overall, I’m certain the people are at least as kind and good as you’ll find anywhere in the world, but as “Americans”, there are definitely exceptions there who would love nothing more than to harm us. I tend to feel that my love and gentleness are enough to shield me from all harm. But perhaps this lesson reveals that this just isn’t so.