Bangalore has been many things to many people. A retiree's paradise, a garden city, the Indian silicon valley, an outsourcing hub and so many other names are given to this city which has outgrown its own resources in so many ways. Another thing that may be added to B'lore's credit could be the dog lovers that the city has in abundance. And where there are dog lovers there are dogs, and oh so many of them!
In a survey done in 2001, it was estimated that Bangalore has a dog population of more than 3.25 lakh out of which a majority (61%) are strays. And there is no reason to believe that this dog population has not grown proportionately with the human population.
The dogs of Bangalore are relatively healthier than the usual (my yardstick were the dogs in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and the dogs in both these places under-perform when compared to the ones in Bangalore!). And when a dog is healthier it is also more dangerous. I'm your ordinary dog lover (the kind of person who likes dogs, loves them and does pretty ordinary things to prove his love like feeding them a piece of biscuit sometimes) so I don't have anything against these animals (after all we have been living with dogs in harmony for generations) but there are times when these little bastards (forgive my language but I really did mean it and don't have a substitute for that word) can team up against you and challenge your 'freedom of (harmless) walk' in their neighbourhood.
Ask any guy/gal working in a call centre in Bangalore and all of them would have a harrowing tale to tell about how they were 'attacked' by a hound of dogs while they were returning late night from work. I've had a similar experience twice (thought of going out for a walk at 2:00 AM with a KF can in hand) after which I decided to make those neighbourhood hoods my friends and tried not to forget them whenever I was having biscuits. Life has been much easier around my house since.
Some hard hitting facts are there about dogs and the city of Bangalore.
- Very few pets in Bangalore are registered.
- Most stray dogs (86%) are rabid.
- Bangalore has a dog:human ratio of 1:12 (old stats, things are worse now).
But, whatever said and done, a dog lover is a dog lover for life. Bangalore has more dog shows than any other city in India. The average number of dogs per house in Bangalore is much higher than any other city in India. Dogs of Bangalore are much healthier than those of any other city (based on experience, please correct me if I'm wrong).
Finally, since this article talks about dogs and the love that the city of Bangalore shows towards them I leave you with a picture that I found stuck on a tree here in a park a few days back. If you are able to find 'Tiger' and report it to its owners CnC would earn some karma points!