Though there is a happy trend of adopting street dogs, the other sad reality is that many people tend to look down their nose upon them. Ask anyone who has adopted a street dog and they would vouch for their pets’ unfailing, unconditional love. Moreover, these dogs are much more hardy and adapted to the local climate. They require less maintenance and rarely fall ill. An aquaintance even said her dog was never infested by ticks, the bane of any dog owner.
However, the flip side is that friends and relatives of families that have adopted street dogs tend to be derisive, some even refusing to touch them — "the dog must be carrying diseases from the streets", is a common line. As soon as one mentions about one’s pet, the next question is: "What breed is it?" Mention a pedigree and there’s a smiling acknowledgement but inform that it’s a street dog and the person loses interest.
A senior university professor, during a break in a recent conference, joined some participants discussing lifestyle ailments. She mentioned that thanks to her dog she regularly went for an early morning walk. As expected, someone asked, "What breed?" The good professor promptly responded, "Hauz Khas Terrier!" Seeing the confused look on some of the participants, who had some idea about dogs and breeds, she grinned, "Actually, he’s a street dog. We get such funny response when we reveal that. So, we have devised this breed from the place he was born!"
Another member of the group, who had also adopted a street dog, said the question was almost casteist and so their family informs, "Hamare hi jaat ka hai! (He is from our caste)" The logic, he explained, was that "all human beings, particularly Indians, are anyway mixed-breeds" despite being divided as Brahmins, Kshatriyas or Dalits.