I am Armaan. I am a person who adores dogs and I find immense joy in caring for them. Distributing food to street dogs is one of my favorite hobbies. But this story, is not about me, it’s about the little guy who taught me the value of dogs, he is the sole reason for all my love and respect for dogs. I met him at a rural village in Kerala where my Grandma’s house is situated. My whole family is settled in Mumbai so I rarely visited Kerala. That was my first time at Grandma’s house, she had some works to do in her village and as my summer holidays were going on I decided to accompany her to Kerala. I still remember the first time I met him, I was having a tea at the local teashop. I was sitting at the wooden bench in front of the shop and slowly sipping my boiling hot tea, that’s when a I noticed someone staring at me, a little white furred dog with  really expressive big eyes. I could actually sense that he was scanning me from top to bottom. I was not very fond of dogs back then , actually…. I was a bit afraid of them and this guy staring at me really made me scared. I called the uncle at the tea shop hinting that I was actually scared of the situation. Uncle laughed and said ” Don’t worry, it’s just our Chotu, he’s the security around here, he’s just making sure that you are no threat to anyone around here” and then he looked at the dog and a spoke in a commanding tone ” Hey Chotu, go away, that’s enough, shoo, shoo.” As soon as uncle said that, Chotu was back on his his way, wagging his tail, hopping through the streets. During my time in Kerala that summer I gathered enough courage and befriended Chotu, except for my fear, befriending him was no big task as he was a really friendly guy, somedays, he even escorted from the tea shop to grandma’s house. And the uncle at the tea shop wasn’t joking when he said Chotu was the security of the locality, he actually acted like one proud brave security guard. When I left for Mumbai that summer I was really upset, but I promised myself that I’d go back and visit him next summer.

     Next summer I went back to Kerala. I was very excited as I really loved spending time at Kerala, it was all very peaceful out there, the evening football matches, the bath in the village pond, having tea from the local tea shop along with uncle’s special ‘parippuvada'( a snack available in Kerala) and of course, there was Chotu. But as soon as i reached the village, I was shocked! There was a bronze statue of a dog in the entrance to the village and at the bottom it was written ” Chotu you’ll always be alive in our hearts” I was felt so shocked, Chotu was a young healthy dog, what happened suddenly? was he run over by a vehicle or something? my head started filling up with questions. I ran to the tea shop, Uncle had a smile on his face, seeing me after a year, he greeted me , but I was not in a right mindset to greet him back, I asked  him straightaway, ” What happened to Chotu?” After hearing uncle’s reply my eyes were flowing and my hear was filled with respect.

     There was a family in the village that absolutely hated dogs, unlike the other villages, they wouldn’t let Chotu anywhere near them, they would throw stone at him and shoo him away if he ever entered their compound. But Chotu never minded any of those, he used to care for the little kid in the family, Arnav, like any other child in the locality. He used to accompany the five children from the village to their school, which was at a ten minutes walking distance from the village and he used to accompany them back home as well. One day there was a fair going on in the next village and the other four children where had taken leave from school and went to the fair. In the evening Chotu was escorting Arnav back to his house. There was not much people around them on their way back. Suddenly a vehicle pulled across them and a man got out from the vehicle. He tried to grab Arnav and push him into the vehicle, but little did he know, the security guard of the locality was still on duty and that he was no coward, Chotu, bit the kidnapper’s hand so hard that he plucked of the flesh from his hand. The kidnapper shouted in pain and he had no other option but to let go of Arnav. Villagers rushed to the site upon hearing the loud shout of the kidnapper, he had no other option but to flea the scene, but he was so irritated and angry and irritated at Chotu. He grabbed Chotu by his neck and took him into his car. And as he drove away he opened the window and threw Chotu out. Villagers rushed to save Chotu, but it was of no use, he fell so hard, he was already dead, his white fur was soaked in blood, and his big expressive eyes were numb. 

 Maybe he knew, right from the moment he decided to take on the kidnapper that it was not going to end well for him, he knew he stood no chance, but still he decided to go for it. Never in his life did he get any love and affection from the little boy’s family, still he gave up his life to save him. Chotu taught me a lot of things, but I still wonder, if we really deserve these wonderful creatures. If someone told me angels are not real, I’d say they are foolish, angels are pretty real, it’s just that they don’t have a halo on top of their head and big white wings to fly around, instead, they have a joyfully wagging tail and an infinite love to share. Human beings are not god’s most loved creation, it’s them, and maybe that’s why, DOG spelled backwards is GOD.  

– a story by 

  Adithyan S