Repost from a 2012 post on the Original Dr. Timepassdrtimepass.blogspot.com
Three months after my sister was married, her old cupboard was finally mine. It smelt strongly of cosmetics and little did I know that the perfume of oriflame would eventually help me in understanding dogs. Yeah… it makes less sense, but let’s keep going. I had had the almirah for two or three months, and there wasn’t much I actually wanted to keep inside an almirah. My mom made use of this, she needed a place to keep her herbal tea stock; and since I didn’t have the almirah full by then, my mom stocked a full shelf with her herbal tea. Since then I would be greeted by the scent of tea and herbs as I opened the doors. I should say here, I really missed the scent of oriflame.
Moving on, just a few weeks back my dad needed a place to store his gifts. Gifts as in wooden mementos. So quite easily he took another empty shelf and filled it with his mementoes. I know!! I really need to stuff things into that almirah! So now the cupboard smelt of wood varnish. I would wrinkle my nose and make a bad face whenever I opened the closet. Actually it was this repelling scent that made me think how important the sense of smell is, and how stimulating it can be. I started thinking about how dogs always sniffed around other dogs’ pee, or I had heard that male star tortoises travelled for miles to the scent of a female tortoise in heat. I started to think that maybe the sense of smell is wasted on us, and of course a lot of other crazy weird shit; but that’s when it hit me! I finally realized why I was being chased by dogs, or why Rani, the dog in our street was thought to be a bad dog or why the number of dog bites had increased in the metros. It was smell!
I knew that dogs are rarely aggressive towards humans, but the number of Dog bite cases has had an increasing trend over the years. I had been chased by dogs myself on a few occasions, I really didn’t care to think about it, but I did see a pattern, I saw that on the days I wore an Adidas, ‘sport’ deo(marketed by Calvinkare in India) I noticed dogs barking at me and on two occasions aggressively perused . A dog with a limp near my friend Pinky’s house, which is otherwise the most peaceful dog also seemed to want a piece of me. I though, the deo was bad luck and stopped using it. But It was the scent!
I was chased again by Rani, this was right after I had had a bath; I had used my mom’s VS shampoo… I thought the shampoo smelled really good, and after I came out of the bath, my mom was seriously mad at me for using too much of her VS shampoo. That was probably worse than Rani’s chase, but the point is, it could be possible that Rani was repelled or felt threatened by the weird smell of my mom’s shampoo. Rani, was also known for barking at fast traveling cars; and she would really get mad at the two guys who had wicked looking Bullet bikes in our street.
There were reports of dogs attacking infants. It really seemed threatening, and many organizations plus the government took to the streets to sterilize, move and even kill dogs. Maybe, a lamenting infant in the hands of a funny smelling woman with shopping bags full of more smelly things scared him. Just a thought.
In our fit to be metro, we are confusing and threatening these poor creatures. The sense of smell, sight and sound are all that these playful creatures base their life on, and all the different smells, sounds, sizes and shapes that we create or have these days are harming the creatures we share our ecosystem with. If we can talk about being sensitive to nature, we can surely think why animals do what they do.
The next time you are chased or attacked by a dog, just smell yourself