Sunday, Cubbon Park, a dog came up to us and sat down. He was disturbingly round. His face grew wider into his neck, which lead to a trunk that seemed like it had two extra layers of fat wrapped around it to keep him warm.
He was a rusty brown, with bald spots all over- skin disease- and faint black strips. When I first came to Bangalore I was awed by these rusty stripped dogs that seemed to slink by street corners, like little tigers all over the city. I haven’t noticed them in years, I guess they never seemed to play at anything else. Now and then you see a few mutts, strays with distinct features of more becoming breeds, of course you don’t wan to think of much them . Their ribs, their earnest eyes with ears slicked back, a paw missing and yes unhealthy, annoying when they turn wild on the streets treating human indifference in kind.
When they hung around bakeries and street vendors that severed oily snacks, they seemed to get a weird kind of fat, that’s my theory at least. So it stood to reason this stray had gotten fat the same way- of the indifference, litter and kindness of visitors. He looked at our bench and went right to sleep in front of us. My companion pointed out that he seemed to find it difficult to move.
What I really noticed though was the contrast, walking in we saw dogs brought in, sitting in cars, collared and well fed. There were Huskies panting in the heat, large dogs, tiny dogs,dogs shaved and pampered sitting in circle while their masters watched them closely. A lot of them must have come at a high price, somewhat inbreed and incapable of surviving the wild or even the streets.
It reminded me, so much, of an article on Jacobin (https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/10/victorian-values-fitness-organic-wealth-parenthood/) , which looked at how the rich and poor saw their bodies. When the poor labored in the heat, being tan and lean weren’t fashionable, now that they are desk bound the rich tan themselves and take care of their bodies. How funny that this was paralleled in our dogs, the strays fat on a diet of junk food, and the pampered breeds lean and about.