When I used to park my car to walk home through our colony at night, a few familiar stray dogs would accompany me. I enjoyed that, but when they would enter the territory of some other strays near my house there would often be a lot of barking and sometimes a dog fight between both groups. The dogs near my house associated me with the “other” pack and therefore I would feel uncomfortable walking past them – even if I would step out from my house for some shopping or other purpose.
Then I received the list with names of each stray dog in our colony, which was put together by the local dog group. Next time, I called the name of one of those dogs when I walked by him: “Hey Tiger!” And guess what? He wagged his tail at me instead of wearily staring and growling like he used to do. I was amazed to see the positive change in his behaviour now that he had become known to me.
I suggested that the dog group should publish the names of the dogs so every resident would know. A few youngsters came up with the idea to make posters of the dogs with “My name is…” to hang them up throughout the colony. Both in English as well as in Hindi. I am a marketing expert, so I helped them find an online print shop and advised on the size and printing materials.
The posters are now ready and are really cool. I hope this will help my neighbours to familiarise themselves with the strays near their house. At least I am less anxious and more confident around them now.
“Bye Tiger, you are a good boy!”