It was a hot summer day, the sun blazing, making people stay indoors.

An old man was seen sitting under a tree on the pavement looking around at the people rushing by, hoping someone would notice him and stop to talk or ask about him.

While he was contemplating life and his circumstances, along came an old dog. It passed by the old man, then suddenly stopped and looked back and came wagging its tail and sat beside him. The old man was first surprised and looked at the dog and said “Hey, what is a good-looking dog like you doing in the streets???” The dog looked at the man and replied, “ Me, good-looking? You must be joking! I used to be young and good-looking, and loved by all, but now I am nothing but a nuisance to everyone…nobody wants me, nobody cares for me and nobody loves me anymore.” 

The man looked at the dog with sad eyes and patted him gently and said, “My friend, we are both in the same boat” I was also once young, rich, and handsome; I had everything in life — a family I loved, children who I could count on,and I lived a life few would dream of. But, today the tables have turned, and I am a homeless old man left on the streets to fend for myself..

The dog looked at the old man and put his head on his lap, and asked, “Why are humans so selfish and cruel??? Why do they treat us with love and affection when we are young and healthy and needed by them, and then in a second they show us the door??? What have we done to deserve this?”

The man laughed and said,”Buddy that’s the irony of life — we are cheated by the people we love and trust the most. I am sure your master and his family loved you as you were the joy in their lives, a status symbol maybe,a watch dog who protected them throughout life. You had a clean place to sleep, plenty of food to eat, and friends to play with. But the moment you aged and became sick, they saw you as an obstacle in their happy life and they threw you out to die in the streets without a thought of the service and love you gave them over the years.”

He continued, “So, you see my friend, we are two peas in the same pod, and I wish I could help you. I don’t have money to buy food for both of us as I was thrown out of my house with nothing but these rags I am wearing and it has been days since I have eaten anything. But if I can offer you anything it’s my company, my bed and my arms to snuggle and sleep in. Let’s hope tomorrow will be a new day for us.”

“Come my friend…let’s call it a day and sleep and give each other company because as the saying goes ‘Dog is a man’s best friend’ and it seems as if today I found my best friend for life…..”

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About the author

Bhavani Sundaram is and animal lover and activist from Himachal Pradesh in India.