Thursday August 9, 2012
Puppy thrown into manhole: Monsters in our midst
WHEEL POWER by ANTHONY THANASAYAN
I WEPT when I read the horrible news last weekend. Many animal-lovers were just as distraught. The news media reported that two young foreign students threw a helpless puppy into a manhole before running away. And they had a good chuckle over it. The heinous act was caught on video by an accomplice who had no qualms about filming the sorry episode. The incident, we were told, took place in Cyberjaya some time in June.
The video went viral after it was uploaded to YouTube. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. The photo stills on print were enough to give me an inkling of the kind of nightmare the puppy called Kanilla went through. I agonised over the fate of the pup. Instead of being treated to a game of catch in the park with the boys, Kanilla had no idea that she was bound on a one-way trip to hell.
Even now, the thought of it makes my blood curdle and my heart wants to scream and demand the same treatment for the perpetrators. But then again, no. For that would turn me into the very monster that the world does not want.
To help me come to terms with Kanilla’s cruel fate, I try to focus on all the good that animals, especially dogs, have contributed to my life as a person born with a disability.
One of the first pets I had was good ol’ Brutus, a mongrel. Brutus came into my life shortly after I became unable to walk and was confined to the house because the school which I attended refused to build a wheelchair-friendly toilet.
Whilst the rest of my siblings were in school, it was Brutus who kept me company through all those lonely, boring days.
When I was 10, and started using the wheelchair, the canine became my confidante as I poured out my heart to him.
A few years later when I entered my teens, Cindy took over. She learnt to sit firmly on the footrest of my wheelchair as I wheeled around the neighbourhood. Cindy made me proud to be disabled.
Vai, a Rottweiler, came into my life when I was much older. He taught me to accept my disability and move on. Vai was able to get through to me where health professionals failed. As I learnt to attend to his needs, I started to look after myself just so I could stay out of hospital and be with him.
Reba, a Shetland sheepdog, is a real life-saver. She monitors my paralysed legs daily and zeroes in on any wounds that appear so that I can get them treated immediately.
Zhar, a Doberman, is now officially the new maid in my house. He picks up everything that I drop on the floor and passes it to me.
I know of numerous disabled Malaysians whose dogs have enhanced their quality of life. I know a quadriplegic whose Rottweiler gives him a reason to live after his motor accident.
There’s also another mongrel that helps an amputee stay positive at all times instead of sinking into depression.
And who can forget my friend, a mum of two disabled children, who says her Buster’s wagging tail and loving licks keep her motivated to help her children all day.
I have no doubt that if Kanilla were alive today, she (and others like her) could be trained to be special companions to people in need of friendship and love. I pray that her tormentors will get what they deserve from the authorities.
And for those of us who are outraged by what happened to Kanilla, let us keep her memory alive and remember that dogs are indeed man’s best friend. Their contributions to society must be respected and protected at all costs.