Thursday, September 23, 2010

Racist/Sexist Dog

I went jogging a few days back after a gap of almost an year. This is part of my 'keep fit' endeavour for an ahem...'endeavour' (cannot disclose details now) that I am planning to attempt sometime next year with a friend of mine. Anyway I have never been a jogger nor have I been a gym-frequenter. I have always kept fit playing sports and I have been more or less proud about my fitness levels. That was when the Huntington beach incident happened. A friend SB was visiting and we went to Huntington beach. We were just kicking a soccer ball around when a group of people comprising of mostly girls in their early 20s passing by asked us if they could join us and if we could split into 2 teams. We agreed and what ensued was some 'total football' in which I was everywhere - I was defending, playing mid-field, playing forward. You name it and I was there. I was all over the place. It was some frenetic soccer. And it lasted 3 minutes. I could barely stand up after that. I realised this, when in an attempt to regain some breath, I stopped near our goal post and soon I found myself clutching the side of my stomach and falling over. I could barely breathe. And that is when a girl in our team offered me her goalkeeping job so that I could rest, while she went ahead and took care of a job that I clearly could not do. To say that I was ashamed is an understatement. That is when I realised that I could not measure my current fitness levels using statistics from 10 years back. And that is how my friends, I decided that I would run/jog every now and then so as to never embarass myself in this fashion again.

My layoff and subsequent travel out of the country for several months stopped my running for a while, but this endeavour that I told you about has given me the boost I need to start running again. Anyway when I started running again I realised that the dogs in my running path really don't approve of my exercise routines. Thankfully they are locked behind their fences. There is one particular house whose fences I am really grateful for. The dog here has a special dislike for me. While the other dogs are just happy to bark at me, most of them half-heartedly, this dog barks with unbridled vitriol and he hurls himself at the fence. I just hope that fence stays strong enough to withstand all his hurling atleast until I am running that way.

Now many of you might say "Of course the dog is barking. You are running, Stupid! What else can you expect? You are triggering the predator-prey instinct." To those I say, "This dog barks at me with the same hatred even when I walk in front of its house. Who's Stupid now?" And the interesting thing is when I am walking with my wife, it does not bark at her. If I walk with my wife near the fence and me near the road, there is no barking. But the moment we switch positions, the barking ensues. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have a racist and/or sexist dog.

I did a google search on 'racist dog' wondering if such a thing can actually exist and surprisingly a lot of other people have also pondered on this theory. Apparently there is a movie called White Dog made in 1982 which deals with the exact same theme.

Coming back to the dog in question, I really don't know if he is really racist or just sexist. Maybe his problem is just that he does not like men but is fine with women. The question as to whether this dog is racist or sexist has been bothering me for a while. The only way I can think of resolving this is by asking for volunteers. I need a White man or a non-White woman to walk in front of this dog's house and see how he reacts. If the dog barks at the man, he is sexist and if he barks at the woman, he is racist. And if he barks at both, he is racist and sexist. Of course, it might very well turn out that the dog is neither racist nor sexist and just singles me for out for special treatment. In that case, I think I will just change my running route.