Dogs Day Out In Delhi

There are many ways to transport dogs, but few as unusual as a Delhi man’s routine of taking his three dogs on his scooter with him.

A Facebook user shared a video of the man and it quickly went viral, getting more than 300,000 views, 2,500 shares and 1,000 smiley faces. The video shows a middle-aged man riding a silver scooter with one dog on his lap and the other two balanced on the seat behind him. The dogs look extremely relaxed, enjoying the ride and the breeze. It’s just another family outing for them, no different from three kids heading to the park with their dad.

While it’s an unusual sight to most people, it’s apparently a familiar one to some Delhi residents. “I see this sardar ji very often,” one Facebook user commented. “Every morning he drives with his pets from Laxmi Nagar flyover towards ITO Bridge for last many years.”

That explains why the dogs are so relaxed and well-balanced on the seat of a moving scooter. They’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s second nature to them, like riding a bicycle and texting for a teenager.

Many online commenters found the video adorable and sweet, while others found it disturbing and worrisome.

Those who found it adorable exchanged comments like these:

Manjula: “What a nice man! He takes his dogs around with him. He doesn’t want them to be bored to death at home.”

Poonam: “He must really care about those dogs! I wonder if he’s taking them out for ice cream.”

Manjula: “Maybe pizza. Those dogs look hungry! Looks like there’s enough space on the scooter for two more dogs. But I’m sure the man doesn’t want them to be too cramped.”

Poonam: “I wish I could take three dogs around with me, but all I have is a Tata Nano.”

Those who found the video disturbing exchanged comments like these:

Saurabh: “This is so irresponsible and risky. If one of the dogs falls off, it might get run over by other vehicles.”

Vinay: “The least the man could do is put his dogs in helmets.”

Saurabh: “I’ve never seen a dog helmet. Do they even exist?”

Vinay:  “If he is a responsible dog owner, he would spend some time and invent one.”

Saurabh: “Why must he be the one to invent it?”

Vinay: “Because he’s the one riding around with dogs on his scooter.”

Saurabh: “What are the police doing? Shouldn’t they give him a fine?”

Vinay: “The police don’t care. Dog safety in this country has really gone to the dogs.”

As a dog owner myself, I can understand both viewpoints. My dog, Legacy, is always excited to travel in our car, but she would never go on a scooter ride, not unless I put some super glue on her rear end and threatened her with the vacuum cleaner. Even if I did manage to get her on a scooter, she’d look more terrified than a toddler on a roller coaster.

That’s why I’m amazed how comfortable those three dogs look on the Delhi man’s scooter. Few animals besides “man’s best friend” would be so trusting. But I’m also concerned about the safety of the dogs. I wish there was a way to strap them down and keep them from falling. “Dog car restraints” can be purchased online and used in cars, but someone needs to invent “dog scooter restraints.” If transporting animals by scooter becomes popular, we may also need inventions such as “cow scooter restraints” and “elephant scooter restraints.” Trust me, if an elephant is ever going to be transported by scooter, it will happen in India first.

By then, perhaps politicians will get involved and pass strict laws governing animal transportation, such as “No more than six dogs per scooter will be permitted in Delhi” and “Owners are responsible for all dogs that fall off scooters, including payments to dog ambulance services.”

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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