You often read in the newspapers about the thousands of feral dogs that wander in packs around the city, sometimes causing trouble. They feed from the garbage bins and some people feed them.
The apartment complexes in India are called Societies because they’re organized and managed by a group of the tenants. The tenants hold meetings during the year, vote on various management issues and collect money for the needs of the Society.
Sometimes a feral dog will attach him/herself to a person, bungalow or Society and take on the duties of protecting the territory. In a Society where we rented for a time there was one such animal, Rajah. He originally came with a man who was the watchman for the Society, but Rajah liked the Society so much he decided he’d stay there and not go home with the man each night. I decided to write a poem about that faithful dog.
Rajah, The Society Guard Dog
There stands the mighty Rajah,
Eyes alert and muscles taut.
He defends the Society courtyard.
Many battles he has fought.
He guards the gates and stands his ground.
He checks for any foe.
He has to know just who is there,
Who comes, and who will go.
“Rajah! Rajah!” He hears the call.
He suddenly awakes!
Then to the caller, slowly goes.
The snack he gratefully takes.
He first came with the man who comes
To clean the grounds each day.
This man goes home, but Rajah stays;
He will not go away.
Rajah’s life is not a hard one.
He sometimes strolls the street.
He checks a corner garbage bin
For something good to eat.
You hear him bark quite late at night.
He’s always on the job.
He let’s you know he’s there for you.
So no one dares to rob.
Yes, Rajah, you’re a true free soul;
You know not fence or pen.
We’d miss you Rajah, if you left;
For who would guard us then.