I watched two dogs surviving on their own viciously take their frustrations on life out on each other. From appearances, nobody cared if either of them lived. In India this is understandable. There are too many dogs and not enough individuals that believe they have the luxury of caring for anyone beyond the family. I watched, helpless to do anything, sadly appreciating the reality that prevented others from taking action.
As the fight continued, I realized there was something different about this situation. There was no obvious reason for the fight. Neither animal had anything that the other wanted. There was nothing for either to protect. Whatever the trigger was, it seemed to be personal for both. They were fighting with abandon. There were no limits. Every snarl and bite fair when life itself seemed to be on the line. A few were watching along with me, fascinated and horrified at the same time, powerless to act without endangering our own lives.
At a time, the dark emotional reality of it all was too much and I turned away. Even as I did I realized that the images of the fight were going to haunt me. Pointless anger is a reality. In the case of the dogs, two were involved. Life reminds me that it can start with one. I am not unique. Observations old and new echo a repeating story; “Out of sheer cussedness they set a trap to catch me; for no good reason they dug a ditch to stop me.” (Psalm 35.7)
The question then and now lies in your response and mine. As much as I want to bite back and defend myself, even going on the attack, I am not convinced either is the best response. I hear a call to respond with compassion and understanding. It may hurt, but someone has to end the cycle. It may be unfair, but the possibility of peace and hope outweighs the potential outcomes of a battle.
There are many reasons for battle. With the dogs, it was life and death. Choices always are.