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15 Nov, Thursday
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Why Dogs Rule!

Why Dogs Rule!
A minor incident at work the other day involving some hair shed by my beloved dog Nog-Nog, made me realize why dogs are often better companions that our fellow human beings.
Noggy is a tiny, loving and affectionate terrier, who weighs a mere 7 kilos and who has been with me for the past four years. He faithfully barks at the front door of my apartment whenever he hears someone outside in the hallway, and doesn’t like my driver Muneer, who has a mortal fear of all dogs after having been bitten by one as a child in Kerala.
Anyway, I was quietly sitting at my desk editing some stories when the office boy (who is hardly a boy in age, but then what do you call the office peon?) walked by me and plucked something off my back. As I turned my head to the side to see what he had dislodged from my shirt, I saw a clump of fine and fluffy black hair, which was unmistakably Noggy’s.
“What’s that?” asked office boy.
“Oh, it’s my dog’s hair,” I said.
“Yuck, now I’m going to have to wash my hand seven times before I can pray again…” mumbled our Muslim office boy.
What nonsense, I thought to myself. I have heard that same line countless times before from my own father, who with age seems to be regressing into less tolerance.
“I’m mad at you!” I glowered at office boy. “Leave me alone!”
My father has repeatedly told me that the angels won’t enter my home since I have a dog, but I told him that was nonsense as God created dogs, and being such close and loyal friends of us humans, how could angels object to them?
Perhaps the angels appear in cat-form, which would account for their lack of love for all things canine?
But back to the Muslim and Saudi dislike of dogs. Unlike in France and the US, where dogs are beloved pets and full-fledged members of their adoptive human families, dogs here in Saudi are shunned because they are believed to be religiously “unclean”. Whatever that means.
Most dog imports are banned into the Kingdom, unless the owner can convince the authorities at the airport that their dog is going to be used as a guard hound, and not as a spoiled lap-dog that provides limitless affection to its owner and who licks it’s owner’s face everyday.
Luckily for me, Noggy was born here, so he didn’t have to contend with narrow-minded immigration bureaucrats before I took him into my home and adopted him as my own.
He sleeps on the bed with me, often competing for pillow space. When I watch TV, he sits next to me on the sofa and lets me rub his stomach as he sleeps on his back.
The love I feel for him is not understood by people like office boy, who think animals should be shouted at and kept outdoors. If only all people loved dogs as much as I do, the world would be a much better place.

Comments (8)

  • masterbetong

    ei! good to know that you’re blogging now, i love reading your articles, though i haven’t been reading arabnews lately.

    thanks for writing good and not so good things about pinoys & the philippines as well.

  • Rasheed's World

    No problem! Just looked at your site but unfortunately its mostly in Tagalog, so I cannot understand it.
    How did you get those weather indicators on the right side of your blog? Please let me know….thanks!

  • masterbetong

    hello, you’re unique among arabs, i know that your culture hates dogs. but dogs are so lovable & nice to be with.

    my weather indicator is a plugin that works for wordpress blog engines. i don’t know if it’ll work for blogger. if you want you can check it out at http://wp-plugins.net/.

  • Teng

    We had three dogs a couple of years ago. One died after giving birth, another one died of heartworm and the last one due to old age.

    As a Muslim Filipino, we also heard the same arguments from other people saying that dogs are ‘haram,’ ‘it keeps angels away from the house,’ etc.

    I miss the furry Platty even if playing with it had caused me occasional asthma. [Sigh!]

    I actually read a hadith(?) about a prostitute giving a thirsty dog water. She was being shooed from the neighborhood but the Prophet admonished the people to be compassionate to her, a ‘dirty woman’ who had the kindness to give a ‘religiously unclean’ dog water.

  • Drake Darwin

    Hi Rasheed,

    They are in fact an angel to me! I miss my pacci and barnie, I love them so dearly that even Marrie is super jealous that I love my dog better then my neices and nephew, would you believe that! Gosh…. Anyhow…… Good for you that you have a dog in Jeddah….

    ciao

  • Dotsson

    Nog Nog, despite being a pussy, is the cutest dog I have ever seen. And who gives a fuck what idiots like the tea boy think. Angels or no angels cats and dogs ROCK!!!

  • Anonymous

    You Guyz’n Galz are mixing apples and pears.

    Just the fact that a dog is (as you put it) religously unclean (esp. if you are hanbali )does not mean maltreatment of canines becomes the defacto standard. All animals must be afforded due respect and care it is one of the most rewarding acts that we can do. It really is that simple …someone inform the muttawa. I think in the Arabian peninsula the need to start treating human beings with respect first needs to be looked at….just ask all the bengali janitors !!

    The Hadith pertaining to dogs are Sahih therefore it is beyond reproach…. certainly by the layman. For an amy is not able to judge this for himself unless he has the prerequisite knowledge.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is taking religion and culture too far.

    A similar thing has happened where I work, (In the UK) not involving me but the whole scenario has left me wound up.

    Dogs are lovable, loyal pets at least there always happy to see you. Yeah they shed some hairs, but this is taking the micky.

    I work in a multi-cultural place, and we respect others points of views and try to learn from each other. But a muslim here is taking this way to far and making it a personal issue rather than a cultural issue.

    Surely the issue of dog hairs falling from pet owners is just a step too far. Surely the point here is due only to the fact that the muslim has to wash several times when in contact with dog(s). Wouldn’t it be prudent to wash before going into church, mosque, etc anyway? And surely this only comes into effect when working in a muslim workplace.
    Yours in ignorance.

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