I know a puppy killer

The girl laughed as she kicked the puppy who yelped pitifully as he flew in the air and rolled over multiple times...

Amna Mela December 10, 2010
Last year, I came across a girl whom I despised at first sight.

Some girls have a legitimate phobia of animals but some make a big deal about being afraid, thinking it’s endearing to be the damsel-in-distress. I was afraid when I was five and didn’t know any better, but when I see grown women screaming at the sight of a tiny animal, I can’t help but think they look ridiculous.

Initially, that’s all I thought this was, a stupid girl scared of a pint-sized puppy. When it ambled up to her, she kicked it, hard. The poor thing was knocked onto his back and had to struggle to get back up before walking away.

I had left milk for it that morning. It was too young to be wandering around on its own, too naïve to be scared of the students that stumbled by.
The girl, wearing a lab coat and a hijaab, walked towards it and gave it a swift kick in its stomach. This time the puppy was yelping pitifully as he flew in the air and rolled over multiple times after landing. The girl was laughing, clearly pleased with herself.

I wanted to walk over and lunge at her to give her bruises she could remember me by. The adrenaline flowing through my veins did the talking for me. I managed to refrain from profanities and told her what a depraved cretin she was. I was so enraged that I don’t even remember the girl’s face, just that she kept smiling. People applauded as I left but I wish they had done something instead to wipe the smirk off her face.

How I wish I could remember her face! I want to track her down to tell her the ending, maybe give her a backhanded slap or two to see how she handles someone her own size.

Afterwards, I called my father, who brought a box which we took the puppy home in. It had a slight limp but we were hoping for a recovery. In spite of the way it had been so cruelly treated, it was still a happy baby; still trusting, still playful.

We took it to the vet for medication, but the next day the limp spread to the other leg. He began to drag himself around by his forelegs, the most miserable sight I’ve ever seen. His paralysis crept up his spine, slow and tortuous, making us feel helpless.  Towards the end, he couldn’t lift his neck to drink water in June’s unforgiving heat. I had to put his little face into the bowl so he could lap up milk, which he did hungrily. He wasn’t able to move out of his own feces and relied on us to hose him off, and to move him out of the sun. He survived only a few days. If we had known the misery he would go through, we might have asked the vet to euthanise him.

A few months later I heard of a very wealthy and respected feudal lord who punishes villagers who let their animals wander into his land and eat his crops. His workers kill the animal, no matter how large and costly, and send them the meat. Since baby donkey meat is not halal, in this case the workers were ordered to throw it into a rapidly flowing river. Each time the donkey crawled out, he laughed and had his workers throw it back in until it finally drowned.

I wonder what makes us the kind of people who care for animals or the people who abuse them. I’ve come to the conclusion that it has nothing to do with the school one attends, wealth, social status, or outward piety.

For the one nasty girl in my college, there are many others who take pity on stray kittens and leave them milk.

Napoleon Hill said:
“Education comes from within; you get it by struggle and effort and thought.”

Among villagers who are hardly educated, there are those who treat animals with care and respect.

Cruelty to animals isn’t caused by nationality either. If it were, no country would have the need for organisations to monitor for such crimes.
The urge to torture animals is sometimes innate. According to the New York Times:
"the FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appears in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers”.

Other times,
“It has also been found that children who are cruel to animals have often witnessed or been victims of abuse themselves.”

Thus, it is true that you can judge a society by the treatment of its animals.

Some people falsely preach culture as religion when trying to convince others to have contempt for certain animals, especially dogs. They couldn‘t be more ignorant.
“As the Muslims' army marched towards Mecca to conquer it, they passed a female dog with her little puppies. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) not only commanded that the soldiers should not disturb her, but he posted a man to see that this was done.”

Sometimes the people who make the most effort to look outwardly  pious (or to look like doctors by wearing lab coats) forget that there is no such thing as Islam without compassion, or medicine without empathy. Hence the coining of the word ‘hypocrite’.
Amna Mela A student at Allama Iqbal Medical College whose interests include literature, journalism, pop culture, politics, fashion, human rights, food and travel.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


K | 12 years ago | Reply I do not condone cruelty to animals or any living being, what that girl did was cruel and sadistic. That said ... There are some people who are genuinely afraid of animals (regardless of their size). I am afraid of dogs, regardless of their size, the hair on the back of my neck curls when I hear the bark and it is not becasue I put on an act as a damsel in distress, it is becasue it is genuine fear. It is because people in my family have been attacked by so called trained dogs without provocation. I have had dogs lunge at me when I was just walking to my car, my apartment, or the mail box, and this was before I was really afraid. It is unhealthy fear but I cant do anything about it, how I wish to be rid of this fear. I am not putting a damsel in distress act, it is fear and I am afraid of dogs. Next time you see somebody "acting" scared please dont write those people off they may need your help.
Raja Arsalan Khan | 12 years ago | Reply It is just an example of the cruel nature of our society. Our society works on power-based relations in which there is a powerful character and many many clients, where the number depends upon the nature of influence and clout developed by the dominant figure. So whenever we get an opportunity we want to crush the weak one. Look into our family structure where father controls all while mother in her turn repeats the same, "according to her abilities and capacity". Then comes the big brother and so on and so forth. The series does not stop there and continues through the extended family, clan and tribe, and ultimately to the state. The weak in this society has no future. I have a friend, perhaps the best, who says I should have born in some elite family like Berlusconi or ....... (the second one I can't mention because his "second-best" father is a Pakistani). He is right in argument as his life is full of miseries unleashed by the powerful ones. Some times he cries (yelp pitifully like the puppy the writer has mentioned) and most of the audience laughs, as people think a psycho. But I know he is one of the best mind and company you can get. His only fault is that he is different. He is outspoken critic of what is going on around us. That's all nothing more nothing less. Being weak is a crime in our society and when you are different it adds to your problems. There are millions of "two-legged puppies" in Pakistan whose wounds will remain, I am afraid, unhealed.
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