Once during lunch break I was sitting in the sun at our office complex when suddenly the dogs at the compound started barking at a guy entering the premises from the back gate. The man was in his mid-thirties and was looking quite normal. By normal I mean that he was normally dressed and there was nothing amiss in his appearance which might have triggered such a reaction from the dogs.

The constant barking attracted everyone’s attention towards the guy, who was already feeling embarrassed. Now, being a dog lover, I would be the last person to doubt a dog’s instinct and I very well connect with the quote which reads – “I am suspicious of people who don’t like dogs, but I trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person.” So if there was anything wrong, it was with the guy only because, for me, a dog can never be wrong with its sense of judgement.

However, faced with a similar situation a few weeks later, this perception of mine changed altogether. This time, I along with one of my younger colleagues was taking a stroll at our office complex, when one of the dogs there suddenly started barking at us. Constantly barking it even followed us wherever we went. It was really embarrassing for both of us as everybody around started noticing us. It was a matter of hurt as well, as we both are staunch dog lovers and could not believe that a dog could charge at us like this for no apparent reason. Frustrated, my colleague even muttered, ” अरे यार, आ कर काट ले, मगर भोंक मत । इज़्ज़त का कचरा हो रहा है।” (O dear, come and bite us, but don’t bark at us. It’s ruining our image).

Now, this small incident again reminded me of an important lesson of life – we should never judge people based on our presumptions and, like in the instant case, unproven beliefs that passed on from one like-minded person to another. Had this second incident not happened to us, I would have continued believing that dogs have an infallible sense of judgement, which of course isn’t true. They do make mistakes sometimes just as we humans do a hundred times in our lives.

So, life has its own ways of teaching us. It constantly tries to make us more understanding and wise through such small incidents – we just need to pay attention to them.