Doggy Prattle | Time to get bit by the karo-na-virus

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In this one, Mia and Molly get inspired by the electoral results in Delhi and catch the industriousness bug, and it is infectious...

You don’t need a catchpole to capture a dog’s vote at the polls. | AP

“What’s going on here?” asked Reem, walking in through the front door. “Where are the dogs? I’m used to almost breaking my neck each time I come in because of the whirl of fur at my ankles.”

“I heard some sounds from the bedroom. I’d rather not know.” replied Sid, without looking up from the newspaper.

Reem peeped in the bedroom to behold, what she must have thought, a strange sight. “Mia, what are you doing? And Molly, what’s that in your paw?”

“Oh hello, Mum. Didn’t hear you come in there. We’ve got a busy morning planned.” I answered, clicking furiously at the laptop without skipping a letter.

“Doing what? Planning your next 3-hour nap?” chuckled Reem.

“So witty, Mum.” I said, rolling my eyes. “For your information, we are planning various things we need to get done around here.”

“What do you mean?” asked Reem, suspicious this time. “Are you going to max out our credit cards again with all your shopping, like you did over Christmas?”

This trivialising of our work and the interruption was beginning to grate on my nerves, “No. I’m drawing up a list of things we need to do to help around the house and the neighbourhood.”

“That’s right, Mum!” piped in Molly, emerging from under the desk with a feathery broom. “We’ve been infected by the karo-na virus.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Molly” said Sid, strolling in. “Dogs can’t get sick from the Coronavirus.”

It was time to roll my eyes at him this time, “Who said anything about getting sick? Though it does feel a bit like a fever. We feel a bit hot and cold and excited.”

Reem swiped at Molly’s nose, “Wet enough. Doesn’t seem like a fever.”

“Oh, you poor ignorant one. Where have you been? We’ve been bitten by the karo-na bug, the ‘Do it’ virus if I must roughly translate.”

“Where in the world did you catch that?” asked Sid. “I can barely get Molly to catch the ball when I throw it in her direction.” He chuckled at his silly joke, ignoring the stink-eye he was getting from Molly.

“It’s all over Delhi and people are celebrating. We voted and the broom won! It was all about the work the AAP party did. And we respect that. Forget about the ‘daro-na’ hateful stuff other parties were trying their hand at, these chappies made it all about the work. As it should be. You’ve heard the saying ‘Working like a dog’, right? Because you know dogs appreciate hard work.”

“Umm, you two certainly don’t!” said Reem, “I’ve never seen you lift a paw around here.”

“Well, the muffler-man has changed all that. He’s made us realise that we should be doing more. Leave a legacy of hard work. It’s time to ‘karo-na’, Mum! Starting with some cleaning around the house. But we have bigger plans. Sid, my good man, I shall dictate and you will type up our manifesto.”

“What are you doing at the laptop? Why can’t you type yourself?” asked Sid, who didn’t look like he was interested in being infected by our enthusiasm.

“We can’t type. We’re dogs” I laughed. “I was just filing my nails. The keyboard keeps them nice and smooth. Now come along, there’s no time to lose. Procrastination no longer exists in my vocabulary.” I trotted out, followed by Molly trailing her broom, and finally Sid.

Later at night, while Molly and I settled into bed, we heard Reem discussing our task list with Sid.

“You know I’m quite proud of them. Look at this list. Teaching dog-owners to pick up after their dogs. A designated dog park to give all the pooches a place to play. Feeding stray doggies to keep them away from the trash cans. A training school to help kids understand animals.”

“Yup, they’re on the right track. But don’t miss the fine print next to each of them.”

“Hmm, ok. There’s a delegation of each task, with names mentioned next to each one. But it only lists either ‘Reem’ or ‘Sid’. What’ll these two do if we are doing all this work?”

“Supervise, mum, supervise.” I answered sleepily. “It’s time you two got the karo-na fever. Good night now. Don’t let the bad bugs bite!”

(In this series, a pair of pet dogs cast their eyes about the world, taking turns to whine and woof about what they see, while wagging both tails and tongues before their favourite human companion, the author)

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