Before you judge the breed, think again
My name is Kaiser, and I am a Rottweiler who lives in Chennai. The person writing this on my behalf is dad, the leader of our pack. I am of German and Serbian stock, and my origins go back to Rottweil in Germany, a town founded by Romans in a cattle-herding region. I owe my large head and snout to the mastiffs I was bred from, and my intent watchfulness to my role as a guardian. Indeed, butchers would hang their purses around our necks to keep them safe.
To my family, I am an affectionate goofball, prone to sit on their feet unmindful of my size. I calm down to the meaningful Malayalam song Manushyan Madhangalai Shrishtichu by K.J. Yesudas, written by Vayalar Rama Varma for the movie Achanum Bappayum. That together with my penchant for tearing newspapers and disliking men in uniform has led dad to conclude that I must have been a left-leaning, chai-sipping newshound in my last birth (notice the oxymoron).
My greatest joy is my morning walk with dad, our “me time”. Because I am hyperactive (dad says ADHD), I am sensitive to my environment — joggers, people who look me in the eye, whirring cycles and mopeds, people sporting helmets, umbrellas, head-covers, my list is long. My usual response is to charge in the general direction of the offender, and after a few surprises (torn sleeves, falling men and himself included), dad muzzles and harnesses me for these excursions.
Here are a few classes of humans I meet every day.
The dogo-philic: they love us and want to play, little realising that I, Kaiser (that’s German for Emperor), do not care for trifles.
The dogo-phobic: I can spot them a mile away, but they cross the road to avoid us; no fun but no trouble either.
The dog-agnostic: folks who don’t seem to recognise “the dog walking”. Here I am, 45 kg, deep-chested, big-headed, putting on my best swagger, and they walk right into us, preoccupied with their phones, companions, or thoughts. Being agnostic of me is not really wise, methinks!
The dog-walkers: Unlike us, many of these folks are not purposeful walkers; they amble, stop to socialise, hang around street corners. I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who said “Golf is a good walk spoilt!”. Now let’s paraphrase that, shall we? And of their dogs, the wise ignore me, the foolish bark, and the insane wail!
The talkers: “It’s good to talk,” says a popular telephony brand, but some take that slogan too seriously. When folks want to chat or socialise, I can be quite upfront about my disapproval. Those who don’t give up are greeted with a leap in their direction, which never fails to get them scurrying along.
The term multiverse was coined by American philosopher William James in 1895 to refer to the confusing moral meaning of natural phenomena. As a much misunderstood breed, I have described my multiverse to you. Despite my many redeeming qualities, the world views me with trepidation, not understanding that my responses are wired into me, through nature and nurture, by my evolved status as a guardian breed, created for humankind, by humankind, of humankind. Before you judge me and my fellow-Rotties, think again!