[ In the title, dog is used to describe the issues that plague our state, and does not imply any negative meaning to the beautiful state or its civil population ]
Boeing touched the tarmac:
Dawn was just breaking behind the Western Ghats when the wheels of the chartered Boeing touched the tarmac. Inside, the VIPs from Europe shook off their sleep and jet-lag and started to chat excitedly. They were special invitees, mostly from Germany and England and had responded positively to a friendly invitation from the president of the All Kerala Stray Dogs’ Association for a tour to this country.
Dogs’ Own CountryThe leader of the gang was Tommy, a German Shepherd. As the name suggests, he was from Germany, originally bred there for herding sheep. Also known as an Alsatian, he was powerful, intelligent, and ferocious and had commendable abilities for observations. Therefore, his kind was employed in police and for military roles. His breed is of comparatively recent origin, came into existence only in 1899. Yet, he was instantly accepted as their leader by virtue of his abilities.
Roy, The Rottweiler, was from Italy. He was a German in origin. He was also intelligent and his breed was earlier used to pull carts containing meat, etc to the market.
Lambert was a Labrador from England, with drooping ears, short legs and a kind face. He was affable, gentle, intelligent and energetic and was a good companion to people of all ages. He was most dependable and his is a multitalented breed.
William also was a British, a Welsh Terrier and was good at hunting foxes and rodents. His breed is from Welsh and is the oldest existing dog bred in the UK.
Raju, as the name suggests, has his roots in Rajapalayam in South India, and his grand parents were taken to England by their British master when he returned from India after his stint in the country as a GM of a chain of tea estates. Raju’s ancestors were companions of royalties and feudal lords in India and owning one of his breeds was considered as a symbol of aristocracy.
Rosy was the only female of the group and she was from Pomerania which is in erstwhile East Germany. She was very cute, very white and very talkative. Hers is a Spitz type of breed, also known as Toy German Spitz. She had a long body with very short legs and she poked her nose into everything that came her way, often resulting in comic situations. She was accepted as a welcome joker in the group.
The group walked gingerly and majestically to the terminal building where their hosts were supposed to be waiting. Suddenly Rosy shrieked.
“Welcome to Dog’s own country!”
“Look at the hospitality of the Kerala people.” She said, pointing to a large hoarding. “Welcome to Dog’s own country!” – They are not just merely welcoming us to their place, but they are suggesting that this place is all ours!” Everybody looked in the direction where she was pointing. Tommy growled. “Don’t be silly, Rosy. It is not us they are mentioning. It is God’s own country and not dog’s. You have spelled it backwards because you are squint eyed.”
Rosy realised her mistake and sighed disappointedly. “Oh! You are right. I am sorry for the mistake.” She apologised, and continued. “I have heard people mentioning about God back in Pomerania too. Who exactly is this God who seems to be everywhere, but cannot be seen anywhere?”
“Well,” Tommy replied. “I too am not very much sure of that. We will ask our Kerala counterparts who seem to be better informed and closer to God because they claim that this is His own country!”
A dozen stray dogs were eagerly waiting for them outside the terminal building and started wagging their tails and howling “bow-wow…” in unison as soon as they spotted the visitors. A thin, three-and-a half-legged dog came forward and introduced himself as Ramu, the president of the All Kerala Stray Dogs’ Association. He said.
“Welcome to the most dog-friendly place on earth!”
Looking at the miserable-looking group of hosts, Tommy commented. “You certainly don’t look and sound like you are the healthiest of dogs. You are howling instead of barking. Some of you are three-and a half-legged, some have their ears missing, some have eye patches, and some others have infected ulcers all over their body, and all of you are thin as dry sticks with your rib cages showing. Yet you call this place the friendliest one for us? Look at us and our life style. We get enough bones, meat, foam-beds to sleep on, air-conditioned kennels and free access to our masters’ bed rooms even. With all these paraphernalia unknown to you, how dare you claim that this is the most dog-friendly place on earth?”
We have freedom – the most precious of all.
Ramu laughed. “Well, you may be better fed and better cared than us. But you don’t have the one most precious thing in life which we have – freedom. You are tied to your master’s households, eating the food he chooses, doing what he wants you to do and you are totally unable to do what you please. But look at us. We can go wherever we want to go, eat whatever is available, and fornicate whenever we want to. The only price we have to pay is an occasional stone throw or two by street urchins or a very rare threat of getting killed by the local bodies of administration en masse. But these risks are worth taking.”
Tommy had no answer to this. The group slowly walked out while Ramu guided them, showing them around. They walked to the vehicle arranged for them in quick time since there was no question of any baggage clearances, as they had no possessions like clothes, toiletries, etc which the foolish humans were compelled to carry wherever they went.
Rosy asked Ramu the question which she eagerly wanted to get cleared. “What exactly is it that the humans refer to as God?”
Ramu laughed. “That needs some explanation.” He said. “Though it appears that humans are the masters of this planet, in truth, they are the most cowardly of all the creatures on earth. Even the strongest of them need a fatherly figure to protect him, to encourage him, to offer him a shoulder to cry upon. So he created an imaginary figure in his own format and called it God and forced himself to believe that his creation will watch upon him always like a guardian angel.”
“So is it only man’s imagination that God exists?” Rosy asked.
“Yes.” Ramu replied. “And the resourceful ancestors attributed some more activities to God to ensure that people walk along specified tracks only. For example, they made every man believe that God will always keep a watch over his activities and punish him when he commits a sin and bless him when he does a good deed.”
“What is a sin?” Rosy asked.
“What do you do when you are very hungry and you can see a lot of food that is available with me?” Ramu asked.
“Well, I will try to snatch some food from you.” Rosy replied, smiling.
“Naturally. But when a man does that, he is said to have committed a sin.” Ramu said. “He should first earn his food and eat that only. Again, what do you do when you are angry with another dog?”
“I fight with him, bite him or even try to kill him” Rosy replied.
‘Actually horoscope, not horror scope’
“Exactly.” Ramu said. “But when a man does these, he is said to have sinned. Similarly, when a man wants to procreate, he cannot go to the nearest female available, like we do. For one thing, he can procreate with only a single female throughout his life. Even for selecting that female, he has to consider so many factors like community, caste, creed, age, etc.”
“Yes, and something they call horror scope also.” Rosy intervened.
Ramu laughed. “It is actually horoscope, not horror scope, though it is true that it sometimes turns out to be a horror for some worried parents.” Ramu continued.
“If anybody violates these restrictions, he is committing a sin and is punishable. In short, it means that whatever a man does according to his natural instinct is a sin and whatever he does that he does not want to do is a good deed!”
“Oh, my!” Rosy cried. “So it means that every man is living his life all the time fighting against his natural instincts.”
“Not at all.” Ramu replied. “In fact, in spite of these rules, every man is committing these sins every day and still thinks he can escape punishment from God by praying to Him to forgive. That is why they have made temples for God every where – to pray. People commit all sorts of sins which they accumulate for a month or so and then go to a temple and pray for forgiveness. Then they return home to sin again.”
“How strange!” Roy, who was listening keenly, intervened. “Do they really believe in all these?”
“In God?” Ramu said. “Not all of them. There are several people called atheists who pretend that they do not believe in God. Though they fight against faith, they too are really cowards at heart and discreetly go to temples for prayer whenever they are in trouble and offer God the unbeliever’s prayer.”
“What is that?” Roy asked.
Ramu replied. “Oh, God, if there is a God, save my soul, if there is a soul!”
Everybody joined the laughter.
This is Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala.
“OK. Now I will show you around the city. This is Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala, situated at the south-extreme corner of the state.” Ramu explained. William interrupted him.
“Would it not have been much more convenient to the people if the capital is situated at a central location?”
“May be.” Ramu replied. “But who cares about the people’s conveniences? This city is the most conveniently located place for the politicians who rule the state.”
“How is that?” William asked.
“To know that, you have to get an idea of the political situation here. While elsewhere in the country people elect a political party to run the government for the next five years, in Kerala people de-elect a political party from running the state for a further term each time an election is conducted. This situation is ingeniously exploited by the parties to their advantage.”
Ramu stopped and viewed the group for doubts, but none was coming. Everybody was listening intently.
“There are several microscopic parties in the state.” He continued. “But they have grouped together to form two fronts or alliances so that each time a front is driven out of power, the other one gets automatically elected to form the government for the next term. In this way, each spindle-sized party is assured of a berth in the administration in alternate elections and there are hundreds of such parties, each led by one man whose sole aim is to grab power.”
“But how does that help the politicians?” Roy asked.
“I am coming to that.” Ramu replied. While in the ruling side, the politicians are immersed in making the most out of the position, the opposition is engaged in finding fault with every rupee of the exchequer their opponents in the government spend and cry for vigilance or judicial enquiry. Usually, these cases are buried when the affected come to power. But sometimes, it may get too hot, in which case the affected can escape to the next state. In Trivandrum, it is only a stone’s throw to the next state. But some issues may remain hot even if the culprit escapes to other states. In that case, he can fly to a foreign country very conveniently, since there is an international airport here, or he can go hide in international waters. Trivandrum has got an ocean and a sea at very convenient proximity for this exercise. When the issue is global like the Lavlin case, he can even escape to outer space for which Trivandrum is equipped with a rocket launching station even. So you see, this city has got several conveniences to offer to the politicians for survival which none other cities in the world can offer.”
Their vehicle passed through several streets crowded with people mostly wearing dhotis which were lifted up and folded to exhibit the colour of their under wears. The visitors watched all these with amusement. Then they were passing along a huge compound with a new and expansive building luxuriously built.
“What is that?” Lambert asked.
“He called me a dog!” An old voice was whimpering.
“That is the new Assembly building, where they perform the circus of administration.” Ramu explained. “One hundred and forty representatives of the people from every part of the state assemble there every now and then, exhibit their rhetoric, fight among themselves, play musical chair exchanging their seats from left to right and back and make a fool of the people who send them there.” Ramu added. “This acrobatics is called administration. The ruling front comes up with several new legislations and the duty of the opposition is to oppose it without giving a thought to its merits and demerits. The only occasion when the opposition and the ruling front vote together is when somebody suggests a raise in their allowances.”
“Shh!” Roy suddenly said. “Listen! They are mentioning us now”
Everybody stopped talking and listened to the voices coming from within the building.
“He called me a dog!” An old voice was whimpering.
“No, I didn’t.” A lazy, but adamant voice replied.
“Yes, you did indeed.” The old voice persisted. “You compared me to a creature that defecated in its own nest.”
“He is talking in Kamboji raaga.” Ramu interrupted the silence. Rosy giggled.
“Shh…” Tommy silenced them and they continued listening.
“Oh, that.” The lazy voice laughed sarcastically. “I was not referring to a dog. I was mentioning a bird only. A caged parrot, for instance. They too defecate in their own nest, don’t they?”
By this time, Tommy was seething with anger and exposed his fangs.
“Who do these fools think they are? The almighty?” He barked. “Look what we get after faithfully serving the humans for generations, guarding their homes, wagging our tails to him, barking at and biting their enemies, licking their footwear. In spite of what we are doing for them, see how they consider us, lowlier than parrots that do nothing for them except make cat calls. I hate these thankless humans.”
“You are perfectly right.” Roy joined his leader. “I have heard humans referring other humans as dogs to show their hatred. What have we done that has invited the wrath of the humans so much that they consider us so lowly?”
“It is not our fault. It is a reflection of the mindset of the humans themselves, who are so hypocritical” The so far silent William intervened. “Whatever the humans do, they are always right. If we do the same thing, they call us brutes. For example, if a man kills a tiger, he calls it a sport. But if a tiger kills a man, he calls it ferocity.”
“I had heard my great grand father who returned from Pretoria in South Africa often mention something.” Lambert said. “There, a custom called apartheid is still in vogue, where white humans totally alienate themselves from black-skinned ones. In front of the restaurants run by the whites, they used to exhibit a board with the message ‘no entry for dogs and Indians’, which highlighted this practice. There too, they had dragged our name in a bad meaning.”
“But that is actually a big credit to us.” Tommy, who had by now calmed down, said laughing. “After all, we are equated to the Indians who pride themselves for inheriting the richest of all civilisations. Even now, the Indians are living on the glory of their past.”
“the more I see men, the more I admire dogs.”
“And I should say,” added Tommy. “There are some rare humans who are aware of our real worth like the person who said; “the more I see men, the more I admire dogs.”
“That is a good one.” Rosy was delighted.
The group passed a high, sloping, monumental structure near a big pond.
” This is the famous temple of Sri Padmanabha”. Ramu explained.
“Oh, yes, I have heard about it.” Raju said. “This is where the God is taking a nap, isn’t it?”
“Yes. Here the deity assumes a lying down posture.” Ramu replied.
“Why is he lying down?” Rosy asked with curiosity.
“Well, there is a story behind it.” Raju replied. “God Almighty, who loved this part of the country very much, decided to see his devotees personally and shower his blessings on them. He began his tour from the northern end of the state and started walking towards south. When He reached approximately one third of his tour, He stopped and left a part of him standing there for his devotees in the north to get permanent darshan. The place where He left His part is called Guruvayoor, where hundreds of thousands of people visit every year to get His blessings. Satisfied, God went on further south and when He reached the next one third of the tour, He stood there for the sake of devotees in that part. However, He felt someone pulling his legs and hastily sat down and, leaving another part of Him in a sitting posture there, he hastily escaped from there. This place is called Sabarimala, where God just managed to escape from leg pulling and the deity is in a sitting posture. Afraid to continue alone, God summoned His all time associate Anandan, the snake, for the last phase of His journey. Anandan warned God to exercise utmost caution as the leg pulling was now increasing steadily as their journey progressed further south. But in spite of His precautions, by the time God reached this place, the people managed to pull His leg and make Him fall down heavily on top of Anandan. Unable to get up from the fall and from the rush of devotees, God had no other option but to lie down there, waiting for the final tsunami which will engulf the world and destroy every living thing!”
The guests were so engrossed in the story that they didn’t notice that they had passed the city limits and driving north for a quick Kerala tour. “Our next destination is Cochin, the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala.” Ramu explained. “Kerala is a unique place. We have, in practice, several capitals here. Some would like to describe Kerala as a large, single metropolis. For example, we have Quilon, the cashew capital, Alleppey, the coir capital and Kottayam, the rubber capital between Trivandrum and Cochin. In addition to this, Quilon breeds mosquitoes, Alleppey breeds revolutionaries and Kottayam grooms the language through its numerous ma publications.”
Ramu went on explaining the multifarious specialities of these regions in length. He said proudly about Quilon which carried with it the legendary proverb, those who see Kollam no longer need Illam.
“What exactly does it mean?” Raju asked.
“Well, I am not exactly sure what it implies. An illam means a house. So I believe they mean that all the comforts and pleasures of a house and more are abundantly available in Quilon market that once you experience them, you will no longer want to return home.” Ramu replied with a smile. About Kottayam, he said.
“Though Malayalam language was developed elsewhere, people in this part of the state have taken up the task of modernising and updating it. For this, they have built a network of periodicals which go on adding abundant supplies of new words and modifications to the existing ones in the Malayalam vocabulary. Even to the alphabets they have given an egotistic Kottayam touch by adding an “I” to some of them- like ka- ikka- ga—igga, etc.”
They were soon approaching the city limits of Kochi, where new and tall concrete skyscrapers were coming up everywhere like a forest of mushrooms. When Rosy pointed this out, Ramu said.
“Yes, you are right. Land is very dear here and people are inventing all sorts of tricks to make them even more appealing. For example, the dirty looking marshlands which are apparently unusable for any form of development except fish culture are bought by real estate people and they build apartments and call them waterfront luxury apartments and advertise them as if they are next to heaven so that moneybags from all over the state queue up to buy them.”
“This is the dream city of Kerala.” Ramu continued. “Politicians vie with each other to supply Cochinites with an abundant supply of dreams. They vouch to bring multimillion projects like Container Terminal, Metrorail, Smart City and a host of others to this city alone, often inviting the jealousy of other cities like Trivandrum and Calicut. Cochinites go to sleep every day hearing about a new project and enjoy their sleep with pleasant dreams. And the politicians make sure that these dreams always remain as such so that the citizens are never devoid of their beauty sleep.”
“How considerate of them!” Rosy mused.
Propaganda ammunitions for the next elections!
“Another purpose in keeping these dreams alive is to use them as propaganda ammunitions for the next elections.” Ramu went on. He then switched subjects.
“Well, as mentioned by me earlier, Cochin is the industrial capital of Kerala. It is also the crimes capital of Kerala. Every sort of crime like robbery, murder, theft, assault, rape, etc are first conspired here. And the criminals from other parts of the state take refuge here. The latest fashion in this procession of crimes is the worldwide crime of terrorism. Terrorists from all over the world join here, recruit new hands especially from the northern parts of the state, conspire, control and execute terrorist activities in other parts of the country and finally take refuge here.”
They passed the industrial belt of Kalamassery and Alwaye and in quick time, reached Trichur and entered the ring road. They had to take three round trips to find the deviation to further north. Ramu said.
“This is the town of Vadakkum Nathan, who is Lord Siva and every one coming here is forced to make three pradakshinams around Him round south, round west, round north and round east before he finds his way further ahead.” After a moment’s silence, Ramu went on.
“This is the cultural capital of Kerala”
“What is culture?” Rosy asked.
“Well, I am not very sure of that.” Ramu replied. “I know there are several cultures like agriculture, horticulture, sericulture, aquaculture, etc, the meanings of which are very clear. But the meaning of plain culture is somewhat confusing, from what I have observed. As far as this place is concerned, it refers to the activities of some famous writers and litterateurs, who find it difficult to admit the works of their counterparts and constantly engage in tarnishing them.”
The team had already entered some tough terrain in the National Highway, where one side of the road was blocked for renovations and the other side looked like freshly ploughed paddy fields.
“Do they cultivate paddy on the road too?” Lambert asked in wonder.
“No” Ramu replied. “This is the process of modernisation of national highways in the state. The road was handed over to an international construction firm for development and they started the work in right earnest. The work was abandoned by them following the suicide of their Chief Executive, a foreigner, since he was not accustomed to the ways of Kerala system of bill payments, where a host of politicians and officials also has to be provided for in the lump sum column of the work estimate. Now the authorities have discovered that building and maintaining highways in the state is a botheration and a much cheaper alternative is to use air travel. This way, they can eliminate heavy expenses on land acquisition, asphalt, traffic police, signals, etc. Accordingly, a fourth international airport is already in the anvil and several village-like towns are gearing up for demanding their own airports. Soon, all Keralites will be found flying in the sky!”
“We are entering the loveliest city of all, Calicut.
A foul smell entered their vehicle and the taste buds of the dogs were aroused.
“We are entering the loveliest city of all, Calicut. The aroma we are sensing is from Nheliyan Parambu, the city’s dustbin. It is the smell of yesterday’s Calicut cuisine.” Ramu said.
“The people residing in this part of the city enjoy pollution in all its forms. Exhaust from the non stop, 24 hours traffic, emissions from the furnace of the Steel Complex, High decibel humming from the Thermal Plant and the aroma from the sewage plant.”
“What is this place famous for?” Rosy asked.
“This is the business capital of Kerala. This is also the food capital of the state. On every inch of the road side, you can see small and big restaurants, each famous for its own version of the non veg delicacies. Lorry loads of chicken and lambs are brought here every day from neighbouring states and butchered here. And we get the entire throw-away parts of the meat in bulk. That is why we say this is the best place for us to live. We are never starved.” Ramu said.
“Five hundred years ago, a Portuguese sailor was sailing along the Arabian sea near this land when he got a pleasant smell. He anchored his ship and landed here in search of the source of the sweet smell and found out that it came from two special delicacies the people here were preparing, which were called halva and banana chips. He bought a thola of each, sailed back home and returned with an army of Europeans from Portugal, Holland, England and France, who pounced upon the products. Ever since then, Calicut halva and chips, which was known only among the Arabs, became internationally famous. But now, people from other parts of the country learnt the trick and started producing halva and chips under Calicut label from far away places. So these niceties lost their charm. But the enterprising Kozhikodens did not admit defeat and introduced another delicacy in the international market to replace their branded items.”
“What is that?”Rosy asked. Ramu didn’t answer immediately. He waited for their vehicle to make a sharp right turn, when the long beach front came into view. The right side of the road was lined up with several ice cream parlours.
“Ice cream” Ramu said with a smile. “The hardly one kilometre stretch of marine drive is lined with more than two dozens of Ice cream parlours. Some of them are very special and serves only VVIPs. The ice cream here has become very famous and is replacing the old halva and chips. Those who did not get ice cream are hassling with those lucky few who got it and they are fighting it out in court.”
The vehicle sped on along the highway with the railway line entwining it at several places like mating snakes. Finished, half finished and un-started over bridges were seen at all these intersections.
“a job well begun is half done”
“Another example of the mindset of Malayalees.” Ramu remarked. “They believe that a job well begun is half done. So, instead of completing a project, they begin it well with much pomp and fanfare and stop there and after several years, the same work is begun again well so that the two halves will hopefully make it whole.”
After a couple of hour’s journey, Ramu announced.
“Now we are entering the textile capital and the hartal capital of Kerala. Cannanore is also the political games capital of Kerala.”
“Are there political games too?” Lambert asked.
“Yes.” Ramu said. “The people of Malabar are great football fans. They will shun their work and crowd around anything rolling that resembles a football. The politicians here have devised an ingenious game combining football and tennis to exploit this craze.”
“How is it played?” Rosy asked. Ramu replied.
“Well, there are mainly two teams participating in the game- the Reds and the Saffrons. Occasionally, the Greens also join them. First, they will start the game after shouting “LOVE ALL!” at the top of their voice. Unsuspecting people alleged to be on the opponent’s sides are then beheaded with sharp swords or knives and the heads are kicked around much as a football is done. Each beheading gives the beheaders a point and they call out “one-love…two love…two one, etc. like they score in tennis. The first team that gets six points with a minimum of two points lead is the winner. But usually, the game is prolonged since the scores go hand in hand and there won’t be a two-point lead. When the game reaches its feverish pitch, the scores would go like twenty-nineteen, deuce, advantage Reds, deuce again, advantage Saffrons, etc., until the judges intervene and give the players a temporary respite. The team managers then sit around a table and talk and promise to do everything including a head transplant of the affected persons so that they have enough footballs left for the next game, which will eventually start with another cry of “LOVE ALL!” This game is a Cannanore speciality and has been going on for several years.”
“How wonderful!” The so far silent Tommy mused dreamily, thinking of the feast the dogs here were getting when each point was scored. They passed by several shops which were remaining closed. When enquired, they were told that the town is celebrating a lightning hartal that day sponsored by the autorikshaw drivers to protest against the atrocities done to one of them. When asked what kind of atrocities were committed and by whom, a well-informed passer-by told them that a crow had splashed its dropping right on an autorikshaw driver’s head that morning which provoked the drivers and they instantly called for a hartal.
After another half an hour’s journey, Ramu suddenly announced.
“A very proud piece of information for you. Near this place, there is a temple where we are actually worshipped along with a Grand Father God!”
All the visitors were excited by this information and wanted to divert their trip to this temple. They saw many stray dogs roaming in the area without a fear, easily mingling with a crowd of human worshippers. They too joined the roamers and walked merrily around the temple. Before leaving, they were given a free, sumptuous meal of boiled Bengal gram and coconut flakes. Finally, by the time they were leaving the place, both their heart and stomach were full.
“What a wonderful way the humans treat us here!” Rosy said with tears in her eyes. “Don’t the SPCA people know about this?”
“You are right, Rosy” Tommy said affectionately. “And you were right the first time you landed here too, when you read that hoarding as dog’s own country. This is our own country, and not God’s. You are not squint-eyed as I accused you before. In fact the squint is in the eyes of those humans who wrote those hoardings, back-spelling our name with that of God.”
It was getting late and they had to depart soon by the next flight from Mangalore. So they drove off north without waiting to see the smugglers’ capital, etc en route and at the border at Thalappady, Ramu and the local stray dogs gave them a warm send off and bid them farewell sadly.
(Dog’s) tail piece:
The author had and still has no intension whatsoever to write a satire on the political, social or behavioural life of the Malayalees when he opened his laptop to key in the above article. When you are very young, you see day dreams. As you grow up and start facing the bitter realities of life, the day dreams slowly transform into nightmares. When you get old, you are devoid of sleep in the night and instead, get some catnaps in the day time. Then your dreams turn to what the author would like to call daymares. It was in several of those daymares that the characters and incidents of the above article suddenly popped up into the mind of the author. As such, the author had nobody in mind when he characterised the subjects in the article. Any likeliness of any character or incident mentioned in this article to anybody is, therefore, totally unintentional. In spite of this assurance, if any dog feels that any of the characters here resembles him in particular, the author apologises for the coincidence. After all, they say that every person living here has got other seven replicas living elsewhere on earth, who have similar looks, similar behaviour or similar mannerisms as the original. And there is no law that forbids one of these replicas from being a dog. bow-wow!!