Reader Story: How many of us are motivated by selflessness?

My son, who was working for an IT firm, used to come home late every day. Being a dog lover, he befriended many furry friends on his way back. He made it his daily ritual to feed the hungry souls. Some days, they would have a bite of chicken sandwiches, which he used to bring from his office canteen, on others, it was dog food.

Now, out of the furries he befriended, two were his favourites – a female dog with white fur and a male with brown fur. We owned a pet dog but my son still found these two the most well-behaved dogs he had ever met. They hankered for his love and attention more than the food he offered every night.

This was going on for a while. Then something happened which enlightened him on animal behaviour and their EQ. One night, when he reached our society gate and whistled for his favourite duo, only the dog with brown fur arrived on the scene. He patted the dog, fed it the sandwich he had brought and waited for the white dog to arrive. With time ticking by and no sign of the other dog, my son became restless. He handed over the leftover sandwich to the first dog, expecting him to polish it off. But what happened next was contrary to his expectation. The brown dog, instead of consuming it, ran towards a nearby dim-lit parking space, with the sandwich still hanging between his teeth. This strange behaviour aroused his curiosity and he followed the dog. On reaching the spot where the brown dog stopped, he found the white dog lying down – almost unconscious (probably, some ailment had taken a toll on her health). The sandwich was resting near its true beneficiary.

To this date, whenever I think about this incident, a few pertinent questions come to mind. We, as human beings, learn several lessons on good values during our formative years. How many of us really care to follow those in our real lives? How many of us are motivated by selflessness? Who has taught these animals the values of caring and sharing? Of goodness and camaraderie?
— Ritu Sengupta, Pune

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