Dogorrhea: The Deadly Disease that Plagues Doggy Moms


Dogorrhea: The Deadly Disease that Plagues Doggy Moms

Illustration: Akshita Monga

The day I walked into my mother’s room to hear her singing “Dingoora Dingoora Dingoora!” (to the tune of “Nimboora Nimboora Nimboora”) to Dingo, her dog, is the day I realised I had lost my mother to that most deadly disease – Dogorrhea.

Dogorrhea (DRH) is a medical condition that affects one in every twenty humans on the planet. If you are a dog owner, you are most likely already infected. More psychosomatic than anatomical, the symptoms take some time to manifest. The patient starts displaying signs that range from “odd” to “bizarre”. Though not transmitted by air or water, people around such patients suffer trauma, while the patient himself stays blissfully unaware.

My mother suffered acutely from Dogorrhea without even knowing it. Even after having two kids, she experienced motherhood in its true glorious form only when she had Chinku, Tozu, and then Dingo walk into her life on all their fours. With Chinku and Tozu, her symptoms were benign. Minor ocular dysfunction. They could topple her precious plants, pee all over her favourite cushion cover, leave their dental imprint all over our furniture, but mom would look at the damage in mock seriousness, a wide grin pasted on her face and pretend to be angry with them. Mistaking it for a sudden burst of tolerance, I confessed it was me who had dropped wax on her favourite satin slippers. She turned a vivid shade of pink, red, and then blue. “Kya issi din ke liye maine tumhe paal pos ke badha kiya hai?” she screeched. Sita of Gorakhpur would have heard her scream.

I was married by the time Dingo came into her life. By now she was a chronic patient of Dogorrhea. Even our family doctor had pronounced, ”Inko dawa nahin, dua kee zaroorat hai.” With Dingo things got really out of hand. Maa, a strict, no-nonsense, occasionally fiery Bong woman, and Dingo, an alpha-male German Shepherd born to hunt and snarl, were polar opposites, but jab they met, they brought out each other’s latent nyaaka. In just a few months Maa’s bountiful love had transformed this majestic German Shepherd into the most bheto dog ever born. Allergic to meats, he stuck to a diet of milk and rice and sometimes fish, because he couldn’t say no to Maa’s force-feeding. All she had to do was step out of the house and he’d switch his tear glands to shower mode like Nirupa Roy. And every time she came back from work, both would run toward each other in slow motion. My job was to play imaginary violins in the background.

Thankfully, Dogorrhea is not genetically transmitted so I didn’t get it. Every time a friendly dog approaches me with the intention to play, I give him a respectful nod.

After Dingo, mom entered such advanced stages of DRH, that we refused to let her watch Dharmendra movies. It was difficult controlling her when she heard him snarl, “Kutte, main tera khoon pee jaaonga.” 

“How dare he! How can he call a kutta a ‘kutta’,”  she would yell. “They love you, protect you, are unfalteringly loyal, irrespective of your bigotry, insufferable ego, bad hygiene, state of finances, and WhatsApp addiction. Canines are our refuge from harsh judgments, unreasonable expectations, annoying heartbreaks, and disappointment in those who we chose to love.” Her rant could cease only after her voice became hoarse.  

It is rather easy to make out if an individual is infected with DRH, which is more commonly found in women who let their ovaries burst like Vidyut Nigam transformers. Within a few weeks of taking in a canine, these women are convinced that the dog is not a pet but the child that they didn’t have the fortune of birthing. To make up for this biological travesty, they turn into a love-struck mommies who sigh, cry, sing lullabies, and talk gibberish like a smitten teen every time she lay eyes on her furry babeeee, Chameli.

The afflicted ones can often be spotted making silly faces while making strange sounds before French kissing Chameli, whose mouth had spent a good thirty minutes licking her own genitalia. It is possible that this confuses the hell out of Chameli about activities involving labial layers and tongues. But who cares?

If you’re feeling distraught because you’ve been diagnosed with Chamelidia and don’t know which dog you got it from, DON’T EVEN THINK of calling one of these women. Instead of feeling your pain, they’ll give you an hour’s discourse on Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency and how it has ruined Chammo’s appetite. Their world view is very simple. Anyone who isn’t besotted with canines is an asshole. And anyone who isn’t a canine is an idiot.

Sadly, Maa wasn’t cured of Dogorrhea even when Dingo died. She hasn’t forgiven Dingo for dying and leaving her alone in this cruel, heartless world. Her bhalo chhele maintained a safe distance from the bitches on heat all through his uneventful life and died a bachelor. It is a story she tells everyone she meets.

But thankfully, Dogorrhea is not genetically transmitted so I didn’t get it. Every time a friendly dog approaches me with the intention to play, I give him a respectful nod. I never pet and I never coo. They in turn, treat me back with respect. The other day, Casper, my friend’s spaniel, nodded knowingly when I discussed Putin, his hair remover, and his prospects at the next rigged elections. At the end of my sermon, he gave me a gentle bow.

I’ve steered clear of Dogorrhea. I just hope it doesn’t skip a generation — I couldn’t deal with an afflicted daughter.