Woof Woof Woooooof

3 miles in 44:41m
34C / 92 F, Hot and Polluted

Felt like I was running through custard. So hot. Ugh. Got home and found that this was my fastest time for this spell yet. Wierd. Need more data. I should make it out for a run early in the morning and see how my time improves.

Dogs. Coolest animals on the planet. If reincarnation were possible, I would want to be reborn as a dog (preferably in a first world country).  We never had one as a kid 😢, so I used to find other ways to regularly interact with them - from walking/training dogs for pocket money as a kid, to helping out at the Welfare of Stray Dogs during my high school years.

At my last job, I had the fortune of working with some talented people, and one incredibly smart dog - Baker. I would accompany Baker and his human, Krists, to the dog park as often as I could, just to be in the joyful, carefree presence of dogs. However, the more fascinating part about the dog park is that you also get to step into the shoes of David Attenborough and observe some fascinating social behavior amongst dogs (and humans too).

Baker patiently waiting for more treats

Dogs in the U.S. are incredibly more well-behaved than the ones I've seen in many other countries. I think this is mostly due to the extensive prevalence of dogs[n] in the country. This has evolved a strong community around dog-ownership and leads to better behaved dogs[n].

As a result, most dogs at the dog park are pretty well-behaved and they will bark as they play, but not usually in an annoying, incessantly noisy way. However, occasionally when there is a new dog in the park or some other such trigger, one dog will start barking at it, and pack mentality will kick in, and the rest of them will join in. Then it takes a great deal of human intervention to stop the feedback loop and get them to quiet down.

Peak traffic in Bombay is nuts. Chaos could take a few lessons. It's a dog eat dog world. I couldn't find a good video[n], but imagine this one with like 8 times more vehicles, and 3 times more crazy.

Frequently, a car will turn out of a side lane to merge into traffic, and won't be allowed in to merge in at all, and the car will end up blocking the oncoming lane. Or an even more frequent occurrence is the classic grid lock at 4+ way intersections without traffic lights[n], where all the cars enter at the exact same time, and block each other off, creating a mind boggling mess that could impress even Escher.

One nice side effect of the high population density in India is that there are always random bystanders chilling on the side of the road. These people tend to occasionally jump in to help resolve these grid locks, by helping a car backup into a tiny space, or stop the traffic somewhere else to let cars pass.

But this process takes time, and coordination. And instead of just resigning themselves to their fate of waiting for things to clear up ahead, some assholes will instead lean on their car horns.




After that first person honks, the rest of them jump right in and join the orchestra of cacophonic sounds.

We are more like dogs than we know, but who are the human-owners that will wrangle us into obedience?

  1. 47% of households in the U.S. own at least one dog, according to American Pet Products Association. [Source]
  2. I know I'm generalizing like crazy here, and that dog-ownership in the U.S. is not without its problems, nor irresponsible dog-owners. However, this definitely still holds true for the average dog you will meet in the U.S. versus one you might meet in, say, India.
  3. One of these days, I want to go setup a timelapse to shoot the Haji Ali intersection through a whole day. There is a system in that chaotic intersection that is just fascinating.
  4. India doesn't have Stop Signs. I don't think people would follow them anyway even if we did. But we should try them out anyway.