The looks they give you as you're about to dig into that deliciously warm chocolate chip muffin could melt Finland. All at once, you feel sympathy, responsibility, and generosity. Feed one hungry doggy, and you've fed the world. Right?
Everyone knows that feeding dogs chocolate kills them. Universal, elementary-school knowledge. Forget that one superdog you hear having survived all Diwali on chocolate. Chocolate is fatal to the canines. You can't feed it to humans in large quantities without them being very sick, forget dogs. Or, that's what you're thinking, anyway, when Chacko comes up to you to beg you for one, tiny morsel.
So you don't feed him.
But while you're thinking this insanely long stream of thoughts, and convincing your brain not to fall prey to the charms of the campus dogs yet again, the poor, starving, pouting doggy is still standing there endearingly. Unashamedly drooling, eyes wide open, a low moan starting to escape his lips. Raww-wwww. Quite the cutie. Your conscience, if you have any, bubbles up to your throat, threatening to make you implode. So you walk to the cafe, and buy the dog a meal. That's right. Toast and mutton mince patties to go. And a bottle of almond milk. Plain milk would just be un-classy.
And that's what Stephanian dogs eat.
As for the puppies? These pudgy, little furballs probably get the best of the lot. Yes, they're poked and coo-ed at since before they can open their eyes; yes, they're picked up and played with before they know what playing is; and yes, they're given the most nonsensical names ever (Waffles? Snowflake? Mojo-Jojo?). But they're also easily the most loved members on campus.
It's hard not to melt at the sight of these teensy cupcakes on legs. They're always falling over, or scampering off at speeds that make their stomachs bob along the floor, or lolling about on their backs in the winter sun, four legs up in the air. Sunning is their favourite thing to do, and reasonably so, because they can't walk very well; they just don't seem to understand that their legs have to move forward, not sideways. So if you call Puppy X towards you, make sure it's in an open field, because he'll run towards you, but end up bumping into the wall beside him, courtesy his leftward gait. Silly babies.
Most of campus gossip is centered around puppies:
"Did you see that new lot?"
"Yes, they're soooo cute! What should we call them?"
"Well, this one is called Tux, already. Maybe we should name the others Butterfly and Milky?"
"What? No way. Not Milky! Let's call him Rambo!"
And so, Rambo is christened.
Two months later...
"Aww, look-at-chyou! You're such a pwetty girl, aren't chyou?"
"What's her name?"
"This one? She's called Rambo."
(Someone obviously forgot to look somewhere important while naming her.)
But all that aside, they really are the cutest things ever. Flopsy, velveteen bundles. And on a sunny winter afternoon, there's nothing else you really love more about college than the puppy nestled in the nook of your arm.