Strays on Street

I don't exactly remember when I got into this habit of petting every stray dog I encounter here and there. Whenever I visit a new place, before I start interacting with the humans there, I first look for a few dogs to pet and spend some time with them. It can tell a lot about the neighborhood too, if the dogs are friendly, the residents must be caring and trustworthy, but if the dogs are scared or aggressive, it means residents can be mean or rude.
Intrigued by the silent, often unnoticed lives strays lead, I started clicking all these dogs I meet. I feel I can almost listen to what they're thinking, whether they're hungry, sleepy, playful, sad, sick or weak. Some dogs don't move at all, they'll just keep lying, blinking, they're the old ones or sick ones who are too weak to even wag their tails, where some are just too playful, they jump all over you, trying to lick, these are the young and well fed dogs.
Some are shy, scared, who'd come close to you hoping for food, but not to close so you can touch them, these are the sensitive and cautious ones, while there are some who'd show you their teeth aggressively if you try to go near them, these are the traumatized ones, leading a very rough and competitive life on the streets. Some start to chew on your shoes or jump trying to grab whatever is in your hand, these are the hungry ones and I make sure I buy them something from the nearby shops.
Each time I look at these pictures, I instantly recall the time I spent with them, where I met them, how they reacted, worry if someone fed them today or not, how are they doing in this pandemic, how many of them are still alive. My eyes well up every time I realize I'm probably never gonna meet them again. These photographs remind me I love these babies way more than I could love any human being. I just wish each one of these and all the other strays out there get to sleep comfortably, eat well, play with friends and have a happy life.