Yesterday K and I went bride-hunting for Sancho. Now that he is 2-plus, and mooning after the bitches on the street, we thought we should find him a girl. Sancho is the third-generation dog in this house; his dad and his grandma were born here. Never been keen on a breed dog, we thought we will go to the PFA ( People for Animals) shelter in the outskirts of the city.
There were about 70-80 dogs there; all rescued from the streets. Each dog has a tale of sorrow, a tale of human cruelty behind it. The white Labrador Retriever was a breeder's dog; when she became too old the breeder threw it to the streets. She is such a jovial girl who could have made a home bright with its happiness. The two-year old Rottweiler with 3 and a half leg was found limping near the military cantonment with its right hindleg full of maggots. She is so affectionate and playful. The caretaker said that all the little puppies sleep with her in the night. The stories are too many.
The mangy non-descript dogs were so playful and friendly. The lady who cooks for them said that these street dogs loved more than the regular domesticated ones because they know they have been rescued and cared for there. There were less than a month old female puppies. Old big dogs who were thrown out of the houses – just because they were too old and sickly.
Here are some photos
Breeder's Lab Retreiver, Ammachi
A possible candidate?
K, Ammachi and the three-legged old man
Aged, but dignified still
'Aishwarya Rai' ( I was captivated by her 'kohl-ed' eyes)
We couldn't decide on a girl. I wanted a mature dog, but K said it is better to have a puppy who could be trained in our ways. We had some bitter experience sometime ago when we adopted a bitch which was left behind because the owners left for abroad.
As we were wandering around we saw a very old dog with three legs. His fur was almost fully gone. He came hopping towards us – then turned to K. It went towards K and looked up at him. K was trying hard to maintain an expressionless face as he caressed the old dog which even most dog-lovers would hesitate to touch. There seemed to be something connecting them, this old dog and my young son. There was such love and gentleness in the dog's face that I, with such a long association with dogs starting from my birth haven't seen.
As we were about to leave, I saw a dog lying still in its cage. I called the caretaker and he was shocked; he said it was alive half-an-hour ago. That dog he said was found bleeding and with broken bones, beaten to near-death by people who thought it was rabid, which it wasn't. The consulting vets had done all they could; the dog died probably because of internal injuries.
My dear friends, in this country of ours where we listen everyday to stories of criminal amassing of wealth, where many of us live in comparative comfort, please spare a thought for these dumb creatures. Spare a moment, spare a little money for the poor creatures, which knows only to love you. Wherever you are, support those organisations and individuals who are trying to help them. Even if you cannot adopt a dog, at least help to take care of the homeless. Teach your children to love and care for animals and other forms of life. It is only by loving and respecting other forms of life that share this planet with us, can we ever learn to love and respect ourselves.
******* Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 25.04.2011