This is utterly ridiculous! It has been on since 123400000 years and Mummy didn’t even notice it! Don’t we always keep telling you she works just too hard for our (and her) own good?
How could she have missed it? And that too when it was giving us such an enormous occasion to make our woof reach a whole new crowd?
Alright. We are getting ahead of ourselves here. Sorry, just that we feel so disappointed.
We are talking about this…
The Stayfree ‘Time to Change’ Contest . (You can check out their FB page here.)
Indiblogger, our favourite blogging platform had called everyone to woof about what they think needs to be changed to make our planet a better place to live in.
And they do not call it a ‘contest’ without reason. They are, hold your wag, offering a huge lot of drool-worthy prizes to be won too.
It has been ‘alive’ now for over a month and Mummy tells us about it TODAY when ‘Contest closes at midnight on 10/4/12’ which is exactly 1 hour from now in Indian time!!
But we are going to do it, with or without Mummy’s help. We will make sure our woof gets out there especially since this cause is just so close to our hearts.
We are woofing about ‘Adoption of Indian dogs/Strays’.
Alright, let’s modify that. We want to woof about not only Indian dog adoption but adoption in general. Meaning ‘STOP BUYING PUPS. STOP the PUPPY MILLS.ADOPT A DOG’.
Of course, if it is an Indian Dog you open your hearts to, nothing like it. Take it from us.
Shadow, our little baby brother whom Mummy had picked up from right infront of our gate is our greatest joy and pride today.
Now let us tell you a story. No, we are not diverting from this topic. Pawmise. Dogs NEVER lie, right? But it is kinda longish so we suggest you go get your milk bowl and chew-bone and settle down comfortably.
And just please read on, Okies?
It was early October last year. Mummy had undergone a surgery and was on leave for almost three weeks. Though she was recuperating quite well, she would be fretting all day and remain restless.
The reason- a pack of strays. She was worried sick about this pack of 3 boys and 2 girls who she had…err…unofficially adopted (we are her three official fur-kids, remember?)
She was working in this fancy hospital then (Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj) and since the hospital buiding was getting fancier and bigger, the authorities decided to take on lease a vacant plot nearby and convert it into a parking lot.
This little pack of strays, which must have been living there took to living under the rows of cars !
It didn’t take them long to realize Mummy was the ideal pawson whom they could
manipulate influence for regular breakfasts and a warm hug!
Every morning, like clockwork, they would all line up as she parked her car. Doleful eyes, lopsided ears, wagging tails – Sigh! They never failed to wean out a regular breakfast from Mummy.
Not a very lavish one, mostly biscuits and water and sometimes milk. But they seemed to enjoy it. Never forgetting to give her a ‘Thank You’ lick.
There was this absolute trust, a bond that remains with you long after life fades away.
house arrest break was bothering Mummy because she knew they would be waiting for her every day. For the meal, however little. And some water.
We wanted so badly to bring them home to live with us. They weren’t any different from us. The same doleful, liquid eyes, the same unconditional love, loyalty and trust. Here we were the centre of Mummy and Daddy’s world and there they were, out in the dangerous car park, without even a basic meal.
While we counted our blessings, it also made us feel so humble that we were just lucky. It was all a matter of fate, wasn’t it?
And then, the day came when Mummy rejoined work. She was super excited, we could sense. And also worried. Were her parking pups safe?
Well, they were there. Safe, overjoyed to see her. Jumping all over her.
Hey! Wait. One of the girls was missing.
Mummy enquired of the guard, ‘Have you seen my girl? The one with golden brown fur. The most shy of the lot?’
Guess what? She’d had puppies!
Oh My DOG!
Now what? Here we were all so sad about these homeless dogs and now we are being told there are more pups? New borns?
Mummy found them. Hidden in a hole in the ground at the far corner of the parking lot.
There were four of them. Perfect little puppies nestled close to keep warm, their eyes still tightly shut.
What were we to do? We couldn’t just leave them there. They would soon start climbing out and play under the cars! On top of that, it was getting cold.
Late October is a very pleasant time in Delhi but it is only the ‘silence before the boom’. Anypuppy who knows the harsh Delhi winters would understand why we were so panicky.
That evening, we made up our minds.
WE WILL FIND THOSE PUPS HOMES. They were not going to get crushed under a car or freeze to death. Will we not find just 4 pawple in this huge city who will come forward to help these forlorn little pups?
We called, smsed, mailed and facebooked any and everypuppy we could think of. Tried to convince whoever we knew was thinking of getting a dog to take home one of these four pups, put up pictures and notices at our vet’s.
Loads of people responded.
‘What breed are they?’
‘Mixed breed. Didn’t you notice our message?’
‘Oh! We thought they were labs. They look so cute. But we don’t like mixed breeds’!!!
!!!!!!! FUME! FRET! CHEW our PAWS in anger!!
‘Are they vaccinated?’
‘Not yet. They are too young. But we will get them vaccinated before you take them home. Don’t worry’.
Then there were those facebook messages.
‘OOOO! Sooo cute’
But all said and done there were still no homes for those pups.
Every morning Mummy would hold her breath as she parked her car and checked inside that wretched little home.
One, two, three, four.
And then one morning as she entered the parking they were right there scattered all over the place, under cars and around motor cycles, running free chasing Dog knows what!
Her heart skipped a beat. It was now or never. She could no longer depend on Armchair animal welfare ( Our name for facebooking) to find them a home and save their lives.
A quick call to the hospital, ‘Cancel all appointments. Am taking an emergency leave.’
Next was to find a large cardboard box that will hold all four active pups. A short visit to a nearby grocery store – milk, biscuits, curd and a carton.
Half an hour later the pups were saying goodbye to the guard there who had tears in his eyes to see them go.
Was it because he’ll miss them or because they were going to be safe? We will never know. But we believe the pups were safe till now largely because he had fixed that shelter, however meager for them and had taken pains to warn the drivers about a sprightly pup that might be sleeping under their car!
Anyway,our mission had begun! Mummy had no clue how she was going to find homes but she just had to do it before nightfall. They couldn’t come home to us. We live in an apartment four stories above the ground and have no one to look after them when Mum and Dad goes off to work.
We can take care of ourselves, we are grown and adjusted to the routine but if you think we can look after 4 pups, well, it’s a little too high an expectation. Our paws are already full keeping our baby brother Shadow busy the whole day, anyway.
First things first. A visit to the vet. Armed with a vaccination card, Mummy had a better chance of convincing people to take them home.
First try – a garage.
‘Are you guys willing to adopt a pup?’
‘How much, Madam?’
‘Freeeee? Can we see them?’
One peek later…
‘Yes, Madam. I’d like to take one of them home. My two year old son needs a playmate.’
Even now when we write this we feel overwhelmed. The man just walked to our car, looked at the four scampering bundles of fur and picked up the fattest.
‘Thank you, Ma’am. We will take good care of him’, he said as he took the vaccination card from Mummy.
‘No. Thank YOU. You don’t realize it but you just saved a life.’
It was just the push Mummy needed. Yes, there were pawple out there with large hearts. ‘Dilwalon ki dilli’ really dilwalon ki hi hain! ( Delhi isn’t called the city of Big hearted souls for nothing)
Next stop a group of people outside a roadside tea-stall. No. None of them wanted a pup. But yes, if Mummy didn’t mind giving them her number they’ll call in case someone does. The puppies were indeed very cute and they hoped they find good homes.
Next stop a lumber factory. Perfect place. You would want a good guard dog at the gate and nothing like a brave and loyal Indian Dog. Mummy had her paws… errr…toes n fingers crossed.
Luck struck again! Yes, they would adopt two pups.
Now there was just one little puppy boy. He somehow sensed his siblings were mysteriously disappearing one by one and was getting restless. Soon he was out of his cardboard box and exploring, entirely unaware of the moving car and Mummy’s mission!
It took a lot of effort to not bring him home.
Soon, Mummy spotted what she felt could be a potential home. A nursery. Not one that kept human pups but one which grew flowers and stuff.
Two young men, brothers, owned it. Small place with a humble garden shed. Nice and clean.
Did they want a pup?
‘Yes Ma’am. My brother here is quite fond of dogs. We wouldn’t mind raising one.’
The brother turned out to be a very shy and quiet person. He walked over to our car, eagerly dug out the little pup from underneath the driver’s seat and hugged him tight.
The last of our pups was HOME.
Mummy cried all the way home. Finally, we could all sleep in peace.
The next day Mummy called up each of those kind pawple. Yes, our pups were fine.
Next was the Mom-doggy back in the parking lot. Was she grieving by any chance. Her pups were just too young and Mummy had unceremoniously taken them away from her.
But she was alright. She was there to greet Mummy as usual and accepted the treats. Was she actually relieved? We would like to think she knew her babies were safe now. She had never ever stopped Mummy from getting near her den earlier and now she didn’t in any way seem to bear any grudge.
Yes. One mission accomplished.
A visit two months later proved reassuring. The pups were alive, happy, growing up very fast and had very pretty names.
They had little human pups for playmates and though they were in humble homes, they belonged.
We think that is all that actually matters.
Love, trust and a large heart to see beyond breeds and the colour of our fur.
This is what we would like to change about the world around us.
That every pawson who wants a dog thinks twice about buying one. There are so many of us who are abandoned and homeless. It is not wrong to like a specific breed. We just want to say – ‘Please adopt a dog that needs a home be it an Indian dog or a pedigree. Please do not buy pups because we then just help the puppy mills to flourish. There is no point bringing another pup into this world when there are already too many of us out there, is there now?’
Instead of complaining about the growing number of strays in our country, you can help control their population. Adopt, spay, neuter. If you cannot adopt one, maybe you can convince someone else to. Someone who is looking for a dog.
Even one helping paw can bring about a huge change. Sometimes, even more than we can fathom.
STOLEN PICTURE Googled picture. Belongs to whoever clicked it)
For the record, we are all adopted. Of course, Mummy had to pay for me, Ginger. Something about my earlier family asking for cash because I am a super pedigreed Labrador!
We feel so blessed we are now one cozy family.
Ginger, Buddy and Shadow