There is no denying the fact that 2020 was a challenging year for everybody, including animals.
Animals such as dogs, who ate largely from street food booths, were famished in India because there were no street cafes open during the lockdown. I was in New Delhi, my hometown, working from home like the majority of us.
During the month of July 2020, a dog near my home (who I affectionately referred to as Brownie) gave birth to seven puppies in the wilderness.
I recall looking out the balcony after work (from home) and enjoying the clean Delhi breeze (which is a miracle that Delhi has clean air) due to the lockdown and the lack of vehicular movement.. and I noticed that Brownie still did not come to eat her regular evening meal. It had been 3 days and she was nowhere in sight. I got worried as I knew she could deliver pups anytime soon, and I so wanted to step out and look for her. Like everybody else, I was petrified too, to go out as I hadn’t stepped out since months due to a discovery of a new virus.
But I did step out. Near to my house, I’ll never forget my first sight of Brownie’s puppies, the sweetest, cleanest, tiniest ball of fur I’d ever seen in an empty, filthy land.! Because the land’s surface was uneven, they all were in different corners. The first thing that sprang to me was to arrange them all on a level surface. This was the scene after the search effort was done.
The next day, I sought help from an animal-lover person to build a temporary shed for the puppies! We came every morning and changed sheets, cleaned the surroundings and put fresh water for Brownie. I was so relieved to find a like-minded person admist the challenges.
..until..It began to rain fiercely one night, and it worried me about the shed’s ability to withstand the downpour.
The first thing the next morning was to check on the pups; fortunately, they were fine, but the entire space and their bed were soaked.
Without any second thought, the pups were moved from there to a safe house shelter as it was predicted that the rains will continue for a few more weeks owing to monsoon. Soon, 2 months went by, from observing the pups crawl over, their eyes open and to their first feeble bark, despite the struggles, it was an beautiful experience.
Brownie weaned off the pups and thus, they were ready for adoption! However, my biggest fear was, will anyone come forward to adopt them and especially during COVID where people are abandoning their own pets??
With such thoughts parallelly running through my mind, regardless, I started to post about adoption for these 7 pups.
To my greatest surprise, 5 incredible folks stepped forward one by one and agreed to give these pups a better life than they would have on the streets of India. I’ll never be able to express my gratitude to all five dog parents who chose to adopt an Indian street pup from the streets of Delhi. For opening up the space in their hearts and homes for the pups!
One of the 5 adopted pups is adopted by a person who hails from the USA, but he is currently working in India. It’s incredibly touching to see that instead of ‘buying’ a foreign-bred puppy, he chose to save an Indian street dog’s life. #AdoptDontShop :”)
The 5 Adopted Pups who now have a permanent loving family!
If this isn’t perfect, I don’t know what is! God had planned loving families for them and they found it..
Meet Momo and Beesa,
2 out of the 7 pups, who are still waiting for a forever home, however, currently living with a loving foster family.
Update! The foster family, and now, my friend, Aashima, decided to adopt these two. 🙂
Now as winters are here, We arranged gunny sack bags for our street dogs. Two NGOs namely, Lotus Indie Foundation and We Exist Foundation who work Animal Welfare in India, were providing dog beds to ground volunteers. We were able to obtain a few gunny sack beds with their assistance. However, because of the weather, I also bought dog coats and put them on a few furry friends I knew. (who let me put coat on them)
Another sensitive topic is dog sterilization/neutering, which is a feasible option listed by the government for controlling dog populations and ending the suffering of street dog. In a period of six months, I was able to sterilise five dogs in my neighbourhood; the number is little, but I believe it is a good start for me as an individual. I’m satisfied when I see them now, healthier, happier, and running around without fear of being attacked by other dogs or suffering from health problems.
I paid for the surgery for two dogs who are extremely close to me and trust me enough to go to the veterinarian with me, but to my surprise, one of my friends, Tarun, shared the veterinarian expense.
For the other three dogs, I had it done through Delhi Municipal Corporations, who do it for free for community dogs. You just have to call them and they’ll come with trained dog catchers and a van and drop them off in the same area, but volunteers like us have to be very vigilant throughout the process to make sure they’re taken care of.
I am really not sure why I am I even writing this in my blog, or deep inside I do know why, it’s 6th of January and it would have been my lifeline, Picu’s 11th birthday. 🙂
In the midst of difficulties in 2020, this was my wonderful experience. I genuinely hope you all found a silver lining.
Having one person on your side for a good cause is more powerful than having five people working against you.