On 18th June, I was about to take my bike out from my office when a feeble pale structure got up and walked away in a disillusioned manner. It was a dog, a tiny one at that, which was weak and could barely walk. It was 42 degrees that day and looking at its rotting skin and scalding wounds, my heart skipped a beat, emotions took over me asking me to help him out. It was this instance that practicality took turns and I thought of all the hardship I faced with a street dog I had picked up earlier and found a wonderful home for. I resisted and found some solace in seeing him walk to a tree shade and collapse.
In India, the situation of animals is pathetic. There are no laws, there are no morals or ethics around animal adoption and control. They are nothing but toys and this is how toys are dealt with. Buy them for a few hundred, play with them, then shoo them away from your house. There are no animal shelters which take in dogs, reputed organizations have shut their doors on taking in animals. Health care is pathetic, the doctors at the hospital diagnose animals by looking at them and whatever symptoms are evident.
I put on my helmet and rode home, all I could think of the puppy, what was I doing not helping it? Why did I ignore it? What can I do? There are no known dog shelters in a radius of over 500kms from where I live, there are no animal welfare organizations for dogs. There are many for cows but none for mans best friend.
Returning back to the office, I checked on him and took a close look. He was not a street dog but rather an abandoned breed dog. Although I tried resisting the urge to rescue him, I gave in, I picked him up, I did not know where to hold him, his entire body was filled with injuries. I did not know what they were or how he got them but, I picked him up to put him in my car and took him home where I gave him some water which he drank thankfully. Some food and he swallowed it whole, he probably might not have had anything eat for days.
I realized he was infested with ticks, there were about 1000 ticks on his tiny body. They were sucking the life out of him, his wounds were self-inflicted and from the areas, the ticks had been attached to his body for too long. I took him to the Veterinary hospital which is a complete sham. The Doctor hardly looks at him before stereotyping him as a street dog and that he did not have a chance. I was sure I would prove him wrong. He did prescribe some syrups and an injection for the ticks. He did not check fever.
Came back home, gave Tiny a bath with the tick shampoo and applied the powder on his body and ticks. I had placed him in out penthouse room. He looked thankful and at peace, he had food, shelter and medical care. The next day, I was surprised and happy to see that all the ticks were dead. I removed some using a pincher, he was happy to be in my hands, he rolled, asked for belly rubs and scratches. Left him to rest, he would sleep and sleep. the first part of the 20th was his happiest time, he started yapping and crying when I left, he wanted to be with me, would walk to my side and fall on my thigh and roll over for belly rubs. In the latter part of the day, it all went downhill. Suddenly, he could not get up, he could not walk, he could not stand or come over. He would yelp in pain for no reason and he would yelp and cry non stop if I was out of his sight for even 5 seconds. I kept him by my side, this was my 3rd day of staying home and skipping office. The night of 20th, he stayed with us in our bedroom, he was shivering all night, I went down to him many times. He started passing urine where he was. The situation was so bad, he could not raise his neck. I knew something was terribly wrong. The last two days, he was crazy about food, suddenly he stopped eating, would only eat very little of what he was given. He absolutely resisted water.
I decided to take him to the vets, the vet informed this was a case of canine distemper and he would not get better. At this point, anywhere I touched him on his body, he would scream in pain, not a scream but a piercing yelp. We decided to put him to sleep. Tiny. I could not hold my emotions when he was put to sleep but this probably was the best I could do for him. Wish he found me a month back, wish he stayed with me longer than 3 days. In these 3 days, he showed me how a dog can love you back if you loved him. He trusted me with every little bit of energy he had, he even playfully bit me a couple of time. You will be missed Tiny, but play to your heart’s content in Doggy heaven,