Adopting one dog can save him from leading a wretched life on the street and get the love and care he deserves. Loyalty and love are your FURever.
On a December morning, a little sunny day, it was snowing the last night. A female stray gave birth to six pups nearby below a rock cut opening. All black cute female pups except for that one white little male pup. Days passed, almost a month, I was staying nearby, played only with that little white one as it was the cutest and naughtiest of all. I felt as if he would turn out to be my best friend. Being nine years old, I didn’t have much of friends to be with. So the moment I saw him, I wanted him with me. I used to go and play with him in the evenings. He tried to follow me always, when I left, but I never let him do so as I was unsure of taking him home.
My first best friend
A few days passed, I realised I always wanted him to be with me, only evenings won’t work out. I adopted him, brought him home, with me. Jimmy my very loyal and my first best friend I ever had. At first he was not welcomed to home by my parents, but that innocent look he gave me, I knew I wouldn’t let him go, also I felt as if he also wanted to stay with me. I was stubborn to keep him, finally everyone had to agree. We both were very happy to have each other. I was reluctant to go to school, as the only thing I wanted do was play with Jimmy. I loved him and he loved me back.
Playing & exploring together
Jimmy grew up into a handsome big dog, cute and loyal. My parents decided to keep him outside only. He used to roam around like other strays when I went to school then came back in the afternoon for lunch and stayed till I came. In evenings we used to go and explore places. Jimmy became my all time friend. He followed me everywhere I went to play. He was there with me always. Since it was a hilly area, we explored the mountains and he accompanied me. We used to play a game, I rolled on my back and Jimmy used to catch hold me by my shirt. On one sudden day this play turned out to be an incident.
Jimmy saved me
One fine evening I with my two friends and Jimmy, of course, went to explore a nearby mountain. During winters, in the late evening, the grass got usually covered with water droplets. I was playing around and suddenly I somehow slipped and fell on my back rolling downwards. There was a water body below where I was heading. I had no idea about the depth of that water body. The first thing that came to mind was Jimmy. I don’t know why I shouted his name and he came running and managed to hold me by my shirt. I managed to grab hold a bush which slowed down my movement down the hill and I gradually came to a halt. I was very relieved to know that nothing uncertain happened and Jimmy was the one who turned down that uncertain. He saved me. This was just one incident that happened. This incident was a life saver to me, but yet I couldn’t tell anyone about Jimmy’s bravery as I was too young to go to such place without permission. Basically, I went there without anyone knowing. Jimmy continued to be around me for three years. He became a guard dog, at least for me.
We Lost him
After a couple of years my father intimated that we are expecting a transfer and we may be leaving the place soon. There was a discussion in my home, whether to take Jimmy along or not just because he was a stray. The conclusion was yet to come. I wanted him and I knew that. I wouldn’t have left without him. Days passed, there was an order passed by the corporation to kill the excess strays. They poisoned them. Jimmy never kept any belt in his neck. He too became the victim among those strays and got poisoned. We found his body lying near some bush after two days. We lost him. I couldn’t take him with me. Probably I failed to take care of him properly.
Longing for love and care
Barking, howling, dog fights to survive, roaming empty stomach is the kind of life a street dog leads. These breeds are mostly scavengers and become pets for the street and slum dwellers or most of the time homeless creatures longing for love and care. These pooches need some kindness. These canines either succumb to hunger, disease, accidents or they are killed inhumanely due to overpopulation by the corporation to control the stray population. They are devoid of care, love, affection. These four-legged creatures can be your best friend.
Glitches caused by stray dogs
These canines, dwell on the roads, loiter around and are very prone to accidents. They are sometimes unaware of the vehicles coming and injure themselves as well as the humans. Strays are not taken care of and get skin infections and other diseases which can cause detriment to them as well as the nearby humans. They do not get proper medication, thus may get rabies, which is dangerous for humans too. They dwell upon garbage bins in search of food which causes scattering of the garbage and causing inconvenience in the surroundings.
Why adoption is a good option?
These glitches will continue to remain as long as there are strays. One of the best ways out of this problem is adopting them. These poor canines have a tough time being shooed and shunted away from the society. Adopting as many as these pooches can give them a home and in return he will give you all his love. Adopting a stray can save him from the adversities and the miserable life he is leading. All they need is a loving family who accepts them as they are. They need to be treated humanely and need care, love and compassion.
Many of us have seen the sight of a tied up dog at the gate, entrance of the house or backyard lying listlessly with a sad look on his face. And we also come across happy dogs, wagging their tails in delight, living like a happy family member. It’s upto you to decide – how you wish to keep your dog.
Many a times, I have seen the poor pathetic dogs with a depressed look lying quietly in the corner-tied up and many a times with no bowl of fresh water or food in sight. I have stopped and questioned many of the families and asked them why they keep their pets tied up 24×7 and the normal reply I get is “They are a nuisance, they dirty the place, come in our way and they are meant to be watch dogs hence should be tied outside the house to guard the house”. I am astounded, shocked by these replies and no amount of my reasoning with them changes their attitude, which makes me wonder why go to the trouble of keeping a pet if they are to be treated like an unwanted being. Being stuck outdoors on a chain is like being a prisoner of war. Some common problems faced by chained pets:
Make them a part of the family: Dogs are social animals and like humans, they are constantly craving for contact, love & affection from their pet parents.
Unprotected in weather conditions: They are left unprotected in extreme weather conditions like heat, cold or rain. Hence, they can fall sick more often.
Behaviour issues: They tend to become lonely, frustrated and aggressive due to long hours of being chained with no activity.
Risk of attack: Since a chained dog is an unhappy dog, he can snap or attack when provoked.
Unclean surroundings: Since such dogs are not allowed to roam freely, they have to eat, sleep, defecate and urinate in a small area, which can become unclean, if not cleaned properly. This is unhygienic for both you and your pooch.
Accidental risk: Chains can get entangled in their limbs causing loss of blood circulation; they can also suffer from neck wounds, skin problems, rashes.
Risk to life: They face the risk of strangulation and many a times they are found lying dead with their chains entangled around their necks and bodies.
Remember it is inhumane: It is in humane to keep a dog tethered at all times.
Before you bring home a dog…
People who want or are thinking of keeping a pet should be ready to include them in their homes and most importantly in their hearts; they are a responsibility which you cannot afford to shun and ignore. Remember in the end, all they are asking for is love and affection, a pat, brush, scratch behind their ears, walks in the park and to curl up at your feet at night and sleep in the warmth of the house. Give them the respect, love and place they deserve in your lives and make theirs and your lives more joyful, beautiful full of love and affection.
Which breed of dog is perfect in size, fur neither too long nor too short, healthy and well-suited to the Indian climate, loving yet independent, friendly, adorable, and intelligent… all at the same time? Well, it is our very own Indian breed, of course! In other words, the common community dog, or pariah, who we see on our streets.
The demand for Pedigree dogs has boomed exponentially in India over the past few years. When families decide to add a new furry member to their crew, they contact a breeder for the perfect pup. Most of us would think that it is safe to assume these breeders keep the mother dogs and pups well and take good care of them. However, have you ever given a thought that our Indian pariah can also be a wonderful companion?
For every Pedigree pup purchased from a breeder, a perfectly healthy, lovable and equally qualified Indian community dog loses out on a chance to be taken off the streets and into a loving home. Indian dogs are highly appreciated for being sturdy, affectionate, loyal, smart and stronger than their exotic counterparts. There is absolutely no reason to buy a dog and contribute to a dark and cruel industry when you can adopt true love for free!
Each One Adopt One
So what is ‘Each One Adopt One’? Do we expect each and every one of you to adopt an Indian dog? The answer is YES! If each family on each street would feed and care for just one stray dog, ensuring that he is sterilised and vaccinated while giving him the freedom to be out as he pleases, that dog is not only perfectly healthy and social but also a guardian for the community. Take a moment to realise that the dog takes care of you too – there are so many instances of incidents wherein evil ploys of burglars and thieves were foiled by an alert and courageous community dog! Sterilisation and vaccination of your dog is a very important component as it benefits all members of the public as much as it ensures animal welfare, and can be done by your local animal rescue organisation for a very nominal donation.
Water bowl for strays
The ‘Water Bowl’ project is another initiative by animal lovers in cities all over India that simply encourages people to leave bowls of fresh water outside for stray animals and birds during the scorching summer months. These are small and random acts of kindness that truly have big, positive and immediate impact, also conditioning the community mindset in the long run to be more compassionate and sensitive to all living creatures.
Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), a Bangalore-based NGO, is championing the implementation of new and strict Breeding Rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, which aims at providing clear legal guidelines to individuals involved in commercial breeding of dogs. These soon-to-be formalised Rules will complement existing Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules, 2001, which require breeders to register their dogs with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and gain permission to breed only after their facilities are inspected. Dog breeders will need to keep a record of all buyers of the pups apart from other stipulated conditions and lack of compliance with the terms and conditions of this Rule will attract severe penalties and even conviction for abuse and exploitation of their dog.
Voiceless India is a campaign which has been initiated to spread awareness about animal cruelty related issues such as animal testing, animal slaughter, abuse on streets, hunting, etc and support animals across the world. Here’s more on this noble move.
Animals are those souls who have a voice but remain unheard; therefore we call them the VOICELESS. They try to communicate pain, fear and love, but are ignored. They have a right to live a life without facing brutality but instead they die in vain. We need to give them our voice to make them heard.
Voiceless India has initiated bedding and feeding programmes for animals all around Noida, which involve providing comfortable beds to strays and giving them food. We are working in sector 119, 120 and 121 as of now and will increase our reach as more volunteers enroll themselves in.
A social work
Animal activism is a social work field which has come up greatly in the last few decades and I would call it one of the most important areas of social welfare in today’s world. The world we live in is a world made by humans which includes massive architectures, speeding cars, plastic waste, etc. so why should ANIMALS bear its negative consequences? Why should elephants and pandas not have a home because we want buildings? Why should dogs die under speeding cars because we want to reach far-away places on time in the most luxurious way possible? Why should birds choke on plastic garbage which we have used for our benefit and thrown out in the open? Why should anyone suffer from the undesirable effects of the human world but humans?
Strays deserve home
Stray dogs are the most amicable, expressive, understanding and loving breed of dogs and make the best companion one can ever have. They have the ability to make you smile in the darkest moments of your life and share the joy in the happiest ones, when you want to express yourself freely, but then why do they don’t deserve a home? A stray has gone through horrendous situations during his lifetime in the loneliest fashion which instills in him the strength, understanding and sensitivity to understand others. Humans claim to be the most intelligent, caring and sensitive creatures to walk the planet but how often do they find these beautiful words in their daily actions?
Animal activists from all around the globe protect animal rights and some are trying to bring them better conditions under which they live or work, but this is not the only way you can help animals. Easier ways exist and there is a long list, some of which are – giving stray dogs food around your locality, getting some blankets or mattresses made for them to snuggle in and sleep cosy in the winter, helping them find loving and adoring homes or volunteering in the nearest animal shelters.
Easy and affordable ways to support animals
- Ask your local cushion manufacturer to make 18 x 24 inch mattresses for strays to sleep on and then spread the mattresses around your locality. (Remember to ask someone around like a tea vendor or shopkeeper to keep an eye on them or else they might be picked up by rag-pickers!)
- Give a small bowl of porridge cooked in water and some milk, with a pinch of salt to strays at least once a day. (Remember to put just ‘some’ milk as the stray dogs can get an upset stomach if too much milk is added!)
- Volunteer in your nearest animal shelter to walk the dogs, help at the reception, raise funds, help out with the adoption or fostering of the shelter animals and if trained you can also help with the veterinary practices! (Remember to get yourself the preventive rabies shots for your safety!)
- Spread awareness about animal torture, cruelty and welfare amongst your Facebook friends and others.
- Collect information and basic knowledge about animal cruelty related issue to educate and inform the younger children in your locality by conducting informal or formal workshops.
Animal welfare NGOs like PETA have exposed so many rackets which reveal horrific truths of animal testing. It might be difficult for you to stop this, individually, but you can speak up against these practices by signing petitions which call the governments of many countries to put and implement a legal ban on them. Why do humans need products tested on animals which can be tested in simulators and on other substitutes giving more accurate and reliable results?
I call for a planet which is free from all sorts of animal torture and one which moves towards being compassionate and sensitive in actuality. Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.
(Ankit Puri is a social activist and very passionate about animal welfare and fighting for animal rights. He’s a student of XI Class at Step By Step School, Noida. Volunteers are welcome to support ‘VOICELESS INDIA’ by assisting their programmes. For detail,contact at: 9999515003).
Last summer, we got all the dogs of our colony sterilised with the help of Friendicoes SECA. But one female dog was left and in 2014 winter, she delivered three pups. Two pups died in a road accident while the sole survivor is a white pawed, black coloured pup. We call this pooch Fluffy. Fluffy truly is the fluffiest one I have ever touched in my life. He has become the apple of everyone’s eyes. This little one has managed to survive in Delhi’s chilling weather as well. We all have a lesson to be learnt from him as he never annoys about any of his problems. He is always in a joyful mood and ready to shower unconditional love upon every other person of the colony. He is also favourite of the ragpickers of our colony who ensure that he gets at least one proper meal in a day. He deserves applause for being a true example of ‘survival of the fittest’.
Let’s take care of our strays and give them the love and care they deserve.
–Kriti Kapur, Delhi
At times, it is heart wrenching to see the plight of pet parents having to drop their furry friend off at a boarding facility. A pleasurable boarding experience is the result of the pet parent and the boarding staff working in the interest of the pet. Here’s how to have a safe & secure boarding for your pooch.
While going on a trip where pooches cannot travel, pet parents have to put their furry friends in the caring hands. Many boarding facilities
for pooches are now available to make their stay comfortable. Here are a few tips to make boarding a pleasurable experience for your pooch.
- Pre-boarding essential: If your dog has never been boarded before, consider few hours of day care as well and at least one overnight boarding prior to the actual stay. This acclimatises the dog to the new environment and staff. It also gives an opportunity to the pet parent to give any feedback to the staff and vice versa.
- Set right: Get your dog used to other dogs, people, new environments, travelling in a car/vehicle and most importantly eating independently.
- Health chart check: Ensure that all his immunisations are current and that he is not suffering from any contagious disease.
- Anti-tick treatment…a must: Get your dog on an anti-tick/flea treatment as a preventive. Tick collars and spot-on applicators are effective.
- Deworm: Get your dog dewormed regularly.
- Feel at home: Bring any familiar clothing/object that smells of home.
- Keep him stress-free: If your dog gets anxious seeing you pack, drop the dog in the boarding facility before the suitcases come out! The less stressed the dog is, he will adjust faster.
- A word of caution: Let the staff know in case your dog has any abnormal fears (water, birds, etc), allergies (wheat, milk, etc) or has any medical condition (such as epilepsy, hip dysplasia, etc).
- Board during the day: Arrive as early as possible in the day, so the pet has enough outside time to make new friends before ‘lights out’.
- Make boarding a vacation: Dogs sense and reflect our feelings; don’t allow a family member to stage an emotional farewell. Keep your good-byes short and happy. Most dogs view their boarding stay as a vacation.
- Eating habits: While at boarding, eating habits of dogs may change – some eat a lot, while some may reduce their food intake. Some dogs do not eat for the first day in a new environment. Some dogs tend to gain weight while some tend to lose weight running around with other dogs, having a great time. So, do not panic.
- Share the diet chart: It would be best if the dog is kept on the same diet as at home. So let the boarding facility know his diet chart.
- Back home: Your dog will be very excited when you pick him up. Be calm with him.
- Let the sleeping dogs lie: Most dogs sleep a lot for the first couple of days after they return home. Let them take adequate rest.
(Hema owns and manages PETSPACE – a day care, boarding and grooming centre in Bengaluru).
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