Last year, a street dog gave birth to six young ones, out of which only one female puppy survived. I gave medical care to the pup when she got hurt. Since then, she and her mother became friends with me. I named the little puppy Choti (which means ‘younger’) and her mother Mothi (which means ‘older’). Few months later, Mothi again gave birth to six young ones. It was amazing to see that both Mothi and Choti were taking care of the young ones. Soon, the litter became one and a half months old.
On the festive day of Ganesh Chaturthi, the mother dog visited our house during night. She seemed to be different…she took a roti from my hand and
went away. Next day, I noticed some movement in my backyard. On looking closer, I found there were four pups. Mothi had shifted four of her pups to our backyard, I wondered what happened to the other two. After three days, Mothi stopped coming to see her pups while Choti continued visiting them. I tried to look for Mothi in the village but could not find her. The pups were crying to be fed. I gave them a bowl of milk, which they happily lapped up. Two days later, Mothi returned. Though I was happy to see her alive, I was very disturbed to see her in a very bad shape. I tried to feed her but she did not eat or drink anything. She spent some quality time with her pups and then left, never to come back again. She died the same day.
It was a shocking moment and I suddenly remembered the other two pups, who might still there at the original place. When I went there to pick them up, I was shocked to see them gone. It left a feeling of void in my heart. Soon, the four pups became a part of our family and became friends with my parents and grandma. Choti kept visiting her little siblings everyday and it was amazing to see the older sister taking care of the younger ones. That time, I also remembered the instance when Choti used to give her share of food to Mothi so that she could feed the young ones.
The puppies grew and were three months old when a little girl came to our yard to collect flowers. She saw the pups and fell in love with the white pup. She wanted to adopt the pup and my dad relented. Next day, a little boy adopted the white and chocolate spotted puppy. We were left with two puppies – Lucy (female) and Debu (male). Few days later, Lucy and Debu were also adopted by loving families.
Now, I know why Mothi left the pups in our backyard, she somehow knew that she will soon leave for her heavenly abode and she trusted me to take care of her pups. Let us all be kind to our stray dogs as they too deserve to live happily.
-Shantanu Ravindra Kuveskar, Raigad, Maharashtra