Finding Felix


We often read about the heroic deeds our four-legged friends do for their two-legged companions. The human-canine bond is so strong that even humans sometimes go out of their way to help them in dire situations. Here’s a real-life story of a pup, who was rescued from Pune Waterworks Canal by the team of RESQ-a non-profi t animal welfare organization.
9:30 pm – Call received from Mrs Farida who reported that a dog was stuck in the Pune Waterworks Canal in Camp for the last 4 hours. He was howling, and no one came to the rescue, despite of several calls made to the Fire Brigade. It was then that Shruti and Tanya were on the way back from Camp and Neha intimated them about the dog.
9:35 pm – Tanya and Shruti rushed to the spot but could not see or even hear the dog. Thinking it was a false alarm, they decided to leave when suddenly they noticed some movement on the other side of the canal. And it was only then that they discovered a dog, who was stuck on a ledge on the side of the canal. Water was flowing with a strong current, making it impossible for the dog to move. The canal must have been about 10-15 feet wide, at least. And the sides, i.e. the two walls of the canal, were concrete and totally perpendicular to the canal. Luckily, the dog had found one small rock to balance himself on. But, both Tanya and Shruti realised that they need a lot of help, as this was going to be a Herculean task. They immediately called for back up and equipment.
9:45 pm – Neha contacted three volunteers (Varun, Parinit, Utkarsh) to go along with her. They collected torches, a small piece of rope, an old duppata, a leash, a few sticks and headed straight to the spot.
10:15 pm – Authorities at the waterworks refused to let them access the spot. They made a few calls to a local corporator (Adv Avinash Raj Salve) who spoke to the authorities and they were fi nally allowed to access the area where the dog was.
10:25 pm – It was dark, they couldn’t view the dog directly. There was a small side path filled with garbage that was their only landing. Tanya and Parinit moved to the other side of the canal to get a glimpse of the dog. They tied the duppata, rope and leash together, and fastened it around Varun’s waist. He started his climb down. It wasn’t an easy one – his foot slipped once and they all went numb. As soon as the rubble fell, the dog got scared and started moving to the other side. Varun had to be hoisted up again. When the dog moved, Tanya and Parinit realised he was a puppy, not more than five months old.
Varun got down to the ledge from the left, but again the puppy ran to the other side. The rope was too short for Varun to move around safely. So, they once again called the Fire Brigade, this time they just asked for a rope so that they could tie one more person and send him down.
11:35 pm – The Fire Brigade arrived with the ropes. Time was passing and they were just hoping that the puppy would not jump into water in panic. One kind-hearted fi re brigade man went down with the rope from one side. He shoved the puppy towards Varun who was ready with the sedation shot.
12:15 am – The puppy ran towards Varun, who gave him an intramuscular shot with one hand (as he was hanging from a rope). The puppy was so exhausted that he gave into the sedation within 30 seconds. Varun was on a vertical drop, into heavy current water, with both his hands off the rope handling the pup, relying totally on the fact that the rope would hold him and his freinds would not let go.
12:30 am – Varun put him in a huge bag which was tied to another rope and hoisted up. Neha quickly got the pup out and was relieved to fi nd him uninjured. Varun was fi nally pulled up as well.
The puppy was an adorable brown, well fed male dog, who had either lost his way or had been abandoned somewhere. Wherever he came from, however he got there… Varun’s guts and the RESQ team’s determination saved his life. He was safe, and we named him ‘Felix’ (From a Roman cognomen meaning lucky and successful in Latin). Kudos, to all those who have given Felix a second chance on life!