Today is Guru Nanak Jayanti. Today I burst into tears like I haven’t done in a while. I lost my faith in Divine Providence, a long time ago. But this isn’t why I cried. On my way back home, from a walk with the kids, I saw an old dog, lying prone near the gate of my building. I thought it was dead. But on a closer look, it wasn’t. it was just fast fast asleep, almost unconscious. On speaking to it, she got up with a start. She is very old. She was blind in one eye, and she staggered and got up. I told her I would be right back.
I took the kids up, because I cannot stay anywhere near another dog while Zach and Xena are with me and I came down promptly with food and water for this old girl. When I got back down with some kibble and water, she was sitting again but got up diligently. Almost as though she was waiting for some help to come his way. She looked like life had beaten her up and chewed her out. Humans must not have quite helped, because as she ate, I noticed that she had a wound on his left knee. It gaped. I could see bone.
I cried then. Standing there on the road. While she ate and drank a whole bottle of water. I had to move away because the other stray dog who stays near our building was inching closer and she was growling at her. So I sustained her and told her to leave the old girl be. She seemed to realise what I was saying and sat down. Pawing at me to pet her and I did.
As I walked back with an empty bottle of water in my hands I felt helpless… my partner’s words rolled in my head, ‘if we take her to Ahimsa, we don’t know what they will do to her. Maybe prolong her suffering? We can, if you want to.’ And at such moments my heart and mind revolted. I had taken a cat I had rescued to Ahimsa, a few years back. They said they would help. As I was on my way back they called and said that it had died. I had kept my third dog, with Parel hospital, for five days, his condition worsened, despite our constantly being there and by the fifth day he breathed his last. I took my fourth dog, suffering from DM and bladder stone problems, and they refused to treat her without us admitting her first. When we didn’t and asked them to help her as an out-patient, they inserted a metal catheter in her vagina and by morning I had to make one of the worst decisions of my life.
The long and short of this is: I don’t know who to turn to in matters like this. I cannot bring the girl home because my kids won’t be manageable and my girl is suffering from a spine problem and we are taking her to a neurologist tomorrow… when it rains, it pours. It is Guru Nanak Jayanti and I forsook Divine Providence a long time ago. And when there is no hope left in the divine, there really is nothing to do but count on your own self. So, I put out the word on social media.
But this fecund feeling of being helpless and not knowing where to go at 3AM is convulsive. There are these moments in life. As a child, I watched the stray puppy I rescued and helped grow into a lovely girl, Diana, being taken away by the BMC. I watched my grandmother hooked onto life support. I watched her lungs convulse. I watched Rolfe suffer at Parel and then lashed out at the doctors for being so fucking negligent and carted him away. And I watched Zoe suffer but I knew what I had to do – and I put her to sleep. I gave her the rest she needed. And I cried. These things weigh on you. they make you understand the horror of life and the complete chaos that surrounds it. Emotions tear you from within and the mind sets a noose on them.
I wish I could be clinical: Watch animals killed in labs. Orcas turn mad in swimming pools. Elephants shot through their heads. Wars fought. People killing each other for land, ideas on right and wrong, what god is or what he is not. I wish I could shrug it off and say, it matters not. This is life, this is the cycle of it. But I cannot. I am a part of this world. I am alive now. I fed this poor, old, miserable, wounded animal. I quenched its thirst. But is it enough? I am caught – between my need to do something more and my helplessness in trying to do so.
An update: 15th November, 2019
Aban, another animal lover on a whatsapp group, mentioned that she got news of the injured, old girl, last night. Some girl called Loretta had discovered her at D N Nagar Police Station. Aban called me at 10 and Anand and I left immediately with the bag we had kept packed. I have been hunting for her in our area but the girl had reached D N Nagar.
I picked up Aban and we went to see her. Loretta had fed and watered her but she had been starving and was very thirsty. Seeing all of us she panicked and walked away and I had taken a leash and aban had too. So, we got her leashed but she became terrified and aggressive. We had to tie her mouth down. She just didn’t understand what was happening and it was so damn dark there… these BMC people keep shutting down all the street lights!
I took her over to a gate which had some light and Aban cut her nails and I put some spray on her wound and the gotbac powder. I had taken wet food and put some antibiotics in it but she didn’t touch it after we released her. She would not even have water. She does get attacked by dogs of the area and she is so scared. We followed her via the ymca road and back towards Westside full circle. She kept walk away the moment we approached…
Aban said that we should take her to Ahimsa. I don’t think it’s a very good idea. But I have told Aban that if she needs us again to just call. Seeing her again has upset me but not so much now, because I realise there are people out there who do care. I have given up on the human race and when strangers are kind, I am shocked and awed.
And since we cant not talk of her without a name… thinking of calling her Bell – it means Brave in Sindarin.