Written by Vidha Shukla*
Did I just spot a new dog? I thought, just as Aladdin and Lily were clamouring to be fed their breakfast one Sunday morning. Could this be my Kaalu? Though he looks slightly different. I was unsure so I simply ignored it for the time being hoping to catch a glimpse of this possibly new dog in the block again.
A few hours later, I see the black dog again and this time I manage to get a good hard look. As I try to approach this dog, seeing her darting eyes and friendly glances, I am certain she is lost. However, she is not as nervous as you would imagine a lost dog would be. The twinkle in her deep black eyes and spring in her paws tell me she wants to come close and greet me. She senses love and she is all ready to exploit it. But she is careful and is not trusting me fully just yet. My own dogs are creating a ruckus in the background at the sight of this new and oh-so-beautiful trespasser. She’s not just a delight to look at but she’s brimming with love. Love, that she’s used to giving and receiving. When I touch her, I feel her soft, cool coat. She is well-built for an indie her size. I know she’s been very well taken care of.
Having lost a dog in the past, I know how deeply painful it is to not know what your fur-baby may be going through, if she’s even alive? As I stroke her soft coat trying to feed her under the parked cars, I know or at least I hope, someone’s looking for her.
Monday morning, I see her again. I know she is not going anywhere now, despite all the objection being raised by my local stray dogs. She manages to slide under a parked car facing the direction of my house, hoping to come inside and chill a little, maybe plonk herself on the sofa or even the cold floor surface that she’s been craving for a while.
I am desperate to unite her with her human, but I just don’t know where to begin. I do my rounds of asking around the guards, drivers and press-walas but no one has a clue. No one has come looking for her and there she is, gradually getting comfortable in her new space facing the house where she receives occasional love and food. Other barking dogs don’t seem to bother her now – she doesn’t hide from anyone when she sees me come home from work. It kills me to not let her in (for her own safety) every time I see those dark eyes staring in the direction of my house from under a parked car.
Exhausting my options of looking for her human around the area, I turn online. I try and study each post that I come across about a missing dog, but I see no signs. I then search through an email network that I am a part of, run by a very kind lady who often sends information about missing dogs and dogs looking for homes. As I go through my archived emails about lost dogs from the past few weeks, I am left disappointed but a part of me encourages me to keep digging in further and further. Finally, a 3-month old email about a missing black pup (Suzi) matches her description. Though I am still sceptical because if she’s her, how in the world has this dog travelled almost 10 km and landed up here!
Nonetheless, I immediately spring to action. I contact her potential human parent and she confirms that the dog outside my home could be her Suzi. She meets me the same evening desperate to reunite with her missing baby. When I get home she’s already looking for her. This time, we can’t find her easily. We check under the cars, we call her name but she’s nowhere to be found.
Finally, she shows up, but she does not give the reaction we expected on seeing her human. She’s friendly, just how she was friendly when she met me, not like she was meeting her human after three long months. Now we are unsure if she’s Suzi – maybe she’s her lookalike. This wonderful lady decides to take her nonetheless, hoping to give her a home. I am left feeling bittersweet about this whole experience.
But wait, this story does have a ‘happier’ ending.
In a couple of weeks, the lady confirmed to me that it was indeed her Suzi. She was with her for barely a month as a pup when she went missing (post Diwali) and had been on the road for more than three months when I found her. She did take some time to open up but once she did, her human mom had no doubts left that she was her own Suzi.
Phew! what a bloody double-climax, won’t you agree?
*Mommy to Lily & Aladdin, her two fur-babies, Vidha is the founder of LANA Paws. She’s been rescuing doggies for as long as she can remember. In her previous life, she worked as a communications consultant for almost 10 years.