On her regular morning walks, Pooja Gulati of Faraidabad was amused by the sight of 4 street dogs regularly sitting on the boundary wall of a house in Sector 21, Faridabad (Haryana, India). Their unwavering devotion to guarding the premises of this house and the street facing it pointed to the fact these street dogs indeed had human guardians taking care of them and that is how Pooja was introduced to Urvashi and her 4-legged family!
Urvashi Sharma, graduated from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi and moved to Fraidabad from Delhi 25 years ago. She is now a lecturer in English by profession and stays her parents.
Her bonding with the dogs on the street began when in her younger years, she along with her elder sister Neelakshi befriended a few of the street dogs…after her sister’s marriage, Urvashi carried the baton forward.
Today, there are 4 four street dogs who maintain a vigil outside Urvashi’s house. They have been loving named, Chotu, Chotti, Motu and Noni by her family and have been her friends for the past decade or so.
Urvashi is not only feeding the four of them on the street, she is also feeding and providing shelter to a female street dog named, Minni inside her house. On being asked about the possible cause behind Minni’s blindness, Urvashi shared that, ‘a few unruly boys in the street tried to pierce her eyes and that is what led her to lose their vision’.
Disability is no deterrent for Minni’s spirited personality; she now relies on her sniffing prowess and is a regular at going for her moring and evening walks. Urvashi’s retired parents guide her as she finds her way through the house.
Also sharing space with Minni at Urvashi’s home are her two pedigreed pets Chiklu, a Dachshund and Standlie, a Lhasa apso.
Initially (like many of us), she faced a lot of resistance from her neighbours towards feeding the dogs in her street. The neighbours knocked on her doors whenever the dog’s barked as well, not realizing that the dogs could well be barking on some unscrupulous elements that are walking past the street and scaring them away to keep the neighbourhood safe!
Urvashi faced a tough time convincing and explaining them all the advantages and benefits the street dogs serve the society. But today, thanks to the Dog-feeding rules and growing awareness, things have gradually begun to show improvement.
For her these animals are an integral part of her world and caring for them is a journey that will never end…
In Urvashi’s words, “animals are a creation of God. We have no right to harm them. As human beings, the least we can do is respect them and their existence on this planet and in return be assured of their endless love and companionship, which makes each day memorable and worth living for us all”.