23 September 2011: We found Hasmukh sitting next to an electricity metre box in the service lane on the road a kilometre off our place. On our next round that evening, he was still sitting at that spot, panting. On checking with the chowkidaar (security guard) there, our worst fears came true. Hasmukh couldn’t stand up on his hind legs and thus couldn’t walk. Hasmukh was not a street dog of this area, and as we learnt he used to stay across the road and since the chowkidaar and ragpickers found him dragging himself on the middle of the main road, they kept him this side.
If you are wondering why we named him Hasmukh (which means ‘Smiling face’ in English), thats because that was the first name that popped up in our head as we saw him with his lower canine sticking out from one end of his lower jaw :)
We were not interested in packing Hasmukh off to an animal shelter, which is for us always the last preferred option. We lifted him in and brought him to a safe and secluded neighbourhood park, which was clean and not being used by either humans or other street dogs. We made him a nice cosy bed of grass there and fed him that night and decided that we will do our best to get him standing on his feet using the best possible medication underneath open the open sky than make Hasmukh feel depressed amidst hundreds of other sick animals lodged at a shelter.
24 September 2011: Morning time, we went to feed Hasmukh and found big ants stuck around his genitals, a fearful sight and painful because Hasmukh had no sensation of all of them sticking around there, we removed the insects and applied medicines over him to keep the insects away. Amidst all of this, the positive aspect was that Hasmukh was eating well and by the afternoon meal, we knew he loved milk, cheese and pedigree while he had trouble digesting rotis because of his deformed jawline.
We requested the vet to come over that evening and check on him as we didn’t want to put Hasmukh through the trouble of being driven in that condition…it was pitch dark when the vet came and when he did the pin prick test on his hind legs, Hasmukh could not feel any sensation at all!
A couple of painkillers and a multivitamin injection were administered to Hasmukh and we decided to get the course repeated every two days and observe and feed him in the meantime.
27 September 2011: After the previous injections, Hasmukh had become more active, he was sitting in attentive doggy poses the whole day and even growled a female dog that came too close to him away…we were happy by the progress he was making. On 27th night, we repeated the dose of injections.
28 September 2011: At a Street Dog Anti-Rabies camp, we discussed Hasmukh case with another trusted vet of ours and gained in optimism when we learnt that a paralysed dog can be brought to feet by giving him a course of homeopathic medicines for a month, which can also be aided by an allopathic medicine named Methycobal (to be given morning and evening). Excited and optimistic, we got the medicines that very night.
29 September 2011: The fickleness of life came to the fore. We went to feed Hasmukh that noon and saw a sight that scared the wits out of us. He had a big gaping wound with pus…on the pelvic region of the right hind leg just next to the tail and there were flies hovering around that portion, fearful that maggots would infest him, we got him to our home and took him to our trusted vet (Who had prescribed the homeopathic dose the previous day). It was in that visit to the vet, that all our optimism gathered through the previous day came to nought, the vet examined his back portion and told us that as per his analysis, he had a spine fracture and it was due to that spinal fracture, that Hasmukh’s hind legs had been rendered immobile, though we did believe that from day 1 till now, he had started feeling few sensations back…The vet gave his verdict, Hasmukh should be put to sleep if the spine fracture gets confirmed, his life would be full of misery otherwise.
Shocked! We asked our vet two questions…what was that big gaping wound that had come up on his hind leg? “Its a bedsole”, the vet answered…”it will not get healed”, he said and rather such bedsoles will gradually form on different portions of the legs in times to come as bedsoles happen when the body is immobile”.
Our next question, can a spinal fracture be healed? And our vet answered, “No, not even in humans…though there are surgeries these days for humans, but the chances of surviving the surgeries are remote and the risks too many as even one nerve getting hurt during the operation, can paralyse the whole body”.
Our hopes crashed that night and we got Hasmukh home back with us, and gave us a cushiony mattress, food and lots of love over the next two days. We wanted him to live the best days of his life.
…on 1 October 2011, the whole evening, Hasmukh for the first time, made us hear his voice, he was talking or crying in pain, we would never know…but he wanted us to sit next to him and only then would he be quiet else he would start those voices again.
2 October 2011: We had planned to get Hasmukh’s Spinal Cord X rays done and we did. Only to see the terrible condition in which his spine had been fractured. See below, the overlapping fractured bones and the 1 inch gap between the fractured overlapping portions.
Hasmukh stood no chance of recovery and his bedsole was only increasing in girth. To relieve him off his pain and suffering, with a stone on our hearts, we decided to let him go. All animals go to heaven is what we believe and so would Hasmukh, we knew.
A lingering question pained us no end…How did Hasmukh fracture his spine so badly? Clearly because a senseless driver in hurry had not bothered to look underneath his car where Hasmukh might have been resting on that fateful day, the car romped over him.
Rest in peace dear Hasmukh.
The ten days that you spent with us gave us a lesson for life. Your patience was admirable, your spirit indomitable and needless to say, your smile was lovely and thats why we named you ‘Hasmukh’.
And to all of you reading this, just remember to pass this word on, that the next time you turn your car’s ignition on to embark on a road journey, please spare a moment to peep underneath your car to check if an animal like Hasmukh is resting underneath your car, next to the tyre or flat on the ground under the shade of the car.
Try to shoo that resting animal away by blowing a horn or making some other strange noise to scare him away, atleast that will ensure that the beginning of your road journey is not the end of someone’s journey of life.
Please drive safely.
Such a heartbreaking story but also heartwarming for the loving care you bestowed on dear Hasmukh. As always, much gratitude to you, Vasudha
Honestly, I do not think any sensible person would disagree to what you did in the case of Hasmukh. You tried your best, devoted so much time and care to this lovely being, and obviously, it would have been the hardest decision one could make to end the suffering of Hasmukh, but that was a practical decision. Some people would say one cold have looked up for a few more days, checked with more vets, but i am sure you would have done your homework well, checking on internet and references etc The day-by-day description clearly tells the story of your efforts also, along with the tale of Hasmukh. May his soul rest in peace.
As you said one should peep underneath his car before starting to drive, it has become my daily practice. In our market there are 6-7 dogs, including two puppies who recently got vaccinated with the help of Vasudha, from Jaagruti and as i write this comment, both of those puppies are sleeping inside my studio. I come to the market every morning to feed them milk, and request someone to hold them back, or engage them with something so that they don’t follow me on to the road, where they have chances to get hit by some vehicle. They wait for me every morning and then at night when i bring them milk from the milk dairy outside our market., there are many people to support me here taking care of them, along with me, and engage them playing with each other so that they don’t follow me when i go.
Before i sit into my car, i take a distant look if some dog is resting underneath or not. If not, it’s ok, Still, when i turn on the ignition, i press down the accelerator on-purpose 2-3 times, to ensure that if some dog has sneaked under, would get out. and when i am completely sure, i take a last look underneath while sitting on my driver’s seat, and then speed up. As per my confession, this was not a usual practice until long time back, about 12-13 years back, one night, i started my car and sped up, which led to killing of 2 puppies sleeping under my car, i still feel very sorry about what i did. Since that day, i never speed up, without checking, or without being sure. That incident has made me not only feel sorry, but also made me feel if there is something i can do more about them. I am not actively doing anything to all the lovely being i see, but if i get notice of some, i try to take as much care as i can. I appeal to all our fellow readers, please do peep underneath your car, and save yourself from regretting later, like i do till date, How I wish,, had i taken a little precaution, those puppies would have not have died because of my stupidity, i would never forgive myself for that, Just pray that may those puppies rest in peace and hear me say, ” i am really sorry.”
It broke my heart to read the end. Albeit, the beginning was very encouraging but the end of the article was devastating.
I shall brief u about a 3 legged stray who was found in a similar state by a dog lover who also tended to him, fed him etc. His pelvic bone was fractured and the vets (many) advised to put him to sleep as this fracture never heals and it is torturous to keep him alive. His care taker was devastated but in the end relented to the inevitable with a heavy heart. As the D day neared there was a lot of emotions going thru the family and seeing their pitiable site, one of the seniors at BSPCA where he was being treated did not have the heart to see the family in that deplorable state and decided against euthanizing him. Today he is hale and hearty thanks to the loving care of the family and of course BSPCA’s efforts on the ailing animal. This is REX who is a live example of God’s will and a firm belief in MIRACLES. God bless them.
My sincere applaud to the team for taking excellent care of Hasmukh. May there be more people in this cruel world taking care of animals in despair.
Yes, homeopathy really works on dogs. One of my strays was paralyzed and was dragging both his hind legs. Again he was taken to BSPCA (where I am a member) and excellent treatment was meted out to him. While I was spending hours sitting outside his kennel feeling awful about his predicament, some one from the hospital advised homeopathy, which I tried as the last homing option and Voila!!! It worked in a few days he stood on all fours and very soon started walking and finally even started running and playing around once he was brought back to the colony to my utter joy. Homeopathy works wonders for the canines is my firm opinion based on at least 5 years of close association with them.
Thanks for sharing and spreading sensitivity !
we at Ju recently had a similar experience trying to save a six week old puppy who had a neck wound from being attacked by an older dog. Her spine was damaged by the bite. The students tried very hard to save her and she lived for 12 days, but in retrospect I think we should have put her to sleep on finding her, as there was no hope of her getting better. We put her in a basket and travelled all over Calcutta looking for a vet who would put her to sleep but apparently very few vets can actually do this. She died that evening.
It might be useful if we could have a list of vets who are authorised to put dogs to sleep.
we had been thru d same trauma! it was just about a yr and a half wen it was sleeping underneath our neighbors car….the scene n the clamoring there after is traumatic to describe. insensible neighbor did not even offered us the help…..rest of course all were enjoying the scene just as expected of the insensible n stone hearted immoral crowd who had thronged in to pass their time.
it was on medication for another week, x-rayed just to find it had been left with a spinal fracture, incurable except if the miraculous healing of time could heal it. we ran here and there making our best efforts in the hope that sm1 would tell us how to get our baccha back walking on its legs! all vets gave up n looking at its worsening conditions, we were advised to allow it to rest in peace. my heart sank n life came to a standstill when we took the decision to allow them to put it to sleep. even to date we hv not been able to overcome with this. my eyes are filled with tears for the love and affection we hold for our baby.
for me it is still here…its not a bygone era. memories of it our flashing, so crystal clear as if its a last day story. just to help u all to connect with it, let me get into the backdrop and all animal lovers will fall for it!!
It was a street dog just about 4 weeks old wen we found it craving for its mother. Handsome n savvy, it was way too expressive. we named it “frooti” apt name for sm1 who is just a perfect blend of sweet n sour, colorful n moody. Crazy for muffins n cakes, sweets n bikaneri bhujia. Had u not gone by my words, u would hv conceived it to be sm random human being.
we would leave it free, inside or outside the home, it would move around from our kitchen to our bedrooms without any hassles. we could feel the sense of security it had possessed. it would be tough for u to believe it would sit in the kitchen n demand stuffs pointing its paws on them or taking a standing position n touching the stuff expressing its desire to eat it! Adamant not to take bath or go the unnatural way of grooming, clever enough how evade a vet, it was full of life. At any point in time i could not say we loved it more than it did to us….na!!! The time we hv spent together n the memories of it that we our left with today are the timeless treasures, NO master card can buy us that!!
this november it would hv completed 3 yrs!
i wish frooti and hansmukh and many other dogs like them will be willing to comeback on this earth for the love and affection they hv exchanged with us!
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