This article is from us, we are the ones who are either living on the roads or in an Animal Shelter. We are those canine babies, who have been abandoned by one of you. You have taken advantage of us being ‘voiceless’. If we were able to speak, we could define or explain our pain. There are so many of us, but here is me. Hello my name is Nandini, this name was given to me by the staff at the Animal Shelter. I am going to tell my story, which is not a story but the bitter reality of my life.
My owner brought me to his house when I was just one month old. I used to feed on my mother’s milk, I should have been left with my mom till the time I was 45-50 days old, but this owner of mine was in a hurry to take me to his house, so he gave money to the breeder and bought me for Rs. 5000.
Now I was in his home, I used to cry because I missed my mom’s love, care and warmth but, they thought that I was hungry and offered me packed milk. I took that because I was hungry, but my body didn’t accept it and I became sick. The vet advised them to give me formulated powdered milk for small babies, they didn’t.
By now, I had forgotten the taste of my mother’s milk and had unconditionally accepted all of them as my family. My owner’s 7 years old son used to play with me a lot. As I was very young, I used to sleep most of the time, he used to come and wake me up to play, but I never got angry with him, because he was my friend and I was committed to live with them till my last breath.
His son and I, both were growing-up. I loved them as much as I can. When they used to go out for work or for roaming around, I waited for them at home. When they used to come back, I always pleased them, hugged them, and kissed them as if we are meeting after a long time. But slowly and slowly I realized as I turned 3 years old that the entire family had started losing interest in me. They rarely came to play with me and the duty of feeding me and taking me for my walks was also given to the servant. Most of the time the servant forgot to feed me or gave me the wrong diet, at the wrong time, but none at home cared. I still never complained and gave my loyal, pure love to all. But, I missed playing with them, walking with them, their touch of love, had I lost my charm in their eyes, I wondered!
Due to lack of proper care and good diets and walks, I became sick and developed skin eczema. I started losing my hair, but then, instead of taking the vet’s advice or taking me to a vet’s clinic, they started ignoring me all the more and then, they all decided to leave me in a shelter. I overheard them saying that, “she will get everything that she needs, i.e. food, medicine, shelter etc. over there, i.e. in the Animal Shelter. For these people, the definition of everything is different; I am a living being and a social one at that, along with food and medicines, I also need love, care, a family and a home where I could feel safe.
I wondered what my fault was. I never made them suffer or leave them alone when they were suffering, feeling bad or when they were feeling lonely…I used to sit with them, hear them out and did all I could to make them comfortable and make them smile all over again. But now, when I needed their love and some medical care, they dumped me!
The day I reached the Animal Shelter, I overheard the screams and cries of other dogs, many were weeping…I became scared, but with my family around me, I was confident that nothing bad will happen to me, may be they had got me here to get my skin infection treated and we will leave from there in a short while and go back home.
But that was not to be. I soon realized much to my distress that they were leaving me behind here. They handed my leash to one of the staffers at the Shelter, gave them some money and started walking away. I was confused, I was scared…I started barking, jumping and calling out to them, so that they would hear me, come back and take me with them. I was confused as to how can they forget me here…My family, my world was moving away from me, it was the end of everything for me. They started the car and went away…I was left behind ALONE, ABANDONED, CRYING…me the voiceless became even more voiceless. My tears couldn’t stop, my heart pained with sorrow. But there was no one who could understand my grief.
For that day, I was kept in a small cage, because the other dogs in the shelter were not ready to accept me and be friends with me so soon. The staff at the shelter offered me food but I didn’t take that. That night I spent with tear in my eyes and fear in my heart. The whole night I cried and was praying that somehow I will meet my owners again. The eczema problem was not in my hand, so why did they punish me for it, I continued to wonder. That night finished, the next morning I woke up and I was continuously staring at the door of the shelter that my owner will realize his fault, will miss me too and will come back to take me back to home. The day passed by waiting for my owner. Whenever I listened to a car horn, I raised my ears to listen to their voice but they didn’t come. That day I also didn’t take food, I was crying. Suddenly, I noticed the presence of other dogs around me; they told me that they all have stories similar to mine. Some were left behind because their owners had their jobs transferred to other cities, some were dumped because they had tumours or other health issues, some were thrown away here because they had behavioral problems (which could have been worked upon and corrected for good), some were left because the owner’s wife was now pregnant and some were even left here, because they didn’t grow up looking the way their owner expected them to…and a million more senseless reasons one could think of. We all shared our pain with each other and they made me realize that I am losing my health by staying hungry and waiting for such heartless people. I was so sad and depressed, but then, suddenly I heard something… a shelter member called me Nandini and also said to me, “Baby I do not know your real name but will love to call you Nandini”. I started adjusting myself over there, I got food twice a day but I hardly got a friend to play, after all, the staff at the shelter to look after other injured and accident hit dogs who make their way to the Hospital every day…though they all try their best, they cannot spare time to give individual attention and care to ‘abandoned and dumped’ dogs like me. The Vet at the Hospital checked on me, my medication for Eczema started and within a couple of weeks I got all my hair back but I did not get my owner back. I guess, they were not even bothered to check, whether I was dead or alive. On the weekend, some volunteers used to come from outside to feed us, spend some time with us but not to adopt us and take us home with them. I am not blaming anyone but I do want to ask you all, why do you keep us dogs as your pets, if you cannot commit yourself to look after us well for the short lives we have? Do you consider us as ‘objects’ that can be dumped in the bin, when you no longer need it? If you just wanted to pass time with a cuddly, furry creature, you could have best invested your money in buying yourself or your kid a stuff toy….next time, please buy toys and not us to pass your time with, you are no one to decide on our fate. We also want a family that is willing to make a lifelong commitment to look after us in our good and bad days.
I, Nandini………….. I survived in that shelter every day, with that pain of being abandoned, being ‘unwanted’ by those whom I loved. I was living with a hope that may be, someone amongst you will come forward to adopt me, love me, and give me a home and family of my own once again…but that never happened. Usually, we dogs can live for 12 to 14 years if we get love and care, but I died at the age of 4 years…I couldn’t live at the shelter beyond a few months, the pain was too much to bear…Yes, I am dead…I waited and waited, but did not get the love I yearned for.
I am no more but I wish after reading this article my other friends will be adopted from shelter.
Adopt us and never ever abandon.
Adopt, don’t buy, there are too many homeless animals like me around.
An Adoption Appeal for ‘Tiger’:
Now, if any one of you reading this has a heart to adopt this Golden coloured 5-6 year old healthy Male Labrador, who was recently dumped for no fault of his by his owner, please let us know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Authors*: This article was written by Nikhil & Jyoti; and first published in the 2nd Annual Issue of the Canis Welfare Pet Club’s souvenir Magazine