Chintu, was a ‘Street turned Community Dog’, whom we knew since December 2004. He started living in a building staircase in the colony where I too stay ever since he was wrongly dropped off here post-Sterilization. He must be about a year old then.
A security guard in our colony, gave him that name, “Chintu”. Not one to bark unnecessarily or harm anyone, Chintu soon became popular with the residents of all 8 flats in that building. Someone gave him biscuits, someone milk, and some others gave him roti with milk. His days were spent sun-bathing, with his little tongue strutting out, eyes closed, be it winters or summers.
With the ever so loyal and vigilant ‘Chintu’ around, no robbery ever happened on that street or in the building he inhabited.
Chintu was a bit scared of us though, unlike other street dogs. His reasons were perhaps that we always had dogs from ‘our’ street walking beside us- who never left an opportunity to scare Chintu away!
Nonetheless, we tried to pet him when we could and also did our duty of getting Chintu both his vaccination shots every year ever since he became a resident community dog of our colony, as we do annually with other dogs living on the streets in our colony and neighbourhood areas.
Wonderful 10+ healthy years passed away for Chintu in that building of ‘his’.
As November 2015 approached, a resident of that building stopped us on our morning walk with our dog and said that ‘Chintu’ has been vomiting recently. Since Chintu gets scared seeing us and doesn’t eat from us either, we checked with our Vet and gave the 5 day oral medication to that gentleman- resident of that building to feed Chintu.
Chintu was better, so was the feedback we got. His vomiting had stopped.
As the winters set in, we placed a Jute bori for him on that building staircase and later a piece of blanket too.
Then one day in December 2015, a lady resident of that building ‘interrupted’ our morning walk with our dog, asking us to take Chintu away somewhere as his vomiting is ‘spreading infections’. When we told her that the best we can do is begin his treatment again and that taking him anywhere is not recommended as he is a sensitive dog, much attached to this staircase, which he considers his home, she started another story of how she cares for pigeons!
Anyways, we started his medications again.
That December night as we went to place another bori for him as the winter chill had increased, we noticed to our shock, a printed and pasted sheet on the wall, “instructing residents not to feed the dog as he vomits in the building and is making conditions unlivable and unhealthy”.
The next evening, 23rd December 2015, when I went and met the lady who had pasted this notice, who was a Doctor herself, we requested her to let the residents continue feeding him. How can antibiotics work with an empty stomach, was our reasoning to her.
No food- No vomit was her illogical reasoning.
She was a doctor, after all, we hoped she would understand, but she kept shaking her head in disdain and said, “No, only milk for Chintu, he has anything solid he vomits and I will send him off somewhere”. We tried to tell her not to do this as Chintu is a very sensitive dog, he won’t be able to live one more day if dislocated from ‘his’ building. We even left our number with her. She nodded and took it and we saved her number in our phone too. When I offered her anti-emetic and anti-acidity tablets to give to Chintu in his food, she said, “I have them, don’t need any”.
The next evening 24th December 2015, as we came to get Chintu injected with antibiotics, we noticed the boris and blankets were missing. The lady doctor said ‘Chintu’ keeps shifting his bedding on his own! Really?
Allow us to share that this ‘lady doctor’ goes to the temple religiously every morning with her basket of flowers and other offerings to please the Lord.
As I left for a Training on 25th December 2015 night, we requested the ground floor resident of that building to continue feeding Chintu whatever they could and that I will take him to the Vet once I return. God only knows what fate befell Chintu in those 3 days that I was away. On 28th December 2015, we were alerted to Chintu being dragged down the stairs for being taken away to a hospital, whose ambulance this lady doctor had called. As my brother came and got Chintu out of the ambulance to lift him to our home, the damage was already done. Chintu’s back had been damaged, he was writhing in pain. It was only then the lady doctor had the cheek to call me, never before, she had made up her mind long back to get Chintu off that building of ‘hers’!
I returned back on 29th December morning and rushed Chintu to the Vet while getting his Chest and Abdomen X-rays done along the way and blood samples were given to for his Blood, Kidney and Liver tests.
The Chest X-ray revealed infection in his lungs-not surprised- the winter chill got to him because the so called residents of that building took all his boris and blankets away. His back bone was injured off the trauma and force exerted on him while being dragged down the stairs by those dog catchers in the animal ambulance. He was a step away from being paralysed, so said the Vet. His abdomen was completely empty – pointing out that he was ‘starved’ by the residents of those very building who fed him all these years till he was healthy.
We began his course of treatment at our trusted Vet’s clinic and then got him back home, Chintu’s painful cries never stopped. His vital organs were now also failing him.
His body was paralysed later that night. Chintu had had enough!
He passed away with all of my family around him at 5am on 30th December 2015 morning.
He had crossed over the Rainbow bridge and moved on to a place far away from all illogical Indians.
As we took him to the Crematorium that morning, we stopped by at that building once where Chintu had lived all his life, only to see his boris and food bowls thrown away in the garbage. The residents of that building were perhaps in a tearing hurry to clean up after Chintu was ‘forcefully’ removed by them.
We cremated him with sunrise that morning. We were very sad but glad that Chintu was now in peace, for we knew long back, from these 11 years of observing him, as to how much he loved ‘his’ home i.e. that building, that staircase where he spent all his life.
Old age is not a disease. You, me, every one, every creature who is born on this planet turns old. You would turn old and so would I. Health problems can affect anyone of us too. It doesn’t mean you shun the sick patient off in his old days or days of ill-health. It is in those days that they need your care and affection the most, be it a human, an animal or a bird.
For all the Illogical Indians and residents of that building whom Chintu innocently thought were his well-wishers, but rather they were just his fair-weather friends – we now have just one thing to say, Chintu died not because of being sick, he died of the trauma and starvation YOU ALL inflicted on him in those last few days of his. No amount of going to temples to worship daily will wash away this sin of yours away. Chintu, like all dogs, had a big heart. He may forgive you all, but we sincerely hope someone up above has taken note of all of yours illogical deeds.
A little empathy is all ‘Chintu’ needed and deserved, and he did not get any in his worst hour of need.
Rest in peace, Chintu.