Let’s beat Corona with Karuna i.e. by showing Compassion to our Neighbourhood Animals & the Poor, says PM Modi in a Televised address to the Nation

Prime Minister Modi urged fellow Indians to show the spirit of “Compassion” to ovetcome the threat of Coronavirus in the country. He said this while he was interacting with the people of his Lok Sabha constituency — Varanasi — via video conference on Wednesday, 25th March 2020.“Whoever has the capability, take the pledge to take care of 9 families for 21 days. It will be a true ‘Navratri’. Due to the lockdown, animals are also facing trouble. I appeal to the people to take care of the animals around them,” said Prime Minister Modi. (Read the full article here).

By saying what he has today, PM Modi has only reiterated the importance of being a Compassionate Citizen of the Country, which is a Fundamental duty of every Indian Citizen as per the Indian Constitution, as well.

Please watch full video of his address below. He says the above between 25 minutes to 26.30 minutes in his address🙏

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How Street Dogs, named ‘Dodo’ and ‘Chiku’ saved 3 bikes from being stolen?

How Street Dogs, named ‘Dodo’ and ‘Chiku’ saved 3 bikes from being stolen?

Dodo and Chiku are two brave young Indian female dogs adopted as community dogs by Shivani, Priya and their young group of friends in Masjid Moth area of New Delhi! For it was their barking that alerted Shivani and Priya’s family on the midnight of 30th November-1st December 2015 to the presence of a “Bike Thief” on the prowl in their colony. They started barking as the thief tried to use a Master key to steel Priya’s Scooty. As his efforts failed, he tried his hand on another bike parked nearby. Alerted by Dodo and Chiku’s barking, Shivani’s brother confronted the thief and the Police was called over, only to learn that he had just stolen two more bikes that were parked outside the colony gate as he chased his 3rd ‘target vehicle’. Strange as it is, the Police reprimanded this ‘regular’ bike thief and let him go is what we learn. The residents were happy that they got their vehicles back, but no one patted the backs of these two girls, Dodo and Chiku, the unsung heroes whose alert barking alerted their caretakers into taking action against the ‘thief’.

This is how street dogs guard the streets they inhabit. They don’t  bark without a reason. Be compassionate towards them, they are on our streets for a reason.

Dodo, Chiku and their Mom, Gauri have all been sterilized and it was our turn at JAAGRUTI to vaccinate them all on 1 December 2015. Along with the three girls, Jetto, the black male dog was also vaccinated. We adore caretakers like Shivani, Priya and their gang of friends who were so respectful of us and grateful of the learnings they have had by reading through the JAAGRUTI blog and they were appreciative of our On-Site First Aid and Vaccination Service for Street Animals/Dogs as well.

 

Vaccinations at Masjid Moth on 01122015

The heroic acts of Indian Street Dogs to save their human friends in need are a daily occurrence, some get reported, most don’t!

Earlier this year in August 2015, it was ‘Pingu’, a mute Street Dog residing in Vasant Kunj area of Delhi had prevented burglary and risked his own life in the process.

Pingu brave mute street dog in Vasant Kunj_TOI_14_08_2015_014_040_011

Pingu Story in Dainik Jagran

You can read more about Pingu’s heroics on these links:

  • “Stray Dog Risks Life To Thwart Burglary”, reports Huffington Post
  • ” A Mute Stray Dog Risks his Own Life to Help the Residents of a Delhi Locality”, reports The Better India
  • “Stray dog Pingu fights off intruder in Delhi colony”, reports The Times of India

Those who wish to avail of JAAGRUTI’s On-site First Aid, Treatment and Vaccination Service for Street Dogs / Animals are requested to read the link https://jaagruti.org/first-aid-and-vaccination-service-for-street-dogs-animals/ and write to us on firstaid@jaagruti.org. Support of local caretakers is essential to restrain and treat the animal during the entire course of On-site Treatment.

Contributions towards our medicine and transport costs are essential to support to keep up our efforts to sweat it out and treat animals on the street day in day out. Do consider supporting us by clicking on www.jaagruti.org/contribute-to-jaagruti. If you would like to contribute medicines in kind, please connect with us on contact@jaagruti.org and we will get back to you with our requirements.

Thought for the day

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as their is somebody to love you”, said Roald Dahl.

Each rescued dog we revisit after rehabilitating them back to their home territories post treatment showers us with bountiful of love, we visited two of them the night before yesterday as we passed by their ‘areas’ (streets where they stay).

For most of us who do anything off the conventional track, like choosing not to burst crackers or spending our Diwali trying to get an injured dog treated, in all likelihood we may be mocked upon and today we just want to tell you, “do not care abut what the world says, its their job to say and we can choose ours, by not listening to their chatter and instead focussing on doing things we love”. For the unconditional love, we get in return from these supposedly ‘speechless beings’ is priceless, that lick on our hands, the tail wagging up and down or sideways, the elated jump…it is all these memorable little moments that make life so worth living.

We believe it when we read that you only get happiness when you give happiness to someone.

We get a lot of calls on the Jaagruti helpline by animal lovers sounding weak, lonely and dis-spirited in their battles fighting their RWAs, neighbours and the world who tries to abuse them, ridicule them, physically assault them, humiliate them, term it whatever..in short anything that breaks their spirits!

We request them all to dig deep through their reserves of courage and hope and amass all strength they can to stand up for, rescue or treat/get treated all those beings whom they love, respect and/or care for.  There is no other way!

Because when that dog or any other animal rescued and treated with your efforts, expresses himself to let you know you are the best, you really don’t need to go around seeking a second opinion. Please remember that this world is a better and compassionate place all because of people like you.

On this day after Diwali, we wish all power to your elbow and all strength to the heart of all such people who carry on doing all that they love.

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

Beena Mohapatra, a domestic maid from Kolkata  feeds 35 dogs in her locality. We are glad to come across a story with striking similarity. This picture was making rounds across a lot of groups and Facebook’s Animals – Facts and Anecdotes thought of putting up this story, which we are sharing here…

Our planet can still be considered as an average place to live. All credit goes to the Almighty who handpicked a few messengers to service mankind and other neglected species. One such messengers exist in the city of, Calcutta.

No matter how strange it may sound but some of the richest people on earth who are gifted with almost everything do not have the heart to feed a starving animal outside their house. If you think the act of this street urchin is a real act of humanity, share this story with the world.

She is a street urchin, but gifted with a heart of gold. She hasn’t got any clue what tomorrow has in store for her, yet she is brave enough to make the most out of today. She is a happy-go-lucky soul and this little puppy is like a son to her. Both of them are just inseparable and this picture literally translates the very thoughtful quote of the Marilyn Monroe who once said, “Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

Beena Mohapatra, aged 55 years is a domestic maid by profession. Out of her meagre income she feeds 35 dogs with 2 full meals in a day. Her dedication towards the strays is evident from the fact that she carries 4 buckets of fish, starch & leftovers from nearby market areas and then takes the effort of cooking them for the stray animals. This is not just a display of tremendous hard work, but also a green concept where nothing in the environment is allowed to go waste. A bunch of animal lovers in the area support her cause by occasionally providing her with rice, medicines and other necessities. But her struggle continues every single day with residents who don’t like her feeding the stray dogs and create some problem or the other. It’s the grit and determination of this poor lady which has kept her going all this while. Affectionately called as ‘Beena Mashi’ by her supporters, she holds a fair amount of knowledge about veterinary medicines that she would need to handle a canine emergency. Given the choice of living with any one of her 2 sons – a farmer and driver respectively, Beena Mashi has chosen to live in her ramshackle house just to serve the mute animals of her lane.
What would you call such a person – angel, god sent messenger or an evangelist? Any adjectives used to define her persona will be an understatement. Salutations to this greater being. Long live Beena Mohapatra, may God always be there by your side. Share this story to tell the world that our planet is still a better place

Educating emotions

The below article written  by Eunice deSouza in Pune Mirror is worth reading and sharing with as many ‘humans’ as you know.

For this post says so much of what we at ‘Jaagruti’ always wanted to put in words. As she rightly pens, ‘People need lessons in empathy, the imagination to put themselves in place of others or animals’…to spare a moment and feel the way the animals would with all that we humans mete out to them.

People need to realise the
benefit from contact with animals
and the natural world

I happened to be standing at a local bus stop one day when children were returning from school. I suddenly noticed a small group of young boys had collected and were staring at something on the wall behind me.

They were picking up stones. I look around, and there was a chameleon on the wall which the children were determined to kill. I shooed them away, but they kept coming back. Would “blood-lust” be too strong a term to describe the way they behaved?

Children as young as two pick up stones to throw at inoffensive dogs having a nap, while their bovine mothers stand there saying nothing. Of course, if the dog were to give the child a nip in return, all hell would be let loose.

Then there was the dog whose eyes were bleeding. We were to take him to hospital, but he was in a panic and rushed here and there. The young men who were trying to catch him finally succeeded. But in the meantime, a crowd had gathered, laughing and cheering.

You wouldn’t think all this could happen in a country where we are so ready to say our feelings have been hurt! Is this because, in our educational system and elsewhere, we don’t think seriously in terms of educating emotions?

In his autobiography, John Stuart Mill talks about the rigorous system his father put him through. If I’m not mistaken, he says that from the age of three or so, he was made to study Greek, Latin, History, and a great deal more.

At some point in his life, he felt so dead that he was near a nervous breakdown. It was then that he found relief and salvation in reading Wordsworth, whose work put him in touch with feelings that were both experienced and explored.

He is a poet who was as relevant then as he is now: “The world is too much with us; late and soon,/Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours;/We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”

Valuing Science, Engineering, Medicine, Technology is fine. But we are more than scientists, engineers, doctors or computer specialists. Empathy, the imagination to put ourselves in the place of others, doesn’t always come naturally. (It does to my dog.

When I came home with a bandaged eye, he looked at it for a while and then licked my hand.) Nor can we expect to feel empathy all the time for everyone and everything. I, for one, would have happily machine-gunned that lot laughing and cheering while looking at the blind dog.

Sometimes, when I reach a point when I feel I can’t stand any more of this, something reassuring happens. One of half-a-dozen or so of small businessmen who look after animals, and are around the corner from me, asked me to look at a dog the other day.

The dog had a head wound infested with maggots. He was not a local dog. Wounded dogs often run from place to place because they are so distressed. Often people shoo them away. I knew there was really no hope for the dog. When I said this, the shop owner said, “Let’s give him a chance.” So we called the ambulance.

Obviously, people like him don’t need lessons in empathy. They know that we benefit from contact with animals and the natural world as much as animals/ birds benefit from our caring. But perhaps, till the great revolution in empathy arrives, we can make a small start: persuade ourselves to put out a bowl of water for thirsty animals and birds in this awful weather.

A dying boy’s special bond with a rescue dog

The most important thing in this world is to learn to give out love, and let it come in.

– Morrie Schwartz –

 

Every moment is extra precious for 4-yr-old Lucas Hembree. Suffering from Sanfilippo syndrome, he isn’t expected to live past 15. As the disease started to take a toll on Lucas’ joints, his father Chester looked into getting a service dog to keep Lucas steady when he walked. A combination of prayer and persistence led Chester to Juno. “I had the feeling in my gut that I had to go see this dog,” said Chester. But Juno herself was in bad shape: “She was emaciated, and was days away from being euthanized,” said Chester. Right away, there was something instinctive about the relationship between Lucas and Juno. One day, Chester noticed Juno circling Lucas while he was in his wheelchair. “She was whining and nudging him with her nose,” Chester says. “I checked his oxygen levels and they were very low.” After giving him oxygen, Lucas returned to normal and Juno greeted him with licks and affection. The full, heart-melting story: { read more }

**Please note that this post is kind courtesy of the Daily Good Newsletter dated 8 February 2012

~Dog’s best friend!~

*This story is authored by Ramendra Singh and is kind courtesy of The Times of India

Kind courtesy and Copyright held by http://www.hollymonroe.com

BHOPAL: He does not mind skipping his lunch In fact, he did so on many times in the past. But there is one practice he has followed doggedly –feeding stray dogs-for the past 20 years.

The man, Laxmi Narayan Sharma, a clerk with ‘Barkatullah University’ (located in city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India) been feeding rotis to street dogs on the varsity campus from the day he joined the service, without fail. To some it may appear as fixation but the man, now popularly known as ‘Kutte Waale Baba‘ (which would lovingly mean something like ‘Uncle with dogs’), is beyond all such worldly cares. He carries a bagful of rotis for dogs everyday.

Sharma, a resident of Vidisha, a town 70 km away from Bhopal, comes to his work place with a bag full of rotis. And wait a minute, before setting out on his journey, he starts his day by collecting rotis from hotels and dhabas in Vidisha. “I provide flour to hotels and dhabas in the night and they hand over tandoori rotis in the morning,” Sharma said, adding this gives me immense satisfaction. He said, “I had to once borrow money from my friends to buy food for dogs. I can skip my meal, but cannot leave my friends hungry.” “When he reaches university in the morning, one can see him surrounded by dogs,” Anil Tanwar, an employee of Barkatullah University, said, adding “his devotion for canines must be appreciated.” Sharma spends around Rs 10,000 every month on feeding dogs. “They are my friends and I don’t think it’s a big amount”, he said.

On his off-days, he ensures that ‘his friends’ get proper food in his absence. For this he seeks services of his university colleagues living in nearby colonies.

A 15-yr-old Dog’s Gift

‘The next time you are a little down, do an act of service — it might just be the gift you need.’

This was the message that came to us through a mail that shared the story of Roadie, a 15 year old dog and his gift to a grieving man. This story was penned by Laura Simpson, a tireless advocate for animals.

Courtesy: The Daily Good Newsletter dated 19 November 2011

Laura writes….”I have the pleasure of meeting hundreds of incredible heroes, but this one caught me off guard. Your hair will stand on end as you read the story of this man and this dog who picked one another up time and time again: ‘I saw in the front yard what appeared to be a very old dog that was in obvious distress. He would walk in a semi-circle, then fall to the ground, then struggle back to his feet and do it again. I saw him do this same thing at least three times as I walked over to him. This was to be by far my easiest rescue because this poor old boy was in no shape to run from me, but also the most heartbreaking”.

To read the complete story, please click here

Peep underneath your car…there could be a life sleeping underneath

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.

Hasmukh: Day 1 in the park we kept him in

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.

Hasmukh began sitting attentively whole day long

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”.

Hasmukh's bedsole

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.

Hasmukh comes home

…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's Spinal Cord X-ray: The Final Verdict!

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.

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.

Shoo the dog away if he is sleeping underneath your car, lest you drive over him and crush its bones (Courtesy: http://www.bkkpetfoto.com)

Please drive safely.

Adopting a Pet is therapeutic

Courtesy: The Times of India (dated 2 October 2011)

Credit and Author: Gajanan Khergamker (The Times of  India, dated Oct 2, 2011)

Forty eight-year-old Smriti Parmar had been suffering from chronic depression and her blood pressure had shot up alarmingly since her husband’s death last June. Medication didn’t seem to be helping and her family was at its wits end trying to figure a way out of this problem. That’s when somebody suggested pet therapy. And, it worked! “Since we got Pia, our one-and-half-year-old Alsatian home last month, my mother’s health has improved considerably.

Her blood pressure is under control and she seems a lot happier too,” says Ms Parmar’s son Chirag, an SYBA student. In fact, Ms Parmar spends most of her time with Pia, talking to her, disciplining her, singing to her or doing just about anything . And, now she also wants to get another pet Alsatian to “give Pia company’ ,” says Chirag. Research has proved time and again that petowners tend to be healthier and happier than those who do not have pets at home. They not just have higher survival rates following coronary heart disease ; they are also believed to be less prone to death due to heart attack. “Pets are great stressbusters , they’re good companions , who listen to all your woes without any complaints!” offers senior veterinarian Dr Siloo Bhagwager .

// // Besides the therapeutic value of keeping a pet, they are known to do wonders to a child’s development. “Children who own pets develop a nurturing behaviour, positive self-esteem and an enhanced all-round development,” says Dr Bhagwager. And then, pets are known to be much more perceptive than human beings. Your spouse may not notice that you are in a foul mood, but your pet definitely will! “Just as I enter my home, I know Tarzan – my two-year-old Doberman – knows how my day has been!” says realty consultant Tarun Mehra. “And, he’ll do all that he can, roll on the floor; dance even play dead to fetch a smile on my face, if
I’ve had a crappy day at work,” adds Mr Mehra, who “can’t really say the same” about his wife Nandini though.

“Interestingly, dogs pick up even on the subtlest of body signals, especially of their owners. They can easily gauge your disposition from the smell of your body,” explains Canine Behaviour Counsellor Shireen Merchant. “Besides, they understand your non-verbal signals – facial expressions, body language, et al – too well so you don’t need to tell them everything,” adds the counsellor. Unlike
children, pets are not wilful; they don’t have mood swings and never talk back. “Whether I’m irritable or not, I know Canny, my two-and-halfyear-old cat, adores me unconditionally. She makes me feel that I’m great just the way I am!” says marketing executive Deepika Pradhan. Now, that’s something most human beings just can’t do, can they?

PET FACTS

Pet-owners visit the doctor less often than those who do not own pets. Pet-owners are said to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-pet-owners .

Pets reduce stress, anxiety and loneliness especially among single owners . Walking with a dog or sharing space with a dog, fills the pet-owner with a sense of security. Children who own pets are known to have positive self-esteem and better cognitive development. They tend to have an enhanced all-round development . Companionship of pets helps one deal better with some serious illness or death in the family.

You didn’t even say goodbye :'(

Courtesy: This poem made its way into our inbox someway through this link of Meigs Co Dog Shelter, whom we hereby credit for penning this down.

Please share this poem with anyone who has abandoned or is thinking of abandoning their pet. It may make them think atleast once over the most painful act they will ever commit in their life…

 “Woof”!

 I said as you started the car,
“Hooray!” I said, it’s my first time afar.
The scents we were passing were all new to me,
For it was my first introduction to this mystery.
As we got out of the car I embraced you with joy,
After all you remembered to bring my favourite toy!
You threw it once or twice, of which I retrieved,
But on the third it seemed you were ready to leave.
You threw it long and hard and I chased it like lightning,
But when I turned to bring it back I saw a sight quite frightening.
I gripped my toy hard as I tried to comprehend
What it was I did wrong to make our relationship end.
You walked back to your car as I sat there still loyal.
Why am I subservient and you so royal?
Your engine started, and you peeled out into the night,
You didn’t even care about my overwhelming fright.
As I sat in my pose determined you would come back,
The sun faded behind me while the surroundings turned black.
Day after day I stayed in that park,
Lying… waiting… too feeble to bark.
As I lay there dying thinking of you master,
I asked myself how I got into this horrifying disaster.
With my last breath of life, I whispered your name
Then I collapsed in a heap overrun by pain.
Why didn’t you love me master? Why didn’t you care?
Had I no significance, was I just a clump of hair?
I stayed there master and I waited for you
I guess taking care of me was just too much to do.
I’m gone now master, no more You-and-I
But what I can’t figure out is why you didn’t even say goodbye…

Dolly and Chotu: Neighbour’s envy and owner’s pride!

Author: This story has been contributed by Rishi Dev (Citizens for Animal Rights)

Four cooperative group housing societies in sector 10, Dwarka are facing a new kind of menace from two street dogs, Dolly and Chotu. Both of these dogs have lived outside these four apartments for almost 8 years now, making them the only two dogs in a human population of 2000. Initially there were only a handful of people feeding these dogs and taking regular care of them. But then something happened which changed many a perceptions.

Dwarka still being gripped and plagued with daylight petty crimes like chain snatching, eve teasing, carjacking and so on, is one of the easiest places for any thief to run and hide. Two years back, on one of such evenings when two ladies were taking a walk outside one of these society gates, two thieves on a bike came from nowhere and snatched the chain from one of these ladies and drove away. Within a split second both these dogs, who were sitting outside the gate of the society ran after this bike. Dolly being faster than Chotu approached the bike from the front, almost running in front of the bike slowing and confusing the driver, albeit risking her own life, while Chotu being the tough one ran behind the bike, intimidating the pillion rider, who was transferring the fear on to the rider like a domino effect.

After almost 800 meters of chase, the bikers lost control and fell down. They left the chain, the bike and ran away before people could catch them. Surprisingly both these dogs didn’t bite them or chase them further. They stood there for almost a minute till the residents reached the spot and claimed the bike and the chain. It was later discovered that the bike was also a stolen one.
Since that day onwards everyone in the colony started loving these dogs. They now fight over who feeds, or over feeds these two dogs, because everyone wants to claim their ownership on them. The residents recollect that in the last 8 years there has not been a single case of theft, robbery, crime around these blocks, not excluding zero dog bites. Beyond these four apartments there have been many such cases of crime, but every time there were attempts to infringe into these four apartments in the night, these dogs have barked the hell out of the night guards who are often found sound asleep. The supervisor of the guard agency called “Rakshak”, has instructed all his guards to keep these dogs around while they choose to sleep inevitably. He swears by their dedication all the time. The rickshaw pullers and the other informal shops in and around this area pamper Dolly and Chotu and often treat them equal to their children. They are always ready to face any impending danger which may befall upon these two creatures. For the thieves these two dogs may be proving to be a real menace, but these canines care the least as they are busy playing other roles which are almost invisible to the residents.


Dolly and Chotu are often seen chasing rats, snakes, monitor lizards and so on. Dwarka region registers one snake bite a day in Delhi. Dogs are predators for burrowed animals and such dangerous reptiles and are known to have been a keystone species by many ecologists in maintaining the epizootic balance of the region. Dolly does not produce litter as she and Chotu have been sterilized and inoculated for rabies by the MCD. This makes them less aggressive towards general humans unless anyone is a threat to the residents, these dogs now consider as their own pack leaders. So it has been a common practice for years now, to feed Dolly and Chotu in turns, so they recognize their own residents and protect each one of them from any potential threat including other dogs which are often driven away by Chotu even before they enter this colony.

Chotu is also a favorite of the children who pat, sit, and cuddle this big, dark brown, scary looking dog in the way they like. And while he enjoys his daily tummy rubbing treats, he pays them back with love and protection by accompanying many to their bus stops and metro stations in the morning. Many are seen talking to these dogs in their own language which is easily understood by these canines as if they were Homo sapiens themselves. Many strangers often find Chotu and Dolly barking endlessly at night or running after vehicles and complain of the same to the residents. But the residents shrug it away by telling each one, this chronicle of Dolly and Chotu without missing any detail and on every single opportunity made available to them. They now associate the running of dogs with that incident, clearly.


While the barking and chasing at night by Dolly & Chotu continues and may be a nuisance for strangers and thieves, but the residents enjoy such chases with a sense of belonging and ownership. And so it seems why the courts across the world have thus not been able to define the true meaning of the word “nuisance” for genuine reasons. Someone has rightly said, “neighbour’s envy may be owner’s pride”, so while we may endlessly continue to find correct answers to complex questions like, “How to end the dog menace?” or “What is really a dog menace?”, these canines nonchalantly would do what they have to do, in their own stride and thriving to be man’s best friend.

The joy of looking after ‘Poopy’ the pigeon

By Divya Kapur

About the author: Divya has trained as a wildlife rescuer in Sydney with Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services. She specialises in birds and that is where she derives the confidence to continue her work in this area after having moved back to Gurgaon. She would love to share her expertise and knowledge with like minded people. Those interested in learning tips about bird care, may please contact her on divya_kapur@hotmail.com

——–

As I sat outside in my garden, thinking of my pet bird that is in Sydney, awaiting paperwork before it flies to India, a pigeon flies out of a tree and falls on the ground, as if it ran out of ‘steam’.

'Poopy' - the Pigeon (Photo Credit: Divya Kapur)

I waste no time in jumping out of my chair to take a closer look. The pigeon sits still, showing no signs of wanting to fly away. As it sees me coming closer, it starts to walk away, looking for a dark corner for comfort and safety. I immediately knew that this poor fellow is not well. By this time, I also figured that it is a female.

I wait for it to get into a corner of my patio, just behind a pedestal fan. That is when I reach out with my right hand, grab her gently from behind and turn her upside down. I hold the pigeon’s head in the cup of my left hand to keep its eyes covered. Birds are very visual. It can go into a state of panic and even shock to see itself in the hands of a human being. By covering its eyes with one hand or even with a muslin cloth, I am able to calm the bird. This way I am better able to examine it for injuries.

As I had suspected, the pigeon has hurt itself on his right foot. Not bad but it had scratched itself enough to bleed. Fortunately for me, my very helpful daughter, equally passionate about birds and animals, is home because of summer holidays. She is quick on her heels to get some cotton wool, clean water in a plastic bowl (small container in which you get soan papdi…we also believe in and encourage recycle, reuse and reduce policy) and Dettol. We gently cleaned the wound with clean water, making sure all along that the bird is calm and not stressed. I still have its eyes covered for that.  Then I cleaned it with cotton wool dipped in diluted Dettol water mix.

I then put the pigeon back in the corner where it felt safe and secure, while my daughter and I got busy in preparing a large box to house the pigeon. After all, it wouldn’t be a sound idea to leave her out in the open, unable to fly and unsupervised.

I got a cardboard box. Thank God I have plenty as I have recently moved from Sydney. Any plastic basket with holes will also do. Make sure it is large and not claustrophobic. Go by your own instinct. I lined the bottom with plastic bag, topped with a couple of newspaper sheets. Now comes the interesting bit. My daughter then spread soft leaves and grass on one half of the box, bearing in mind what the pigeon is used to in the wild. The idea is to provide the bird with what it is familiar with, to make it feel ‘at home’.

'Poopy' feels at home (Photo credit: Divya Kapur)

In one corner we put another reusable plastic container for water. Remember to put some clean stones at the bottom of the bowl so it does not tip over. Then we spread some bajra all around for the pigeon to feed on. We then carefully picked the bird up again, as before and put him in his new home to recover.

The wounds healed in about two weeks. By now, the pigeon was active and alert. She would spring up to see us walk by. Every morning and evening, I would put the box outside in the garden for the pigeon to get fresh air and see other birds. During the day, the box was placed in a covered shady spot. The water was cleaned every two days and the paper was changed every 3-4 days, depending on how much mess our little feathery patient made.

It’s been a month now and I lovingly call her ‘Poopy’. Unfortunately, the poor bird has a problem with its right wing. But the good news is that she is out of her box. She has found comfort on top of our linen cupboard and that is where she lives along with its water and food bowl. I am not surprised at her natural instinct to be above us and in a cosy corner. That is how they live when outside.

I am still looking for an avian specialist to diagnose the problem correctly and suggest the next course of action for us. Meanwhile, I am not stressed about whether it will survive or not. That is beyond my control. All my family and I can do is keep it safe because a bird that can’t fly is a bird that will either become another bird’s dinner or run over by a car.

For now, all you bird lovers out there, I am sure you now know that it’s not difficult to look after a pigeon and definitely does not cost anything at all. You can do it yourself in the comfort of your own home. . There are lots of birds that get injured, are sick or abandoned and orphaned. It’s not difficult to look after them. All it needs is some basic knowledge, lots of enthusiasm and love.

Adopt a dog, stay medically fit

By Ipshita Mitra (Courtesy: The Times of India, dated 14 July 2011) 

They are cuddly, cutesy and furry but that’s not about it. More than just friends, dogs can be your medical guardians too.

Dog ownership can assure you a healthy living sans the dreadful pills. And yes, more than often they take on the role of teachers too. Pets double up as friends and add novelty to your life. Here’s how:

Pets chase loneliness away
Pet companionship has therapeutic value. When everything seems to fail, there is chaos and distress everywhere, a tight hug or an emotional release with your pet heals you in no time. When a bad fight with a friend, an unexpected tiff with your lover or a verbal brawl with parents unsettles you, a pet comes to your rescue. Shubhankar Paul, a media professional, says “In times of gloom and disturbance, a gentle caress of my dog washes off all my worries. It strengthens me to face situations with confidence.”

When you bid goodbye to your pet in the morning before leaving for work, you are well aware that somebody would be waiting to greet you at the door once you return after a hard day’s work. The unconditional love that a dog gives you transcends all definitions of love that in human relations is governed by ‘terms and conditions apply’.

Heart condition? Bring home a pet
Allopathy may disappoint you but pet therapy works wonders and is medically approved.

Dr. Stephen Sinatra, cardiologist and nutritionist in his book Heart Sense for Women says for heart disease patients, grief and loneliness can be debilitating. According to the study by Sinatra, heart patients who own pets have a higher survival rate than the ones who don’t. Moreover, pets help in reducing blood pressure and stress.

If you have an ailing elderly person at your residence without adequate company, a pet is an apt solution. Be assured of positive results with pet companionship. No medical bills and absolutely free of side-effects!

Psychological security
We are often put out by unnecessary judgmental behaviour of others. But a pet never imposes moral dictates on you. He listens silently and responds with adorable gestures that calm you down.

Connecticut psychologist Herbert Nieburg, author of Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children confirms that “pet ownership is psychologically beneficial”. Pets offer you comfort without asking for anything in return.

Avers Srishty Chaudhary, a media professional and owner of two Pomeranian dogs, “It is like writing a diary entry where you can pour your heart out without the fear of being reprimanded or jeered at. Whenever my mother scolded me, my dog would cast an angry stare at her only to prove his allegiance towards me. And I would feel so secure.”

With pets come responsibility
Pets are popular across age groups. Research shows that married couples who are without kids often prefer to adopt a pet to cultivate a sense of responsibility in the process of nurturing their pet.

Children and the elderly are among others who bask in the company of a pet, preferably a dog. Dr. Rima Sehgal, psychologist and counsellor says that “a pet in the house exudes a healthy atmosphere and makes you learn the nuances of nurturing and responsible behaviour.”

Pets are a blessing for kids with working parents and no siblings. Inanimate toys can never substitute a living, receptive and responsive companion. Pets are a vibrant company therefore.

Learning tolerance
Besides making you more responsible, a pet has a sobering effect on you. It’s a beautiful feeling to share with your dog, from food to love of your family members, not to mention, giving in readily to its attention-seeking antics. An impatient self is healed in a pet’s company.

With them you laugh, learn and love. Bring home a pet and discover the joys for yourself.

 

…and ‘doggedly’ Moti opposes the Gujarat Cement Plant

Dogs are family, can use lifts for free, rules court

In August, this year when we at ‘Jaagruti’ received a call from the Gulati family in Faridabad alerting us to the fact that their colony RWA was disallowing them to take their dog ‘Pixie’ in the building lift, it prompted us to do some research on such cases in India, following which we had come out with this article explaining how people could act in such cases.

Yesterday, however brought good news to many a residents fighting this battle for their dogs with their colony RWAs with the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Mumbai giving a judgement in favour of the D’Souza family and saying that, “Dogs are part of family, and they can use lifts for free”

Please read the article below in Times of India dated 30th November 2010

(Times of India_30th November 2010)

The below story Courtesy: Anand Holla and Mumbai Mirror gives more details on this ruling of the court.

Dogs are family, can use lifts for free, rules court

This judgment by a Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Mumbai will help make life much easier for pet owners in multi-storeyed apartment complexes facing harassment from their RWAs regarding use of lifts by pets.

Mahim society asked to stop charging residents for letting pets use building elevators. Consumer forum says if milkmen can use it, so can dogs

The status of dogs in housing societies have been elevated. In a judgment that will set a precedent for housing societies on how to treat pets, the Central Mumbai Consumer Redressal Forum has rapped a Mahim society for charging one of its member Rs 500 for each of his two dogs using the elevator.

The D’Souzas had been paying Rs 500 a month so their dog Barney could use the lift

Noting that pets are members of the modern, urban family, the forum ruled there is no reason why pets can’t use elevators when outsiders, including service providers such as milkmen and vendors, have access to the facility without any charges.

The family in question — the D’Souzas — resides on the 10th floor of Our Lady Of Velankanni And Perpetual Succour society. The D’Souzas, 58-year-old Allwyn and Eleanor, 52, were shocked by the resolution passed during the society’s general body on August 10, 2008, charging Rs 500 per month for each pet using the lifts. The move hit the couple hard as they would use the elevator to take their pet dogs Barney, a labrador, and Dash, a mongrel, for a daily walk.

When the family protested, the society management justified the decision by saying the pets cause “nuisance due to the stench and threat, causing inconvenience to the members” and that “extra electricity (was) consumed due to unnecessary trips by the lift because of the dogs,” among other factors.

The D’Souzas were left to fend for themselves as the other family in their building that had a pet stayed on the third floor and took to stairs after the diktat. Challenging the society’s decision, Allwyn D’Souza moved the consumer forum while continuing to pay Rs 1,000 every month “under protest”, along with maintenance bills.

D’Souza’s lawyers Udav Wavikar and Rashmi Manne contended before the forum that pets are pampered and loved as much as any other family member, and hence, should be considered part of the family. Invoking religion and mythology, the lawyers said a dog is considered an incarnation of a deity in Maharashtrian culture.

The lawyers further argued that forcing dogs up and down 10 floors amounts to sheer cruelty. To bolster his case, Allwyn collected signatures of society residents to attest that they had no complaints against his dogs. The society, however, said the dogs dirtied lifts by either urinating in them or soiling them, and there was the danger of them biting other residents. The society also argued that dogs are not members of the D’Souza family, and the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act doesn’t include them in the bracket of family members. It claimed the forum had no jurisdiction to hear the complaint.

However, the bench of Nalin Majithia and Bhavna Pisaal observed last week, “We don’t find the society’s view correct. The D’Souzas pay all normal charges and to charge them an extra Rs 500 towards each dog is illegal, and is an instance of unfair trade practice. In Indian culture, dogs are common pets and usually treated as lovingly as other members of the family.”

The forum noted that no resident had ever taken any objection to D’Souzas’ pets. “In a populous city like Mumbai, there is always a shortage of space and multi-storeyed buildings are fast filling up the landscape. Several outsiders such as milkmen, newspaper and vegetable vendors, laundrymen, sweepers, etc, use the building lifts on a daily basis. In such a scenario, the society’s decision to levy charges on residents’ pets for lifts usage is inappropriate,” the forum held.

Ordering the society to return the entire amount it has collected from the D’Souzas along with nine per cent interest and Rs 5,500 towards mental and physical torture and legal costs, the forum held, “The society has indulged in unfair trade practices and it is incorrect on their part to charge the D’Souzas.”

From October 2008 till September 2010, D’Souza paid “dog fees” to the society. Allwyn said, “Our dogs were kept absolutely clean and healthy. We would take them out only twice a day and they never misbehaved with anybody, nor dirtied the lift or the society premises. Some members of the society passed this order only to harass us.” Happy with the order, he said, “This will come as a relief to many residents who are similarly harassed over their pets.”

Lawyer Wavikar said, “If pets dirty the premises, their owners should be made to clean up the place. However, charging residents for keeping pets is completely unjust. With the city constantly experiencing vertical growth, this landmark judgment will go a long way in settling the issue on pets and their rights to use building facilities.”

The society’s lawyer, Anand Patwardhan, termed the forum’s order as ‘perverse’ saying the case should have been decided by a co-operative court. “The society is fully justified in charging additional money as provided in the by-laws of the Co-operative Society Act. Consumer forums shouldn’t trespass the jurisdiction of other courts – in this case a co-operative court.”

While Dash died last year, Barney can now use the lift without burning a hole in his owner’s pocket.

15 reasons to adopt an older dog

This post is kind courtesy of  Luigi Aero‘s Facebook Page

"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."- Sydney Jeanne Seward

One of the saddest things is an old dog left in a shelter by an uncaring human family. Common excuses people use are that they don’t have enough time for the dogs or that they are moving (although I have never heard of any state in the U.S. where dogs are illegal). In this disposable society we live in, some people actually dump their family dog in a shelter and walk out with a new puppy.  Imagine the fear, sadness and confusion that an old shelter dog faces.Even worse, their time in the shelter is spent watching people walk past their cages, barely seeing them, instead rushing to the cute puppies.

 

Why would anyone consider sharing their home with an older dog, when there are so many younger ones available?

By adopting an older dog, you can make a statement about compassion and the value of all life at all ages, as well as register a protest against the indiscriminate and inhumane breeding of dogs, whether it is for profit or to “teach the children about birth.” And, of course, just as a puppy has his whole life ahead of him, so does an older dog have the rest of his life in front of him. You can give that older dog the best years of his life while at the same time bringing a wonderful addition into your family.

 

 

1. What You See Is What You Get

 

Older dogs are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime. If you’re not so into surprises, an older dog is for you!

 

2. Easy to Train

 

Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Hogwash! Older dogs are great at focusing on you—and on the task at hand—because they’re calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you’re asking.

 

3. Seniors are Super-Loving

 

these dogs give you—and those of you who adopted dogs already in their golden years told us how devoted and grateful they are. It’s an instant bond that cannot be topped!

 

4. They’re Not a 24-7 Job

 

Grownup dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus.

 

5. They Settle in Quickly

 

Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.They’ll be part of the family in no time!

 

6. Fewer Messes

 

Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.

 

7. You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

 

There are those who yearn for a doggie friend of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so—a puppy or young dog can be anywhere from an 8- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a dog in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.

 

8. They Enjoy Easy Livin’

 

Couch potato, know thyself! Please consider a canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who will run you ragged. Not that older dogs don’t require any exercise—they do—but they’re not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day.

 

9. A good night’s sleep

 

Older dogs let you get a good night’s sleep because they’re accustomed to human schedules and don’t generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.

 

10. Time for yourself –

 

Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don’t make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.

 

11. Companionship.

 

Senior dogs whose lives have been disrupted in their later years have so much love to give and like nothing better than giving it. They tend to rely heavily on their owner for companionship and therefore bond very quickly. The desire to reciprocate the companionship given to them is very strong.

 

12. Seniors for seniors.

 

An attractive concept used by many animal rescue/humane organizations, an older dog can be successfully matched up with a senior citizen. Lifestyle requirements of an older person often mix well with the lifestyle of an older dog. It’s a win/win situation, resulting in quality retirement companionship for both.

 

13. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

 

You sure can. While it may take an older dog a bit longer to adjust to new situations, they can; they will; they do. Their only requirement is to be given the opportunity. Generally, older dogs are calmer and therefore will focus much easier on what you are trying to teach them.

 

14. Save a Life, Be a Hero

 

At shelters, older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together.

 

15. They’re CUTE!

 

Need I say more?

 

Please consider adopting a senior dog , you won’t be sorry. Your decision to adopt a senior pet will be rewarded with unconditional love and devotion..

 

Faith – the two legged dog

The below story is kind courtesy and copyright of : Daily Good.

We are sharing it here because it meets one of the objectives behind the intent of ‘Jaagruti’ which is – spreading respect and compassion towards members of the canine family.

Two-Legged Dog to Inspire British Troops Wounded in Afghanistan

BY MARC HERTZ | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2010 5:45 AM ET

A dog named Faith inspires others simply by being able to walk with just her two hind legs.

picture_2.png

There are some things you have to see to believe, and Faith is one of those. She’s a labrador-chow mix born without one front leg and another that was severely deformed, only to be removed when Faith was seven months old due to atrophy. What’s truly amazing about Faith is that, despite having only her two hind legs, she can still walk on them, as you can see in the video below.

Faith is something of a celebrity, having appeared on Oprah a few years ago, and according to The Sun, she’s actually an honorary sergeant. The US Army gave her that title because she’s helped disabled veterans trying to overcome injuries they sustained in war zones, even donning a military jacket when she visits bases or hospitals. As her owner, Jude Stringfellow, was quoted, “Faith seems to inspire these young men. It’s very emotional watching them respond to her. She shows what can be achieved against great odds.”

Now, she’s planning to go international. Stringfellow wants to bring Faith to the UK, so she can bring her own brand of inspiration to those troops wounded in Afghanistan. Before she can do so, though, quarantine rules will have to be met. For the sake of those wounded soldiers, let’s hope they have the chance to see Faith “marching” their way.

How to act when your society RWA puts a bar on letting your pet dog use the building lift?

Pet Dogs: Should they be allowed on lifts or not? (Photo credit: theotokos.co.za)

On the afternoon of 10th August 2010, the Jaagruti helpline received a call from Mrs. Usha Gulati in Faridabad who informed that the residents welfare association of the colony in which they stay had objected to them taking their Pet dog Pixie up and down the building lift from their 5th floor flat. Ms. Gulati and her family was willing to take Pixie down (for his walks) using the stairs but given his age (Pixie is 10+ years old) and the fact that they live on the 5th Floor, the Gulati family was not willing to cow down to the demands and orders of the RWA in any way and were even willing to take this matter to court should the RWA remain adamant in its stance on this subject.

Most of the times the arguments that RWA office bearers give to pet owners while objecting them to using the building lift with their pets- ‘the pets odour is harmful for human health’, ‘pets are dirty’, ‘pets make the lift dirty’, ‘pets can pounce or growl or attack other people in the lift’ and the list goes on as per the whims and fancies of the RWA representatives.

Ms. Gulati mentioned to us that she has a copy of a news clipping that came out in Times of India newspaper in December 2008 in which a Mumbai resident had approached a consumer court for his pet dog Shimu.  Further to this Ms Gulati wanted to know from us if there was any previous judgment in this regard that they could use to help Pixie. Below is presented a step-by-step guide on how to tackle such a problem which, as we learnt is a common problem faced by many people living with their pets in buildings with lifts face across many cities in India. The key to coming out victors in such a situation is to have cent percent commitment towards your pet and to be willing to stand up for your pet’s rights, for pets are family!

Through the power of the internet, we enquired upon this ‘Pets being denied lift access’ subject from people across the animal welfare fraternity across India, the following facts came to light and we are sharing this information in our effort to inspire all those who face similar problems to act accordingly when faced with such situations. As for what transpired in the story of Pixie, read this till the end:

The only preceeding judgement in such a case was when Mr. Ajay Marathe, a resident of Mumbai’s Vashi Colony approached the Consumer Court (on 26th September, 2008) when his colony’s association passed a resolution disallowing them to use the building lift with their pet dog ‘Shimu’, who was then 11 years old who was suffering from osteo-arthritis (pain in the bones and joints)

The following trail of news stories on Shimu’s case illustrate the trail of events on this subject as well.

No entry for pets in lifts, Vashi housing society tells residents

Indian Express
N Ganesh Fri Sep 12 2008
Mumbai, September 11 : Says odour may be harmful to health; SPCA takes up issue
Life for 11-year-old Peter-Pan alias Shimu, a Labrador Retriever, has become tougher than ever. Shimu stays with his owners, Ajay and Nandini Marathe, on the fifth floor of New Sarvodaya Co-operative Housing Society, at Sector 4 in Vashi. Shimu has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, an ailment in which the patient suffers from severe joint pain. However, Shimu will now have to use the staircase instead of the lift, as a resolution passed by the general body of the society bars pets from using the building elevator.

On August 3, 2008, the general body resolved to prevent use of lifts by residents accompanied by their pets. According to a notice issued to Marathe and the general body resolution, the society fears that the odour of the pets which is left behind in the lifts, can be hazardous to the life and health of the building residents. In the month of May 2008, the society sought numerous documents certifying the fitness levels of the dog. Marathe, who has a licence for the dog, produced a certificate issued by the Bombay Veterinary College that dog is licenced, vaccinated, healthy and does not suffer from any infectious or contagious disease. The Bombay Veterinary College certificate also adds that since the dog is aged and suffering from osteoarthritis, it should be allowed to use the lift, as climbing the stairs would be a painful task.

Marathe tried to find a way out by using air fresheners after the use of lift by the pet dog. However, the society officer tersely told Marathe that use of air fresheners was not recommended.

After a complaint of Marathe, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has taken up the issue. S B Kadam, assistant secretary, SPCA said, “SPCA inspectors have paid a visit to the society and asked the office bearers to be practical and permit use of lift for the pet dog concerned. We will be hearing from them soon.”

Marathe said, “I paid the watchman from the neighouring building to carry the dog up and down the building thrice a day so that he could answer nature’s call. This arrangement worked fine for a few days, however he stopped coming after being warned by society office bearers.”

Meanwhile, Marathe has temporarily shifted Shimu to his in-laws place at Pen in Raigad district. Chairman of the housing society Arvind Palwankar said, “It is a very old sick dog with a bad odour. We only prevented Marathe from using the lift. Moreover, Marathe is a nuisance as he relentlessly complains against the society to the authorities about all things trivial.”

What the law says
Advocate Rahul Thakur who is associated with In Defense of Animals (IDA) said that the society resolution violates section 11 (3) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act 1960. It is also against article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution according to which it is the duty of every citizen to have compassion for animals, living creatures and improve the natural environment. Thakur said, “The society resolution is illegal as it is unconstitutional.”

Please note the underlined portion in the last paragraph of the above story.

Luckily for Shimu, who is now in good heavens, the Consumer Court upheld the society’s resolution and passed the judgement in his favour and also asked the Association to pay Mr. Ajay Marathe Rs.5000/- in lieu of the damages and the expenses incurred by him on this court case.

Please read through the following news stories:

Peter Pan can use apartment lift now

Indian Express

N Ganesh Dec 17, 2008

Mumbai This 11-year-old dog was barred from using lift by the housing society in Navi Mumbai

The consumer forum came to the rescue of a 11-year-old dog, Peter Pan alias Shimu, who was not allowed to use the apartment lift by the office bearers of a housing society in Navi Mumbai. Shimu, a pet belonging to Ajay and Nandini Marathe, residing on the fifth floor of New Sarvodaya co-operative housing society was barred from using the society lift. Shimu had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis — an ailment that causes acute pain in the joints.

In its order dated December 11, 2008 the Thane District Additional Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ruled that the housing society’s move to prevent pets from using the apartment lift without any valid reasons amounted to deficiency in service to the members as per section 2 (1) (g) of the Consumers Protection Act.

The Marathes were asked to produce documents certifying the illness of the dog. However, despite producing the required certificates and reports, the general body of the housing society in August 2008 resolved to ban pet animals from using apartment lifts.

The housing society contended before the forum that the dog was not a consumer of the housing society and hence the forum cannot hold the society liable. The consumer court however said in its order: “The issue of ‘dog’ being or not being the consumer of the society is not valid, instead the valid issue should be whether the complainant is consumer of the housing society or not.”

Since the membership of the Marathes to the housing society was not disputed, the consumer court said: “The dog has valid license and has been certified by a veterinary doctor of having no contagious and infectious disease. It has received all its vaccines. The doctor has also recommended the use of lifts owing to its condition.”

The housing society contended that the use of lifts by pets threatened the safety of the residents. However the Consumer court held that the housing society’s decision to ban pets from using lifts was without any valid reasons and hence amounted to deficiency in service. The court has ordered the housing society to pay Rs 3000 as damages and Rs 2000 as legal expenses to the Marathes.

Consumer court upholds dog’s right to use lift


18th December, 2008,  Published in: The Times of India

Mumbai: An 11-year-old Labrador has emerged a champion of dog rights by not only winning for himself the right to travel in the elevator of his apartment complex in a Mumbai suburb but getting his master a Rs 5,000 compensation from the apartment’s anti-pet managing committee.

The Thane District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum passed an order, defending Shimu aka Peter Pan’s right to use the left and directed the society to compensate the owner for the harassment he faced. The dog’s owner, Ajay Marathe (52), a fifth floor resident of New Sarvoday Cooperative Society at Vashi, told TOI on Wednesday: This is a very good judgement given in our favour in real time. In fact, a lot of pet owners face the same problem in Mumbai; this order can be an important reference point to help them use their society lifts.

Marathe added that the 35-kg Shimu suffered from pain in the joints and couldn’t use the stairway. The society this May passed a resolution, saying pets like cats and dogs could not be allowed in the lift as their body odour could be injurious to health and life, which I found to be ridiculous, he said.

Marathe first went to the cops, but failing to get a sympathetic response from them, he lodged a case in the Thane consumer court. The consumer court has given this judgement in less than three months. The Rs 5,000 compensation for my pet is also welcome as I had to temporarily shift Shimu to my in laws house in Pen, which caused some discomfort to him, he said.

To read the full judgement given by the Consumer Court on this case in favour of Shimu the dog, please click here

Since Shimu passed away soon after this judgement was announced, Mr. Marathe donated the Rs.5000/- compensation he received to the animal welfare charity named PAWS which used this contribution to publish brochures on the ‘Tree Protection Act’, which carried Shimu’s name on it as a mark of honour to his spirit.

Now, coming back to Pixie’s case in Fraidabad, here is what happened-

Deriving inspiration from Mr. Marathe’s stance on getting justice for Shimu, Ms. Usha Gulati’s familytook the press clipping of Shimu’s news (which had come out in TOI in December 2008) and approached the Local  Police with the copy of the same and lodged a complaint against the RWA…the cops then called and came over to meet the RWA representatives and following all of this, an amicable solution was reached upon in which it was agreed that the  Gulati family would be allowed to bring their pet dog Pixie down the stairs for his walk and after he has relieved himself and there is apparently nothing in his stomach to ‘dirty’ the lift with, he can take the lift upstairs to his fifth floor house along with his owner.

So, next time you face such an issue, consider using all of this information above and stand up to seek justice for your animal friends. Trust us, its all worth the effort and a way to (try to) pay back  for all the love that your pet animal has showered upon you unconditionally.

However, we would like to also suggest to you that as always prevention is better than cure so please be mindful of a few other things a ‘responsible’ pet owner can follow while using the lift with their pet, to avoid inconvenience to the fellow lift users:

1. Make sure that your pet dog/cat is vaccinated to avoid any health related arguments from fellow building residents.

2. Keep your pet animal on a leash.

3. If your pet is aggressive and has a tendency to bite strangers, then it would be better to put a muzzle around the pet’s mouth while you move your pet in the lift. You can remove the muzzle once your pet is out of the lift.

4. Try using the lift when no one is in there, alternatively avoid using the lift when someone (you know) having a canine/feline-phobia (i.e someone who is well-known to be scared of dogs/cats) is already travelling in the lift.

5. Make sure that your pet doesn’t pee or defecate in there, so avoid taking young untrained pups in the lift as else you would most likely end up creating a lot more disgruntled neighbours or should we say enemies!

6. Take care of the health and hygiene of your pet dog/animal, give it a nice bath regularly so that it doesn’t emanate any sort of stinking odour in a public place like a lift, which may else be a cause of inconvenience for the fellow residents of your building.

* Credits: We deeply thank AWBI’s lawyer Anjali Sharma, PAWS founder trustee Nilesh Bhanage and Vishruti Aggarwal for sharing their experiences, the video link and the consumer court judgement with us.

GoD and DoG!

GoD and DoG (Courtesy: Kris, 5th July, 2010)

The above photograph  was clicked and contributed to us by Kris Kumar on 5th July, 2010.

It was clicked at PVR Anupam-Saket, a multiplex  in Delhi. In this small temple beneath a tree behind the multiplex where these two resident dogs with collars around their necks were sleeping peacefully,  demonstrative of the relationship between GoD and DoG…

Intelligent Animals: Meet the thirsty cow operating a hand pump

Each one of us would have heard the story of the thirsty crow who brings pebbles in his beak and throws them in a pot to raise the level of water in there so that he can sip it and quench his thirst…

(Cortesy: indif.com)

Now, in this real life story, we meet a thirsty cow on a Delhi road.

Below is an amazing account of Rishi Dev’s encounter with a thirsty cow operating a hand pump to quench her thirst on the hot summer afternoon of 20th June, 2010

Animals continue to amaze me with the level of intelligence they possess which is beyond our comprehension. Another example of it was displayed to me today when I was just driving through a village. It was hot as ever and I saw a cow trying to drink water from a handpump on the village road. First I thought she was trying to lick away water which was dropping from the pump. So I stopped to see what was going on.

To my amazement, she was operating the hand-pump with her horns and then drinking water at the same time. She was using her head to push down the lever and when water flowed through the spout, she drank that water and kept repeating the exercise. I shot a small video before doing anything. It can be viewed below :

After that I just walked over to her and stood there, very near to the pump. Then she stopped drinking and for a second the people watching thought that she would attack me. But to their amazement she looked straight into me eyes questioning me not to stand there like a fool and use my limbs to operate the pump so she can drink. That one moment between us was unspoken and as if she had an unwarranted right over me, that I was bound by some universal love to help her. It was so obvious for her that there was not an iota of hesitation or doubt that she had any other intention. She hadnt asked me, but was teling me to operate that pump, NOW!

So I started operating the pump.

प्यासे को पानी पिलाओ और पुण्य कमायो

She must have drunk at least 50-100 lts of water as I stood there for real 20 minutes operating the pump while she was drinking the water, non stop. When she was done she looked at me in satiation and contentment as if asking me to stop. First she closed her eyes for 15 seconds catching her breath. Then she looked at me straight and flipped her delicate ears with an expression as if showering her divine motherly love upon me. I really felt I was standing next to a mother and not an animal. She had so much love in her eyes that I felt I had actually drunk all that water on this hot afternoon and not her.

We both went our ways without greeting each other, but only sharing some short but real moments of love.

Even though I was a bit amazed by her intelligence but she was least touched or surprised by my involvement as if telling me & reminding me yet again that it was nothing else but “obvious” that all beings had equal right to water, food and shelter and it was our obvious duty to help each other with the same. Nothing great !

गर्मियां बहुत बड़ गईं है जनाब, इसलिए इन प्यासे पशु-पक्षियों की तरफ थोड़ी सहानुभूति दिखाओ,

घर के बाहर एक साफ़ बर्तन में सुबह शाम पानी रखकर इनकी प्यास भुजाओ और पुण्य कमाओ

Urvashi and her love for street dogs: A journey that will never end…

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!

On guard! Chotu, Noni and Motu

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’.

Urvashi with Standlie-the Lhasa apso (in her arms) and Minni- the blind street dog (by her side)

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.

Chiklu - Urvashi's Dachshund

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!

Street Dogs keep our streets safe from anti-social elements! (Cartoon Credit: Ajit Ninan and Vasudha Mehta)

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”.

Saying goodbye to your animal friend…and the essence of a dog’s life

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”- Anatole France (1844-1924)

Ask anyone who has ever shared his life with an animal friend, and they will vouch for the fact that the most difficult phase in one’s  life is often the loss of your special animal friend. The loss is irreplaceable to say the least, the void of their love and presence is too big to be filled ever.

It is simply so hard to bid good-bye to our faithful special animal companions who have filled our lives with so much joy, blessed us with their unconditional love no matter how we are or how we look, thin or fat, ugly or beautiful, interesting or bland and the list goes on..they never judged us and thats what made them so very special. They teach us lessons that stay with us for life… and after they pass away, the only way by which we can pay their souls a just tribute is by spreading love, kindness and compassion that they gave you to other animals and humans alike and become as wonderful a person as your animal friend thought of you to be.

This link is for those who have like me suffered the emotional trauma of losing a beloved animal. May be these words by Dr. Linda Harper will provide comfort to an aching soul seeking solace after the loss of their beloved animal companion. Dr. Harper is also director of Blessed Bonds.

Dogs invented Unconditional Love

We came across this story by an unknown veterinarian and found it apt to share through this platform, it highlights the essence of the life of the dog, the most faithful companion nature created for humans…

Essence of a Dog’s Life

By an anonymous veterinarian

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try to live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued, ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Speak kindly.

Care deeply.

If Dogs were our teachers, we would learn important stuff like :

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wiggle your entire body.

No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout.  Run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.  Stop when you have had enough.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

And finally,

Never trust anyone until you sniff their ass. :)

(Courtesy: http://www.birddogsforever.com/humor/dog_teachers.htm)