Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Against Pet Abandonment, Articles, Pets, Stories from Ground Zero

My Pain of being an abandoned dog!

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 contact@jaagruti.org

I am TIGER: an abandoned 5-6 year old Male Labrador ' - Anyone who can give me a home and a place in their hearts?
I am TIGER: an abandoned 5-6 year old Male Labrador ‘ – Anyone who can give me a home and a place in their hearts?

 

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

 

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Inspiration, Relationships

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).

Image Courtesy: http://www.drawthedog.com

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.

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Games people play, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

Beena Maashi at Kolkata (Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=409252219101112&set=a.354249267934741.103962.354151841277817&type=3)
Beena Mashi at Kolkata (Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=409252219101112&set=a.354249267934741.103962.354151841277817&type=3)

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

Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Games people play, General/Animals, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, News Reports, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

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.

Posted in Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Pets, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero

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

Posted in Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

~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.

Posted in Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships

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

Posted in Animals, Games people play, Jaagruti's interventions, Medical treatment of Animals, Relationships, Road Safety, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

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.

Posted in Pets, Relationships

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.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Pets, Poems, Relationships

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…

Posted in Animals, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India

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.

Posted in Be the Change, Bird Rescue, Bird Rescue and Treatment, Do you know?, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Medical treatment of Animals, Pets, Relationships, Stories from Ground Zero

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.

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Be the Change, Do you know?, General/Animals, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Pets, Relationships, Street Dogs of India

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..

 

Posted in Animals, Inspiration, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Pets, Relationships, Videos on Animals

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.

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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.

Posted in Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Street Dogs of India

Indore’s Lallu was no ordinary street dog

Courtesy: Mail Today, dated: 17th August 2010

Lallu- the street dog being bid farewell

Shopkeepers of Aada Bazaar in Indore downed their shutters as a mark of respect for Lallu — a much- loved 15- year- old stray dog of the locality who died on July 17.

As the news of Lallu’s death spread like wildfire, area residents assembled to mourn the dog and decided to conduct his last rites (pic above). For, Lallu was no ordinary dog. Rakesh Kumar, who lives near the bazaar, said: “ Lallu used to follow the shav yatra (last journey) of the dead and spent his time with the deceased’s family for 12 to 13 days after that.” Not just that, the canine was different from his breed. Garages, parking areas and chairs were his favourite places to retire. And he gorged on ordinary food and was fond of Indian meals.

A local revealed that on the 13th day after Lallu’s death, milk and jalebis were served to the others dogs of the area.

Some dogs truly have their day!

R.I. P Lallu…

Posted in Animals, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships, Street Dogs of India

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”.

Posted in General/Animals, Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Relationships

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.