A rusting wire mesh fence holds on to a large painted sign. On the ground below, in the enclosure created by the fence sits a somewhat emaciated shadow of a dog. Even though it is evident from his current state that life has not been kind to him, this fact has not dimmed the twinkle in his brown puppy eyes. I walk towards him and place my hand against the wire mesh and he after sniffing me with his wet nose gives me an affectionate lick.
If you are wondering what the sign says it is a plea to you and me:
"I may be a beautiful puppy or an old doggie not so beautiful but wecannot speak. We can only cry and be timid and afraid because human beings have treated us so badly. Please do not let us. We will give you so much love, in return ask for so little………
But please if you have it in your heart stop the suffering and adopt us. We will never let you down or trouble you. All we need is love and care."
As I walk away an abandoned Dalmatian starts barking from the next enclosure. I take a step towards him and see the fear in his eyes as he takes two steps back
These are the scenes from the Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Memorial Animal Hospital at Parel,Mumbai… The dog shelter here is managed by the SPCA.
Uma of IndianWriting did a great post on the place a few months back. [link]
I lived across the road, behind the hospital,many years back and the place still conjures up vivid memories. This was the time when circuses with animal performances where still prevalent in Bombay [before the ban; though I am not sure the ban is being enforced effectively]. Animals rescued from around Bombay found themselves in the hospital. I enjoyed walking around the grounds of hospital [since security was quite low and still is] looking at the variety of animals present- camels, sloth bears, buffaloes, cows, elephants, etc. It was like a scene out of one of those documentaries you see on Animal Planet.
Here is a story I heard on visiting the hospital recently.
A head peers out from above a bush of purple blooming bougainvilleas. She looks down at me from behind her long eye lashes. Meet Kaveri, the camel, who was brought to Bombay from Hyderabad to be sacrificed for Eid. Luckily for her she was rescued by the SPCA and brought to the "cattle" ward of the hospital. Kaveri as it turns out was pregnant. In February this year she gave bird to a healthy calf (not in the picture).
A heart warming story don't you think ?