The day before the 72nd Independence Day, I was on my way to the office as usual and was looking forward to the mid-week holiday the next day. It was a much-needed break, and I had made plans in advance.
As I rode through a narrow lane, my eyes fell on this puny little thing busily sniffing the pavement unaware of anything else around it. I stopped by the side of the road and looked around to see if its mother was around, but found not a single adult dog in sight. I tried asking the residents about the little puppy and discerned that some boy had apparently dropped her off there deliberately. She was motherless. And the traffic in the narrow lane would be anything but benign to the puppy. I didn’t want to leave her behind to her fate. But I couldn’t take her home as well; mom would definitely not approve. I fought my instinct and rode a little farther down the road before stopping and placing a call to a colony friend wanting to ask her if she could keep the puppy in her garden until we could find someplace permanent. She didn’t receive the call. By then, the puppy had made its way down the road to where I was and was now standing right in the middle of the road obstructing the traffic. She stood there right in front of a car that was now honking annoyingly trying to make her move off the road. I guess that was enough a trigger to drop all reasons and carry her home, much to the annoyance of my mom. I took the day off and promised her I would do something by the end of the next day. And that is how. Pepper. came. home.
We gave her a bowl of milk to drink and she lapped up hungrily. She was extremely malnourished at one-month-old with her ribs showing. We placed a box for her in the balcony to sleep in, and she quietly crept in and curled into a ball.
Ginger was initially amused at the new entrant. When her curiosity died out after some time, she kept to herself for the rest of Pepper’s stay at home, not once trying to seek attention, completely ignoring the new presence, and even growling at the little one occasionally on being playfully approached.
Pepper was unusually quiet for a puppy the first day she came home. She was still taking in her new surroundings. She would come out of her box when hungry, eat a little, pee, and then would jump back into her box and fall asleep. She slept the majority of times during her stay with us.
For the next four nights, Pepper slept in my room, and Ginger was made to sleep in the living room, much to her surprise and, maybe even, annoyance, but she didn’t let it show. We kept a bowl of mashed rice and milk next to the little one’s box and spread sheets of newspaper on the floor. She woke up a few times at night, helped herself to the food, peed on the newspaper, and jumped back into the box.
She opened up a little on the second day and showed her playful side. At one moment she was throwing tantrums and the very next she walked out the door and sat a little farther from the gate staring longingly into the distance. Her sudden change in demeanor made me sad. From then on, whenever she went quiet, she would go sit by the gate.
She needs constant human touch. If I happened to squat or sit down on the floor to talk to her, she would climb up onto my lap and sit there long until I had to coax her to get down. She is clingy in a way that would melt your heart; cannot blame the little one, for the circumstances she found herself in only makes her seek warmth, love, and security even more desperately.
Even after the end of the second day, my desperate attempts at finding a home or a foster for her turned futile. Mom put out all her frustration on me and I ended up mentally exhausted trying to defend my position on keeping Pepper until the weekend while we could arrange some place safe for her. The following day at the office was anxiety-ridden, my mind coming up with all possible ways in which things could go wrong at home resulting in me being shouted at for the ‘disaster’ I had brought home and a dire decision taken for Pepper. But when I got home, I was relieved to see mom playing ball with Pepper.
On the fourth day, we could connect with a fosterer who was willing to take Pepper in until adoption, despite already caring for more than seven cats and five dogs, all abandoned and rescued, single-handedly.
The following day, after a visit to the vet, Pepper made her way to her foster home. She bonded with another pup Vasu and soon both were inseparable.
After exactly a month, Vasu got adopted into a family and Pepper soon followed after they realized Vasu was dearly missing his companion. However, after just two weeks, Pepper was back at the foster’s. The family gave a lame string of excuses for deciding not to go forth with her adoption of which one was that she doesn’t bark enough.
And hence, the little girl is on the lookout for her forever home again. Under the loving care of her foster mom, she has put on healthy weight. She is now four months old.
We only hope she finds her forever family very soon. For every dog deserves a loving home.