As soon as Loveleen came to town, either all the wounded dogs came out of hiding, or else through her lenses, they all became so much more apparent. It’s almost like when riding in a new vehicle, you tend to spot that same vehicle everywhere you go, where it didn’t seem quite so omni-present beforehand.

dogcrying_1Over the last week or two, we had already committed to helping several wounded dogs. As we were walking down the street, we heard the wailing cries of another. At first we thought it was just a little puppy and that it was crying for its mother, but on closer inspection, we saw that she looked to be close to starvation and her back legs seemed to be seriously injured. Mark thought that he saw a leg bone sticking way out where it wasn’t supposed to.

Most dogs are somewhat afraid of people in India, but she was very afraid, as I’m sure her very survival was at stake. We got her some water and a sandwich, and were happy to see her drink the water. Hearing her further deep cries of pain as she lied down, Loveleen and I were both committed to helping her at any cost.

After seeing so many wounded and sick dogs all over, the thought of providing help is a hard one as it seems so much like a losing battle. Do you care for the injured dogs one by one, Mother Theresa style? Or do you look at the bigger picture – working to spay and neuter, provide vaccinations, examine the vehicle-animal dynamics? Perhaps the answer is both, but in her case, those cries left no doubts – rational or not, we had to help.

Our friend, Ashish-bhai, at Indicorps, made a few phone calls and found someone who could help us pick her up and drive her to a vet as we had no vehicle and weren’t sure the best way to grab her. Dr. Chaudry agreed to meet us.

We found her, called him, he came, and he quickly diagnosed the problem as a curable viral infection. There wasn’t a sever break in her leg afterall, just an old one that had healed, and so the steep expenses of surgery wouldn’t be necessary. With a few injections of anti-biotics and pain killers, she was quickly on her way to recovery. We would just have to ensure that we follow up for the next five days with oral anti-biotics.


dogdyingThat same morning, we had come across another dog in the Tekra that was on the verge of death. We asked if he could go to that dog as well; they were more than amenable, and off we went. The team was amazing. Dr. Chaudry was accompanied by a driver, who doubled as the dog grabber, and a 17-year old helper.  We drove in their jeep to the Tekra and walked through the poor area where the dog lay.

This dog was in terrible condition. He literally appeared to be at the verge of death, twitching like the first dog, and with ugly infected scabs and ants all over, eating him alive. The locals, in fact, said that he had actually seemed to die for two days and came back to life.  The doctor quickly diagnosed his condition as the same viral infection as the first dog. We were so happy to hear that it was recognizeable and easily treatable.  He gave him several injections as well. A few of his friends were also suffering from early stages of this condition and we were able to treat them too.

Again, we would need to follow up with these dogs for five days with oral anti-biotics, but like in the first case, the neighbors offered to do it. We would just supply the antibiotics and a little money for milk as this was a very poor area.

We couldn’t believe how well this was all going. In my experience here, I have learned that it can often be a very challenging and time-consuming effort to accomplish anything. Just picking up a dog and bringing him or her to the vet alone, could be an enormous undertaking, and here, thanks to Dr. Chaudry and crew, we had saved four dogs’ lives with such ease.

dogmangeI scanned my memory for other dogs we had seen in dire need. I remembered a dog with a severe condition of mange by Jayeshbhai’s house and so we all headed there next. We were able to find that dog and treat him and also two others with mange right nearby. It was so incredibly amazing how easy it all was.

We thought of another dog with severe mange in the back of the Tekra by Anandi’s house, and headed over there. That dog we were unable to catch, as the kids scared him away, but we were able to treat several others.

All in all, we probably brought life-changing relief to a dozen dogs and even one little kitten with a fever. Operating with such efficiency was like a dream come true.

Although this day was just a drop in a vast ocean of animal suffering that is pervasive around here, it was a real drop.

dogsloveleenWe found out that all the work we had done was absolutely free of charge as Dr. Chaudry’s work is funded by Gujarat Samachar, a Gujarati newspaper. The only charge was about $4.50 US for the anti-biotics and milk which were sponsored by one of our anonymous donors.

Loveleen was fully in her element and was as happy as can be afterwards. It is a shame that she is planning on going back in a month as her presence here could be so powerful. Loveleen is one of the most compassionate and strong heroes I have seen with animals, and when her day comes to help full time, the animal world will feel it far and wide.

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