My Jill, My Beloved & My 4 am Friend

Its almost 2am here in New Delhi. The city hasn’t slept as yet. The weather I feel is balmy. Maybe some would say its hot. But there is this chill inside me which makes me crave warmth. I hardly touched the truly wonderful food at Sevilla (http://www.claridges.com/the-claridges-newdelhi/dining-sevilla.asphttp://www.claridges.com/the-claridges-newdelhi/dining-sevilla.asp ) .The ambiance failed to elicit ‘the smile I was looking for’. Those are my buddy Kabir’s words. He is my ‘4 am’ friend. You know the ones about whom Marlene Dietrich says “It’s the friends you can call up at 4 am that matter” 🙂 So he buys me iced Coke, drives me to the ‘Garden of Five Senses’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_Five_Senses ), bribes the leering night security, finds us the perfect place to sit and tells me seriously ‘to bare my heart’. Thankfully, I am saved by his irate –stood-up-girlfriend’s tirade on the cell. Atta girl! Lying, devious manipulations, declarations of undying love etc have managed to exhaust the man who now is stretched on the ground, snoring 🙂

Which leaves me free to blog 🙂 To make the blues go away. To remember and write about adopting and bringing Jill home, a couple of years back.

Jill, is a female, white Boxer. Today, she would be around 7 yrs old. She has three legs. Her right hind leg is smashed beyond repair. Perhaps, she was run over by a car? Or she had fallen off the roof? Why did her owners not have her treated? Why did they throw her out? Because of her deformity? Or maybe she was stolen, mercilessly bred by unscrupulous breeders and then just dumped? I never did find answers to all these questions. The shelter staff couldn’t help me out either. They only remembered her dragging herself painfully to them from the streets, to collapse…begging for help. She had been attacked by street dogs, stoned and jeered at by people.

She stayed in the shelter for over two years. The staff despaired over finding her a home. Even kindly visitors who fed and petted her , were taken in by her big ,beautiful eyes shied away from taking on the huge responsibility of a Special Needs K9. So my lovely Jill wasted away in the over crowded shelter, while I remained unaware of her because of my constant, work related foreign travel.

The day I saw her at the shelter, I brought her home with me forever.

Today, she is a beautiful Boxer in her prime. She has enormous amounts of energy, loves to run after the ball, adores balloons, pizza and cake. My other rowdy dogs treat her gently ,showing a tenderness which makes me misty eyed. They let her ‘win’ in their doggy games, never steal her treats, and allow her to greet me first ,every evening I come back from work 🙂

Here is Jill 🙂

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My sister and I have had dogs always since we were children. But we never had a rescued dog then, although we would always feed the strays, take care of their injuries etc. There were no animal shelters/animal rights organizations in our home state  Odisha, back then and so we remained unaware of the terrible crime of abandoning pets. But I remember, both of us putting up a strong protest for Golda. She was a beautiful Golden Retriever and a police dog, who had become ‘un-serviceable’ because of her age and was to be auctioned off as per Government regulations. My sister’s exceptional reasoning skills and my magnificent tantrums saved Golda. My Dad, who is an IPS officer, relented and Golda was allowed to live a dignified life in the police kennels till she died.

We were also clueless about the hateful business of backyard breeding. When I moved to Delhi, I gradually became aware of this heinous crime. But nothing had prepared me for the degree of human depravity that I saw for the first time at one of the ‘elite’ breeder’s ‘ huge farm’ in Bengaluru ,in 2003. There was a massive website of the ‘reputed’ breeder boasting of pedigreed dogs, sun ,space, excellent food and care for his ‘pride’, ‘his beautiful dogs’. Reality ? The ‘farm’ was a scrapyard. Male stud dogs were tied with thick iron chains in the open regardless of the weather. Two Neapolitan Mastiffs had broken legs which were never going to be treated; a GSD had maggot wounds in his ears; a Golden Retriever, with vacant eyes, was lying in its own urine and feces. The females were kept in such small iron cages that they couldn’t move. Many were pregnant. The breeder proudly told me he used hormonal injections to get the bitches in heat quickly for more litters. For quick money.

Thanks to the power of the Internet and the dedication of a global animal loving community , people are today aware of animal abuse in all its terrible forms.

Yet, many of us still go looking for that ‘oh cute puppy’, ignoring the beautiful, helpless animals in the shelters, begging to be saved. Or turn a blind eye to the torture at the breeding hells…

I am crying. I wish I could undo all this cruelty ….

Kabir has woken up. He looks at me worried. He calls up my guy in London. I refuse to speak with him. So my beloved guy, my Shams tells Kabir to take me home.

Kabir plays this on his mobile  :http://youtu.be/XZkKGoT9Gno 

And tells me that ‘s what I mean to a man,his friend, sitting in London 🙂

I smile. I call him up. I hear him tell me…… ( unfit to be published on blog ) 🙂 God, thank you for this love.

Tomorrow is another day, right ?  🙂

 Appeal : Please adopt. Don’t shop!

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