It was a Tuesday morning. Not like any other Tuesday morning, this was special.
We had been researching online for weeks on adopting a pet. We had had cats before, a stray, courtesy our respective bleeding hearts, and a couple of gingers for a week courtesy our good friend Anisha. But Archita and I had collectively realized that it was a dog that we wanted for keeps. Considering that we live in an apartment, we knew that we couldn’t have a big Labrador or a Golden Retriever. So we figured that a dachshund would be the way to go. And then we came across this Facebook post. It talked about beagles that had been rescued from a laboratory, the name of which of course they wouldn’t tell, lest someone like me talked about it online.
Anyway, I reached the CUPA office behind the 1 MG Road mall, at about 5 PM that Tuesday. They told us that of the 40 beagles that had arrived in the morning, 37 had been taken away. My heart sank because that could only mean that the three that were left behind would be the most sickly, unfriendly ones, those most likely to cause the most trouble. As a first time dog owner, I was deeply skeptical about this idea. I immediately contemplated faking a phone call and walking out. And then a voice spoke to me. No, it wasn’t my conscience, it was Sanjana Madappa; one of the key people behind CUPA. She said, ‘It’s okay, just take a look first. See how it feels to be around them.’ That acceptance of the uncertainty that I was facing, just made things alright right there. I walked in, a bit less afraid of myself, and into the backyard of the office.
There were three beagles out there. A female was quietly sitting, sleepy, possibly tired from all the attention she had had after 5 years of being ignored in a cage in a laboratory somewhere. Another was running around in circles relentlessly, she wouldn’t let anyone touch her. The years of being in a cage was coming out now, she was just happy being free and wanted to be as far away as canine-ly possible. And then there was the third. The only boy of the lot. He wanted to play. He was definitely tired, and wasn’t interested in the sleepy one. He wanted to play with the one who was running around. He was tiring out, taking breaks to drink water, sit for a few minutes and then resume running after the runner. He had a bald patch on his back. And boy, did he smell bad. But he had this look in his eyes. This beautiful trusting look that said, ‘Take me home, I will be good.’ I had trouble fighting back the tears, as I touched his head, and stroked his neck, and he closed his eyes gently. ‘Yes, go on, don’t stop. I’ve been dying to feel a human touch all these years.’ he seemed to say.
And then Archita arrived. She saw me crouching next to him. She knew I was smitten and that we would have to take him home. We were worried about the patch on his back, was it an infection? Would it harm others in our family? We had young nephews who visited us often, and we didn’t want them to get sick. Sanjana said that we could keep Skye in the CUPA clinic for a week, after which we could take him home. He would be given good care at the clinic, she assured us.
So be it, we said. We signed the necessary documents, and went home. We thought we’d see Skye on the following Saturday, and take him home the next weekend. Little did we know that when we would visit him on Saturday at the CUPA clinic, they would tell us that he’s good to go! He’d been responding well to treatment, and all he needed was tender care and affection.
And, oh boy, did he respond to it!
I am SO tempted to write everything here, but if I do how will my blog post count increase?
Hence the three dreaded words : To Be Continued…