When we moved here I said “I’ll never…” many times. Too many times. I’ll never ride that, let my kids do that, eat that; the list goes on and on. And as a result many things on my “I’ll never” list have come back to bite me in the, well, you know what.
One such thing has happened and it’s a pretty big NEVER. If you know me you know that I am not an animal person. I don’t like animals, mostly because I’m terrified of them. And they smell and make a mess, and I like things pretty clean. I’ve only had one pet that I was sad to lose, Fluffy my gray cat that lived outside who died when I was a teenager. And unfortunately now I hate cats because I developed an allergy to them and can’t be anywhere near them without sneezing and breaking out into hives. No more Fluffy, ever.
And dogs. Don’t get me started about dogs. I’m terrified of dogs, I always have been. Last summer we were at a friend’s house and the dog started running around frantically and barking (at me I thought) and guess who ended up on the dinning room table clutching my three-year-old so we could escape? You guessed it. My husband still cringes at the memory.
Imagine my horror when we decided to move to India and what do they have an overabundance of? Dogs. Yes, lovely street dogs who sometimes turn nasty and bite people, but mostly just poop everywhere and take baths in the drains. Lovely, lovely, street dogs.
But India has changed me in many ways, it does that to people whether you like it or not. When we arrived one of the things I lamented was that our children could never have a pet. I would never, NEVER, have a pet in India. It’s too complicated with us traveling for long periods of time and there was no way I would ever want to walk a dog here (you have to carry a large stick to keep the other dogs away). The street needed to stay on the street– which included the dogs on it.
A few weeks ago a very pregnant dog showed up at our church (do you see where this is going?) and had a litter of puppies. They were so cute, but I never wanted my kids to touch them for fear of every possible disease being passed along. There was one dog in particular that had blue eyes that my 2nd born loved, animal lover that he is, but sorry kid, because we’re not having a dog. In India. Never ever.
Yesterday my husband had gone to a meeting at our church. The little dog that had been so cute and full of life no longer had any energy and had lost weight. He looked like he was dying. I cried when the Hubs told me. Death on the street happens every day to dogs here, why was this one any different? I couldn’t explain it, but my heart felt heavy.
Maybe I’m just tired of all the suffering around me that I can’t change. Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe I’ve finally gone crazy or soft or both. Heaven knows I don’t need one. more. thing. to look after, right?
We decided to go for it and take him from the street and try to help him (totally my call). One I couldn’t believe I made because I’m not an animal person, I have no idea what we’re going to do with a dog or if this dog will even make it. He’s very sick. While his brothers and sisters were bouncing around, he lay dying from various infections, malnutrition and dehydration.
It’s been a long day, maybe an even longer night. The Hubs has been to the vet three times and has to go back in the morning. The dog can’t stay outside and I don’t particularly want him inside (he still smells quite bad and has other issues I’ll not mention here), but he’s a baby and he cries when we leave him.
This is not going to be easy.
Our first pet and it’s not what I would have imagined or chosen, exactly. We don’t even know what to name him. But here we are, doing what we can for a little guy who would be dead tomorrow if we did nothing. This is so not me, not my normal, but maybe normal is changing and that’s not a bad thing.