This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Sleep, little girl
Too soon, it's always too soon.
I've known Puppy since she first appeared in our street in 1997. So we go back a long way.
I think I secretly always wanted to bring her home, and I think she always wanted to live with me. I'd meet her at our gate, spend some time with her, and then she'd often try to follow me in and I'd have to gently shoo her out again. She was fed by my neighbours and other nice people, but it was understood that she was "my" special dog and that I was the person to call if she needed help.
The best moment of last year was when I finally brought her home with me, with Lalee wagging her tail as we entered the apartment.
My friends remind me that she was 14, that she spent her last days secure and loved as a pet dog and our family member, that her wish came true in the last year of her life, that she would have died earlier if she'd been left on the street, that she didn't suffer for very long. I'm grateful for the messages and I know that all these things are true, and that they will eventually bring some degree of consolation. But words don't mean anything much so soon after the loss. We all know that.
Earlier posts about Puppy's time with us: Teaching a 13-year old Puppy new tricks, The girls, Puppy's silent Diwali.
These are the last pictures we took of her. Of course at the time we had no idea that she had just a few days left to live.
December 14 - wrapped up on a chilly morning
31 December 2010: Puppy and Lalee, clicked by Kiran
Below: 31 December 2010 - Puppy and Lalee, afternoon nap in the sun. You can see the scars from an old burn wound on Puppy's side. She used to sleep under parked taxis when she was a street dog, and she probably got burned from the silencer or some other car part. That was about six or seven years ago.
I miss you Puppy sweetheart. Thank you for being my friend for so many years.
Rest in peace.
Puppy's tick fever titre test had shown positive, and I believe that was the cause of her death: the disease flared up and she showed symptoms in the last few hours of her life. In hindsight I think she had had a mild attack soon after her hospital stay, but it was not diagnosed at the time. In hindsight I feel I would have done many things differently, but we don't always get a second chance.
Lalee also tested "medium positive" for tick fever (ehrlichia canis). Her treatment is going on and her last blood test indicates that she is responding. She has never shown any obvious symptoms.
I don't want to spread alarm, but I urge dog owners not to take ehrlichia or any other tick-borne disease lightly. Dogs don't have to be loaded with ticks to get these diseases: a single tick could infect them. Mumbai has good facilities for detecting the disease, and good vets experienced in treating it. In ageing dogs or others with possibly lower immunity, it might be a good idea to get blood tests done routinely.