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Mumbai, India
I am an animal lover. I own two lovely dogs and two gorgeous cats. I work with the wildlife conservation NGO Satpuda Foundation in the tiger reserves of central India. Before that I worked for 14 years with the street dogs of Mumbai. I created and manage the INDog Project www.indog.co.in and the INDog Club.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts and for the INDog/Indian Pariah Dog Club. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Membership of the Club is restricted to Pariah Dogs and mongrels (mix-breeds) only. 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 cynologists call the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. The Club is an informal group with over 200 members.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mia means Mine



As a rule I don't post stories about urban dogs that aren't pets, but I'm making an exception in this case, to show the sad plight of ownerless city dogs. Displaced by welfare organizations that are supposed to be helping them; vulnerable and always unsafe in every way.

Meenakshee Soman, owner of Felix, wrote this touching story about a friendship found and lost.

Some months back on my daily walk with Felix (my faithful companion), a street dog accompanied us. On returning home I gave her water and some heavy petting…It was a female dog. She stayed in our colony for the next four days and then vanished..I looked around for her but in vain..

And on another such walk, in the parallel lane, suddenly a bundle of joy jumped on me and she was found. Again she followed us home and ever since then stayed in our colony.

She got a name (Mia) and vaccination. She was already spayed by the Municipality and released wrongly in our area.

She was hungry for love and a big foodie too...





But she was so loyal that in spite of staying on the street, she always preferred love and loyalty over food.

Whenever I would walk anywhere, no matter how far it was, she used to accompany me. She would be tired sometimes but she never left my side. She did not expect food from me, just needed some love and acceptance.

The best times were when she came with me to the railway station. The first time it happened, I had to come all the way home to drop her back to the colony. But my dad said she is a dog, she can come home without you. Next time I thought of trying it out and before I could even finish sending a text to my dad, she was home. It’s at least a 10 minute walk from the station to my place, on a busy street full of street dog 'pockets' in between. But she used to brave all that just to be with me. She became the Indian Hachiko.

For the last couple of months it wasn't just me but even the regular shopkeepers and people that I visit who had gotten used to her being with me all the time. She and Felix formed a racket and in turn a very strong bond. Felix did not like anyone saying anything to her or even shooing her away. In turn she tried to get the street dogs friendly towards Felix. She would just get into any unknown street dog group and try to bully them, getting into trouble at times. Then I was supposed to rescue her!

She also had a right to Felix’s food. She would come home and just have his food!






Initially she used to sleep a lot when she came home. But later she would come home, stay for a while, eat and then want to go back to the road. It was clear she didn't want to be restricted and missed her freedom on the road. She was a happy dog.



She had two boyfriends, Felix at home and Milo on the road. When Felix spotted something fishy on the street he would alert them and they would then chase out the suspicious-looking person or dog.

They were the ones that barked when a cycle was stolen from our society. But as usual mankind paid no heed to their barking.

And when all was going well it abruptly came to an end without any notice. On the night of 5th March, after her feeding session, she went missing. No one saw her after that night.

As usual I looked for her; but then there is no nearby area from which she can't return. After all she has come with me almost up to 1 - 3.5 km radius of my house.

No inquiry yielded any result.

We thought that maybe someone had taken her home but it's been days and she is missed and remembered every day. No one greets me each time I leave and come back, right at my society gate. No one accompanies me any longer. And it’s just Felix and me on our night walks.

It feels so lonely without her. With her abundant love and faithfulness, she left a lasting mark on our lives. Felix and Milo are missing her terribly, with Felix going cranky and Milo sad.

She showed that one doesn’t need money or lots of time to create lasting and positive memories.

Here’s hoping that she is well and will return home soon safe and sound.



Story and photos: Meenakshee Soman
Thane


2 comments:

Meenakshee said...

Thank you so much Rajashree for making an exception for Mia. Hope folks read the story and tell me where she is

wandereress said...

I can imagine how much you must be missing her. Dogs have the ability touch us and move us in so many ways. Here's hoping that you reunite with her soon. Juhee