In the winter of 2010-11 Koel Chatterji rescued seven beautiful INDog pups in Kolkata.
Here is their story:
"It was the morning after Christmas, 2010. I woke up to my aunt Moon Moon's call: she lives a few houses away from me. A bitch called Leju had given birth to a litter of six pups on the ground floor of a house that was under renovation. My aunt had named her Leju because of her incessant tail wagging - lej means 'tail' in Bengali.
Leju hadn't been doing too well and my aunt wanted me to check on her. I found the dog roaming around restlessly, unable to sit for more than a few minutes at a stretch. In spite of the obvious pain and discomfort she was in she kept going to nurse her pups. My friend Indranil, who currently has 15 INDogs at his home, arrived and managed to catch Leju, while I bundled up the pups, three boys and three girls, in an old bedsheet much like Santa's sack of gifts! And then I brought them home.
We started Leju on IV fluids. She calmed down considerably once she was settled under my staircase with her pups next to her. Later that evening, while I was putting up some makeshift curtains to cordon off the area, Leju passed away in her sleep. I turned around to find her lifeless body, with the pups, blissfully unaware of the world, sleeping all huddled up together near her tummy.
We brought out my daughter's discarded playpen, layered it with newspapers and blankets and put all the pups in it.
The next few weeks passed by in a blur of feeds, pee, poop and cleaning! Since the pups had been born in a construction site, I gave them all Bengali names for construction materials. They were named Shurki (powdered brick), Bali (sand), Eety (from eet = brick), Kurni (trowel), Kodaal (hoe) and Paatkel (broken bricks).
I put little cloth ties around their necks, with name tags made of paper wrapped in scotch tape. I kept these on for about a week. In this one week Bali managed to remove his tie at least a hundred times; thankfully he was the only brown pup in the litter so he was easily identifiable. My cousin brought in another pup from the street in January, to add to the set. He couldn't find her mother anywhere. I named her Kaankor (stone chips).
We lost Eety a few days after Kaankor joined the brood. She stopped feeding one morning and passed away the same night.
|Kurni and Bali|
|Bali chewing on the news...|
|Paatkel trying to get Chocolate the black lab to play. Chocolate is my older dog.|
|My daughter with Kaankor just before her adoption...sad to part with her, but she's very happy with her new family|
Bali and Kaankor were adopted by the families of two men who work in our company. Kaankor was the first to be adopted, because the other five were shunning her and ganging up on her. I have often wondered whether that was because they knew her to be an 'outsider' even at that early age. Her adoptive family renamed her Kaankon (bangle). I get regular updates on Bali and Kaankor, and see them once in a while. Kaankor came to stay with us for a few days when her family went on a holiday last year - it was wonderful!
Shurki, Kurni and Paatkel were kept by Koel. Here they are, all grown up!
|Paatkel with his 'nanny' and biggest fan, Ritu|
Koel has three more dogs, INDog-mixes Golu, Molu and Jeroo. Coming up soon in another post!
Photos and story: Koel Chatterji
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