Simba was born near Andheri (West) railway station. My friend Sujatha Chakrabarti saw him one day and went to feed him and his mother, but she realized something was wrong with the pup's eyes. A security guard told her there had been seven pups in the litter. Two got adopted, four died and only Simba was left with his mom.
He was 2 months old at the time. We dewormed him and fed him twice daily, Sujata in the morning and me in the evening. Within a fortnight he had put on weight. We took him to a vet for his distemper-combination vaccination.
Then we posted his photo on Facebook in the hope that someone would adopt him. But the next day we got terrible news. Simba was missing. Someone had taken him away. Even the security guard who looked after him was not sure who had taken him. We were very worried!
We started to get calls for his adoption from Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore, but he wasn't there. Our animal lover friend Petal promised to foster him till adoption, once he was found.
We circulated a lost dog appeal on Facebook. Two or three days later Sujata got a message from animal rescuer Charu Shah. Charu had heard from a vet friend that someone had admitted a blind pup to Bombay SPCA. It seemed similar to Simba.
Sujata, Petal and I rushed to BSPCA at once to discharge the pup. He had been admitted by a Mr Chadha, who had found him beside the metro-railway construction site. Someone had stolen him from Andheri Station and abandoned him there. The poor blind pup was terrified, crying and searching for his mother in an unknown place. Mr Chadha took him home at first, but was worried about him so admitted him to the BSPCA. We are deeply thankful to him for saving Simba.
Simba was finally in safe hands, in foster mom Petal's home. He got socialized with people and other dogs and would play happily with Petal's dogs. Meanwhile we posted everywhere again for his adoption. We also put up adoption posters in pet stores.
Through a friend Simba got a home, but after two months the owners wanted to give him up due to some family issue. So again Simba was back in foster care in Petal's home. This time he got a wonderful home with animal rescuer Anand Siva. Mr Siva already has dogs, cats and rabbits, but he opened his heart and home to Simba.
Simba had gone through a lot in his short life, but finally he found a lovely permanent home. He will never be able to see, but he's an active, healthy, happy family dog.
I am thankful to all those people who helped Simba in some way. Thanks to them he is still among us and living a great life. This is the first case I've come across where there were so many people ready to help one pup.
Text and photos: Amit Parmar