There is a stray dog that lives in the compound of our society. I have nicknamed him, Old General. He is one ugly dog. Once upon a time he must have been a handsome fellow. But now he is mangy and his eyes are full of pus. He walks with a limp and his ear is torn and bleeding. He can’t even lift his leg to pee.
Yet, he is the undoubted leader of the stray dogs in the building. They are a pack of four. And woe betide any other dog who dares to enter the compound. The two pet dogs in the complex had better watch out. There is a clear demarcation, a line we cannot allow our pets to cross without a leash. This is our “illaka” and that is theirs. Or rather that is Old General’s “illaka”.
He growls at everybody. The kids are terrified of him. Their parents are terrified of him. The watchmen are terrified of him. But for some reason, whenever I see him, I just want to salute him. Every day, he fights all odds to defend his territory. In spite of everything, he is still undisputed King.
Last week, my dog Muffin, unfortunately slipped off her leash and ran into forbidden territory. In a flash, Old General was after her, followed by his faithful followers and before I could reach Muffin, they managed to corner her. Luckily, her part husky genes saved her by way of her extra thick fur coat.
But, long after Muffin was safe home and I had stopped trembling I could still hear Old General whining in agony. I went down to check on him and found that he was much more ill than I had realised, and that the short sprint had taken a toll on him.
I was too scared to touch him myself, so I called up a contact I knew in PAL (Pet Owners and Animal Lovers, Thane) and Dr. Viveka Vatwani arrived to check him up.
What I saw was a miracle. I had warned her that he was ferocious, but she shrugged my warning aside and went in search of him. She sat down next to him and she didn’t even seem to mind the fact that he was so mangy or maggoty. She just kept talking to him calmly and checking his leg and ears. And to my utter astonishment he actually let her pet him, whimpering like a pup, wagging his maggot ridden tail as fast as he could, licking her hand. It was as if he could sense the love and responded to it.
She asked the assistant to get him into the ambulance but it seemed he didn’t want to go. And suddenly all of his gang came and stood between him and the catcher, barking their heads off, refusing to let him take away their beloved leader.
All I could do was stand there with tears flowing down my cheeks and my heart going “AWWWW!”
That was love at so many levels!
When was the last time your heart went AWWW? When did something touch you and all you could do was feel the love, the beauty of the moment?
Do share your experience in the comments.