Rescued is my favorite Breed
Updated: Mar 15
It started out as just another day. I had no idea my life was about to change. We wanted to get away from the hustle bustle of Rourkela. I had heard about a dam at the far end of town where the locals often go for picnics. So we hired a green auto to take there.
On the way we stopped at an isolated check point. It wasn't anything exciting, but what caught my eye was this little puppy sitting alert and attentive.
He looked at me with his soulful golden eyes. That moment I knew I had to cuddle the tiny fellow. It’s not a common feeling, but I could feel my heart melt. The puppy was well behaved, lovable and intelligent. He had very observant eyes, noticing everything around him.
The only thing I could offer was a packet of cake. He started wagging his tail, his eyes lit up with joy and immediately started sniffing the cake. Within 2 minutes there was no evidence of the cake left.
There was a very kind guard on duty. He told us their hours of duty keep changing often they get transferred. This little pup was alone and he took shelter near the guard's booth, as the bigger dogs did not trouble him there. Food was scarce. The picnic spot was bit far away, this was just a check post with limited food availability.
With a slight hesitation, I could not help but take the little pup home. Once we put him in the auto, he sat comfortably cuddled next to me. I named him then, Leonidas; my Leo.
The first night in the hotel, he found a quiet dark corner under the bed and slept off early. He did poop in the room and was terribly embarrassed about it. Next night, was our train back to Calcutta. I was nervous. Will I be able to smuggle Leo? It’s his first night in an alien environment. Will he cry or will he bark? Will other passengers complain?
Sometimes, we just have to take the leap of faith.
Leo sat with me in the station. Once the train arrived I put him in a big jute bag and quickly boarded the midnight train. The train was dark and quite; top berth was reserved the I opened the bag to let Leo out. Leo looked around, got cozy and fell asleep in my arms.
What is it like bringing up a rescued animal;?
I will tell you. It’s beautiful because it is sweetly painful.
They will not trust you completely, you need earn it. These animals have witnessed real fear, life threatening fear. They were not always loved. They will be very skeptical of people around them,but slowly you will see their love grow. The pup which choose the dark isolated corner under your bed, will now wag his tail and jump on the bed to snuggle with you. And once they love you, it’s the kind of love you can feel.
Their fur will be rough, not beautifully perfect as the pup in the pet store.. With healthy food and love you will see them transform. When small Leo used to hear a sudden loud noise, he would get scared and hide under the bed. But now, he believes he is the guardian of the house. He will bark at anyone who could pose as a threat.
On 28th April 2016, India made a landmark regulation. India banned import of dogs for breeding. India is a country with thousands of stray dogs. These dogs are known as the Indian Pariah Dog. It is thought to have a lineage going back 15,000 years, making it one of the oldest breed in itself.
With the rising tide of Indian consumerism it has become important to emulate the West. All most all Indians, irrespective of their economic background want a foreign bred dog. There was is a stigma to 'own' a 'street dog'.
The pet industry is approximately growing 4% every year. We have made dogs into products. A social status is attached to a dog. Are these dogs there to help them have a better social standing?
I do not understand those people who live in cities like Delhi and Calcutta want to keep exotic breeds like Siberian Huskies and Saint Bernards. These breeds are meant for cold climates and thrive in snow. Bringing a cold region dog to tropical climate makes the animal suffer.
Our Indian Breed is made for the Indian climate. They are healthy throughout the year; a hot sunny day will not stop them from having some fun. These dogs are known to have great immunity as their genes have not been interbred and weakened, their genes have been passed through surviving hostile environments. They can eat practically anything without falling sick. Also, I can proudly say, they are super fit and athletic.
Take a leap of faith. And I promise you, that rescuing an animal will be far more satisfying than walking to a shop and buying a product. Find your own Leo , and let him who will show you the purity of love.
(You can follow Leo's incredible journey on Instagram at @leo_cuteog )