Puppy Talk – Her Life’s Journey
I am Claire. I used to be a street dog and my family and I were known as the Street Stalkers.
Our eldest member is my mother. She has a certain air of wisdom and dignity. She has a chocolate brown coat with white spots and bead-like black piercing eyes. My mother was always very strict about the rules during lessons, but during play time ,I ,my siblings and my cousins played, were free willed to do as we pleased. She was the alpha leader of the Street Stalkers.
Then we have my sisters – Asa a negorian (a language spoken by dogs in Africa) name, Ruth and my brothers Jason and Jim.
In addition we have my aunt and her three children Doris, Beth and Theo.
This story is when my siblings, cousins and I were still puppies, about six months old.
Every day we would run after cars and bark incredibly loud to scare the pedestrians for our own pleasure. It was a strenuous exercise consequently we would get extremely exhausted. Mostly everyone thought of us as boisterous puppies. Though, some people in the neighbourhood knew what little puppies like the most, being caressed.
One of the old, grey-haired grandmas fed us every day. We customarily ate meat. Also on occasions we got delicious carrots as a treat.
This was our way of living.
One day after our play sessions we went to the elderly lady’s house. Usually, she would come out of her house during this time to fill our hungry stomachs. On that day to my amazement she was not outside! We waited for a long time. Then my mother and aunt barked to call her however nobody came out. There was not a sound from the house. All of us were confused. Where had the aged lady gone? Nonetheless we waited…
After watching in vain my mother and aunt led us back to our home on the street.
Each and every one of us felt miserable about the aged lady leaving. That day we could not find much to eat, only a few scraps of food discarded on the road by the pedestrians.
We all slept under the glinting and gleaming light of the silvery moon which was illuminating the night sky.
The next morning we woke up hungry. My mother and aunt tried their best to search for food yet they could only find a few bits of food from nearby places. That day we were not ourselves, we did not chase cars or each other. We just could not stop thinking about the old lady. The kindness the lady had shown us was unpayable. The love and affection we had got from her was too good to be true!
A number of days passed. We had become weary by the insufficient food and lack of sleep. We were not used to looking for food in dustbins and scraps.
Beth and Jim were a little under the weather. I myself was feeling blue.
Our condition became worse. All of us had become as skinny as sticks.
We were not used to rummaging through garbage to find food. However circumstances make everyone do the impossible or the unthinkable. I had not imagined my life to be so, then again life is like a roller coaster and it has its ups and downs.
The days passed. Our pack was in a poor state of mind. We felt insecure about our surroundings. Every time someone would come too close, instinctively my mother and aunt would become alert.
On one gloomy day some people were standing close to us and chattering about some issues on street dogs. We could hear the conversation. The two elders understood what was being said. As we were small puppies we could not comprehend. We pups had not yet mastered canine talk. How could we possibly understand what the humans said? In spite of that I knew something was wrong. Their faces were pale and grey with anxiety. I wanted to know what was wrong, but then again I was helpless.
The chatter between my mother and aunt gave me a hint about the incident which had happened the previous day. When I started to assemble the clues, I realised what the problem was – that we would be taken to the pound the next week! How terrible! The pound is no place a dog would want to be! My eyes widened with horror. My whiskers started to twitch; I buried my face into my paws so no one would notice how the colour had drained out of my face.
The days went by like wild storms. People in the neighbourhood kept distance, afraid that we would bite them and be a nuisance.
With all doors closed, I anxiously and tirelessly waited for one door to open which would hopefully bring back the glow of a lightning bolt in our hearts. More than a glow, the sunshine of our packs lives was W.S.D, Welfare of Street Dogs. W.S.D works for the prosperity, happiness and well-being of all the street dogs.
One morning when the radiating beams of the sun were illuminating the barren ground, a van which looked as huge as the titanic to me, was towering upon us. The doors opened and six social service workers came out. They had looped cable leashes in their hands. I was frightened! My heart hammered against my chest! I assumed they were the people from the dog pound who were here to take us away! I did not want to go to the pound!
They paced towards us with their fear-provoking leashes. Instantly all the puppy’s tails were between their shaking legs, as was mine. In contrast my mother and aunt were standing in a stiff posture with their tail raised but eyes calm which gave a message to us, the puppies, that there was nothing to worry about. I could not quite understand why an air of tranquillity surrounded them, though it granted me some assurance about not being in harm’s way.
The social service approached us, gently picked us up and put us in the van. The elders were cooperating with them bewildered me! Nevertheless I followed their example.
To my relief they were not the people from the pound, they were from the W.S.D. They were here to take us to the Dog rehabilitation programme centre. This programme is for those dogs that have been deserted by their masters or are like us, street dogs
After an hour or so of anxiety, the van stopped. We were taken out and taken for examination. After being checked thoroughly we were given a sumptuous meal which we ate ravenously. It had been months (it felt like aeons) since we had had this lavish food!
We stayed in the shelter for a fortnight. Then we were moved to a bungalow of a loving and caring family.
Now I live in the house owned by a benevolent family. Within the love and warmth of the home I am occasionally reminded about how my life changed and how my family had tackled adversities while at the same time enjoyed and relished our time together. I learnt however difficult the seas may be, you have to always stay together as one. Like my family did supporting and comforting each other during the storm.