Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Daisy - II

Daisy Goes To Hospital

Two weeks passed, Daisy regained strength – the wound healed, and she started to walk. But, she still limped. That is when I decided she needs medical attention and institutional care. I wanted her to scamper about on her four legs just like Budi Boo. My search to find medical help for her began. I googled.

Apart from what I had set out to find, I came across news articles about exceptional people in Chennai whose compassion for dogs have translated into meaningful service for these animals. I was led to the rousing tales of Narasimhamoorthy and C. Padmavathi, Amala Akkineni, and Yaggna Prabha. I remembered the language of omens that Paulo Coelho talks about in The Alchemist. I felt that these news articles were omens to support and encourage me in my search to find help for Daisy.

I finally found a list of animal welfare organizations in Tamil Nadu. I still remember my ecstasy at finding the list, I was ecstatic because I had never taken an initiative of this nature in my life before! The list made me feel that I had won half the battle. Armed with the list, I started dialing. Most numbers had changed, so I had to search some more to get the current ones. I spoke to different types of organizations with various approaches toward animal welfare. One well-spoken gentleman wanted to rope me in as a volunteer-researcher for his organization, another wanted me to help them with their website “in lieu” of helping Daisy. Another well-intentioned gentleman tried his best to convince me to give up the idea of keeping her under institutional care. His reasons were plausible, only it didn’t suit me. According to him, I should get Daisy home from where she can receive medical attention. Leaving a dog in an animal hospital is sinful, from what I understood of his viewpoint. My plea that the possibility is RULED OUT coz I live in a P-A-Y-I-N-G G-U-E-S-T accommodation fell into deaf ears.

It was taxing speaking to this well-intentioned gentleman, so I was grateful when he decided to spare me.

After more phone calls and more talking, I finally hit upon the Blue Cross of India, a hospital for animals – primarily dogs. For now that is all I will say about Blue Cross. It deserves a separate post, which I shall make in the future, soon. So done, it was decided that Daisy will go to Blue Cross for treatment. All arrangements were made and at an appointed hour on the first Saturday in March, the Blue Cross pick-up truck stopped in front of the bus stop where Daisy lived.

Two men got down from the truck; they first made me sign on an undertaking as I was the informer for this “pick-up”. That afternoon, Daisy was sprawled on the bus stop grounds enjoying a siesta, she had no notion about what was to come. I had especially been careful not to make any mention of the hospital trip to her knowing fully well that dogs are capable of extra sensory perceptions.

The operation to “pick” her began. One of the men approached her stealthily from behind with a long iron handle at the end of which was a roundish clasp. Seeing the device, I remember feeling a sudden pang of guilt. What was I pushing Daisy into? I was having a premonition of what was to happen. Suddenly, the man, with a quick and deft movement of his hand fixed the clasp on Daisy’s neck. Time seemed to stop for a few seconds thereafter. And my heart missed a beat. A heart-rending cry filled the air. The passersby stopped in their tracks. The crows started flying low helter-skelter and crowing menacingly. The invisible dogs in the locality joined in her shrill cry....

I will not go into the details from this point on till I went to meet Daisy the following day at the hospital. Suffice to know that I was distraught for a long time after she was “picked-up”. The manner in which it was done got to me. Everybody I spoke to about the ghastly pick-up tried to convince me that, that is how dogs from the street are picked up. Moreover they told me, the method does not cause pain to the dog, although it seems that it does. I hoped that they were right. My heart was still divided. I patiently waited for the next day when I would meet Daisy at the hospital. For a dog that I knew to have suffered trauma, how far was I justified in subjecting her to this experience? I wanted to know.

To be continued.

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