Tuesday, February 04, 2014

D is for Dogs.. stray dogs

I’m not a dog person, not even an animal person at all. They’re messy and smelly and hairy and so demanding. And I’m talking about pets.

Add to all of that, a basketful of fleas, a bucket of grime and a bunch of scabs and wounds and you have the strays. They really have no chance of making a case for themselves.

So why am I doing a post on them?

Well that’s precisely why.

Nope this is not a sympathy post, though of course they deserve that and much more. However this is not as much about them as us. In our country, we find them everywhere, right? 

So what do we do about them?

- We can ignore them (for how long, though?)
- Chase them away (they’ll only come back)
- Wait for the municipal corporation to do something (which may take ages or not happen at all).
Even if the corporation does step in, all they can do is get them sterilised and vaccinated and release them back. They cannot be killed unless they have rabies. At least that’s my understanding of the law. If I’m wrong please do correct me, dear readers. There just aren't enough dog shelters to take care of them all.

Dog lovers might suggest we adopt a stray. Not being one myself I can understand how that might not be an option for all of us.

However, here’s someone who found a humane yet practical option. Meet Kalpana. She runs a library close to where I live. I’d watched her feeding these dogs and hated the thought of navigating my way through a bunch of them to get to my books. However, over the years I’ve learnt to see her point and their’s too.

Another friend takes a snooze
That's Kalpana with 'Tipu'
Kalpana looks after some eight dogs of our locality. She got them sterilised and vaccinated. She feeds them everyday. The vaccination and sterilization is way more important than the feeding.

The canine friends have become an integral part of the library and can be found snoozing among the books or happily welcoming book lovers who drop by.

Once they know they have a regular supply of food they turn less aggressive and more friendly. Come to think of it I’ve never as much as heard a growl from any of those at the library.

What a compassionate solution, this is! Don’t you think?

In parts of Delhi the stray population went down drastically due to similar initiatives taken up by animal loving citizens. Go here for that story.

PS: If you're a regular here this post might sound familiar. Yeah.. a piece of fiction I did recently was inspired by strays like Tipu. 

This post is done for ABC Wednesday - a fun initiative for bloggers.


  1. Kalpana (my namesake) is doing a great job.
    Tulika , I have got company . I too am not fond of pets but only admire them from far.
    Actually I am very scared of pets.

  2. We need more people like Kalpana, hats off to her. I would love to visit her library someday :) Lovely post.

  3. A friend of ours is doing similar to what Kalpana is doing. She is not only doing for stray dogs but for any stray animal. Their sprawling bunglow once even had a sick donkey recuperating in their garden. Of course, now she has started an NGO and have a proper rehab centre for the sick stray animals. While we can just think about mess, hairs and fleas, we have compassionate people like Kalpana who are doing so much. May her tribe increase!

  4. Great piece of fiction you wrote.
    It certainly explains the plight of strays.

  5. While I generally don't take in strays, I do have 4 dogs that I love dearly. The shelters here are over populated and taking an animal shelter is almost a guaranteed death sentence. So sad!!

  6. Well, I'm a dog lover and would love to have more. But realistically, it's not possible. But one can always support the SPCA with donations and adopt from the shelters. Your friend should be honoured for her charitable work with the strays. Also, one wonders where these strays originally came from - homes where people just ignored them once they found that it's like caring for a child?

    abcw team

  7. I salute people who take it upon themselves to make the changes needed.


  8. Well, I like cats, but dogs, not so much. entertaining.


  9. I'm not a dog person, in that sense, but I am not scared of them. I can actually pet them too, if it comes to that. But, I cannot take care of animals, primarily because I don't know how. And, to watch Kalpana do what she does is very heartwarming and reminds me of my very good friend, Yasmine, who has set up the Animal Aid Alliance here in Bangalore. She is another person I truly admire for the selfless love and devotion she has to all creatures. Check out her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/animalaidalliance?fref=ts

  10. Food for thought OM !
    Kudos to Kalpana!! May her tribe increase.

  11. I thinks it a very noble thing to do....taking care of someone who needs care! Don't you think?!

  12. Wow, we really have to admire kalpana! And I'm glad for the concerned citizens out there!

  13. I love dogs, particularly large ones but I understand how it can be a problem to have so many running wild. What a great service the librarian does. Carver, ABCW Team

  14. Heart warming story. One person making a difference.
    Joy - ABC Team

  15. That was lovely, thank you. Funnily enough, my own D entry was about my desire to adopt a dog, so your post was very inspiring!

  16. I loveee dogs... You guys are doing such an amazing job :)

  17. Wow. Kudos to Kalpana and team :) Heart warming story Tulika !

  18. This is a very nice piece! honestly I'm scared of dogs or any pets for that matter :)

  19. I'm not a dog person either! And yes, I can see the point to this...
    Nice post

  20. Great thought and a wonderful post!

  21. What a brilliant thought! And combining my two loves- pets and books seems like the perfect idea already <3


  22. really wonderful idea.. I know Bangalore has a huge stray-dog problem too.. (and good to know about the Animal Aid program by Yasmine)..hats off to Kalpana and to you too for highlighting this story

  23. That is so novel!
    A fantastic solution, wish more cities followed this.


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