The young visitor in the Resident Cat enclosure spent quite some time bonding with the IDA cats. He had come to choose which ones he would like to sponsor and couldn't quite make up his mind. They are all so irresistable and charming. His first choice was Shifu who is standing up obligingly. You can see our famous pugilist Tiger in the other picture and he was another choice. Sponsorship of the cats helps us make their lives more comfortable and now and then they will get some interesting stuff to play with, relax on or eat. In turn, the Sponsor will get information about the welfare of the cats and also get to come and interract with them whenever he pleases.
This little dog, mistakenly called a Pom, is actually a Spitz. She doesn't belong on the road and was probably someone's discarded pet. Alone and unprotected on the streets, she gave birth to these lovely little pups, seven in number. She was located close to a Building Society, and it was decided by the residents, to throw her and her pups away from the premises. The place they chose was near a large deep drain and just by luck we were able to rescue the family before any of the babies fell in and died. They are all lodged at Deonar Centre now and are safe except from infection that the little ones might pick up from all the strays that are brought in for sterilisation on a daily basis. What is so puzzling is that animals have so many well-wishers all over the place, and this little dog was allowed to get pregnant and deliver a huge litter of pups on the streets. Our ABC programme is going on for the last 16 years. Thought everyone was aware that NGOs are around who are trying to sterilize dogs that are on the road. Besides being mandatory, this spares the female the truama of being pursued for about 2 weeks by a pack of aggressive male dogs, it stops males from fighting practically to the death and it prevents puppies from being born on the dangerous streets of Mumbai. Keep in mind that we need serious help from the public in identifying and locating dogs that need to be sterilised. Now these little ones are born and face an uncertain future at best. We are hoping for the best for this unfortunate little family. They have only experienced the cruelty of humans upto now. Let's hope they experience kindness and care in the future.
We have quite a large number of blind and handicapped dogs, rescued and brought to our ABC Centre. All of them are kept in a large pleasant enclosure, open on all four sides. Of course, we have to close it in during the monsoon, but otherwise it is quite airy and comfortable for them. They wander from one end of the enclosure to the other, sit, stand or lie on the benches and use their sensitive noses to good effect when friends or food arrives.
Who knows why so many blind dogs are found in Mumbai? A few of them are old so in their case it is understandable. Maybe it is the terrible heat, the fierce sun or the polluted atmosphere that acts in combination to allow them to go blind. The three in the pictures are quite young and strong. The brown chap relaxing on the ground is an escape artiste and had to be confined in another enclosure with bars till the roof. He used to clamber over the sides of the blind enclosure quite often, so he had to be put somewhere else. As soon as one goes near, the tails start wagging. They like their friends to visit.
We've started a cooling, neem sponge treatment for skin problems and all of them love to be sponged in this hot weather. They stand very still and enjoy the 'treatment'. It's good to have them in our care where they can live out their lives in peace and safety.
This is Mintsy. The tiniest patient in the puppy pen. Both his back legs are immovable and rigid as his spine is damaged, but he is a precious little chap. Every day, we give him a water therapy session. He is put in the small basin which makes a nice deep pool for him, and warm water flows down on his back from the nearby tap. When the basin is half full, Mintsy's butt floats to the surface and he can partially move his back legs, which he does. He loves the water and when he knows the swim is due, he wags his scrawny little tail a few times. That's all he can manage.
After the bath/swim, he is rubbed in a towel and then put on the stone bench in the Deaonar garden to dry. He enjoys this part of the 'treatment' as he knows soon he will get a nice bowl of milk to drink. Going through all that therapy is thirsty work!! We are all hoping he will make it to 2 months old, then usually puppies are safe from illness and worse. By the time, we love this little mite to bits and try our best to make him as comfy as possible.
Our two young volunteers from abroad come faithfully into the Deonar Centre every day. For the pups recovering from various ailments and injuries there, they are just what the Doctor/Vet ordered! As soon as the volunteers reach the Centre, they head into the puppy pen and start their routine, quietly and very efficiently. Each pup is thoroughly inspected, ears, toes, coat, for fleas and ticks, ears are kept very clean and whoever needs a bath is taken to the bathing area. One little pup who is paralysed is taken for his water therapy session - "swimming" in a large basin of warm water to encourage his rigid limbs and tummy to work and move a bit.
Other pups who are ready to go, are taken for a walk. This is an important part of the puppy's learning process and helps to teach them to walk on a leash. The best part of the session, which the puppies also seem to like the best, is all the loving attention they get. That is priceless for them and is surely an important part of the healing process.
Have a look at Jojo, modelling the latest in doggy wear in the IDA Deonar garden. Doesn't he look cool? He didn't mind being draped in the new doggy clothes we received from a donor, and we couldn't resist posting his pictures. If you all have forgotten, he is our elegant Sara's little son, all grown up. He is about six months old now and looking good. Some lucky person will get to take him home when he gets adopted, which we hope will be soon. Sara his mother, who had a simply horrific railway accident, because of which one front leg had to be amputated, is doing well also. She is a tall, elegant and beautiful dog, even on three legs, and we are so glad that she was brought to our Centre and that we were able to save her life and save her little pup as well. She had given birth to three pups long after she met with the accident. Who knows what she went through and suffered until she was rescued? Some wonderful observant person, noticed this dog almost dying at the side of a road and brought her in to Deonar along with her tiny pups and now she and Jojo are the living proof of how a collective effort can save these dogs from terrible suffering and dying a miserable death.
Daniella has come from Venezuela and while she is in Mumbai, is visiting our Deonar Centre every day to help out in whatever way she can. She and Kris, our second visitor from abroad, have been doing hard work at the Centre and are really cheerful about doing all types of tasks, no matter how onerous.
In the picture you can see Daniella sitting with a tiny pup in the garden. The little chap has paralysed back legs and first has a "swim" in a basin of warm water. This is good for the stiff limbs as he is quite buoyant in the water and can move them a bit. (Unfortunately, we don't have a swimming pool - it would be great for all the dogs. The heat is so unbearable.) The water therapy helps his stomach to work a bit also, so that he can relieve himself.
In the garden he is enjoying the sun and getting dry in the process. If you look closely, Lalu has pushed himself onto the bench and is sitting behind Daniella.
In the other pic Daniella is walking an abandoned spaniel. As soon as he spotted the leash, he was so overjoyed. Obviously loved his walks, but his careless family didn't love him enough to take good care of him and he was found alone and in bad condition on the road. The walk is another vital exercise which we wish all our resident dogs could enjoy. And volunteers are really required for this type of activity. It is specially important for our dogs who are adoptable, as it makes them more appealing to the prospective adopters if they walk well and are obediant.
A few weeks ago, we lost one of our most beloved dogs. Our Jumpy died of old age and he passed away quickly and quietly. He had been with us for many years and lived to a good old age. He came to Deonar as he had been identified as an 'aggressive' dog. If you look at his pictures, you will wonder where this particular title came from. Jumpy, at our Centre, was about as aggressive as a lamb. To top it all, the title and complaint had come from a Police Station, which was seemingly terrorised by aggressive old Jumpy. One lesson we learn at Deonar, is that dogs are only aggressive towards hostile, threatening, frightened people. Each dog becomes so friendly towards humans at our Centre, simply because he or she is surrounded by caring people and treated with kindness.
At our Centre, Jumpy was by far the Top Dog, the uncrowned King of the Centre. He looked magnificent in his prime; large noble head, tall and muscular and heavy as a wrestler. All the other dogs, even the contenders for the Throne, were respectful of this beautiful dog. But whenever any friendly human came close, Jumpy would sidle up and become as friendly as a puppy. He loved to have his head rubbed, tolerated an occasional bath and just loved to be petted. Towards the end of his life, a wonderful group of Volunteers came in and there was a massive exercise, bathing, grooming and medicating our dogs. Jumpy was in the middle of all the action, in fact, along with little Chingut, he came and posed with the smiling group you can see in the picture. He was a precious, wonderful part of our IDA family and we will always remember this spectacular dog with deep fondness.
Bye Jumpy, we miss you and will love you always.