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She saved this stray dog and it changed her life
By VANITHA LOGANATHAN
It was 2004 when I first saw her, standing alone and helpless in a corner where her owners had kept her. A short steel chain limited her movement, and her bowl of food had flies hovering over it.
The worst part was that she did her “business” there too! The place wasn’t cleaned regularly, and her living conditions were filthy and smelly.
There was also no proper shelter for her. She was exposed to the hot sun and drenched when it rained. She looked dirty and unhappy. When I looked into her eyes, they looked listless.
The pup looked less than a year old. She didn’t have all the basic needs a dog should have: clean food and water, a decent place to stay, proper shelter and love. She was left at the same spot day and night; her owners were oblivious to her plight.
No dog should be treated that way. She was adorable; each time I walked past the place during my break time, she spotted me from a distance and wagged her tail excitedly. She seemed overjoyed whenever I patted her and talked to her.
That was probably the only time she felt loved. She was so gentle. Perhaps she knew that I understood the difficult life she had and her sufferings. Maybe, she was hoping that I could help her out of her misery. She looked like she was yearning for some love, and I couldn’t bear to see her that way.
I tried explaining her situation to the owners and advised them to improve her living conditions, but it was in vain. They said that she was given to them by a friend. When I asked them what her name was, the couple looked at each other blankly and couldn’t answer. She didn’t even have a name! I felt even more sorry for her.
After a few failed attempts to help the dog, I finally asked them if I could take her off their hands. Initially, they weren’t sure and told me they would let me know the next day. I kept my fingers crossed and prayed that it would be a favourable reply. At the same time, I was doubtful they would give her away as she was a Dalmatian. I was willing to pay them if that was what it took to change her life.
The next day, I went over and was so happy when they said yes! And that too, without asking for any money!
I was over the moon! I loved the thought of adopting her, but I already had a dog and my family often went out, so it would be difficult to care for them, I thought.
I took the puppy home anyway, and she was so excited when she reached my house. She ran and jumped her heart out. What a joyous sight! My intention was to foster her until I could get her a new home. My father’s friend in Parit Buntar (which was just 10 minutes’ drive away from my home) was keen to adopt her. Since we knew the family well, I gave her away as I believed they could give her a better life.
In fact, it was way better than I had expected! She was extremely well taken care of in her new home and adored by the whole family.
What’s more, she finally had a name, Lucy. I felt the name suited her gentle nature. She was vaccinated and spayed soon after. She was fed well and her place kept clean. No more dirty bowls, no more flies, no more heat and rain, and she was much loved by her new owners.
She had a wonderful family to call her own. It was heartwarming to see her grow into a happy and healthy dog. She was always wagging her tail happily. Her soulful eyes told a whole new story of contentment and happiness.
She was a friendly and playful dog. She also proved to be a good guard dog as well. Lucy’s “parents” were responsible pet owners.
A few years ago, Lucy developed a growth and they had it removed. She recovered well under their care.
They were very concerned about her health and well-being. I would visit her whenever I could because I loved and missed her, but I also knew she was in good hands. Even though I didn’t see her that often, she would still recognise me immediately, and would whine and jump on me excitedly. She does the same to my father who visited his friend more often.
Two years later, the family adopted another dog which my parents rescued from abuse by her drunkard owner. She was named Lucky. The two dogs got along well with each other and became very much a part of the family.
Last month, my mother told me the heartbreaking news that Lucy was gone forever.
I felt a pang of pain in my heart. I had just visited her 10 days earlier. She was already 11 years old. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I spoke to Lucy’s “mum”.
She was sad over Lucy’s passing, but it was her eldest child, Sareshma, who was only eight when Lucy came into their lives, who was more devastated and couldn’t stop crying.
Everyone in the family was grieving. I told her that even though it was painful, at least Lucy had 10 happy years with them. I thanked her for giving Lucy a blissful life. And in turn, she thanked me for bringing Lucy into their lives.
Though Lucy’s passing left a deep wound in my heart, I remember all the happy moments with her. I’m glad I took the first step that changed the dog’s life forever.
May God bless Mr Sudhesh and his family for their kind hearts and taking Lucy in.
This is what Sareshma posted on her Facebook after Lucy’s demise:
“Lucy, you were the sweetest dog I could ever ask for and the last 10 years with you were just beautiful.
“I’ll never forget the wonderful memories of you with us. I’ll always love you, Lucy girl. Rest in peace in doggie heaven now (February 2004 – April 15, 2015).”
Dear Lucy, you made me realise that it’s possible to make a difference to unfortunate and mistreated dogs like you. It just starts with a simple step and God will show the way.
Although you have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I’m sure you are still thinking of us. You will always be remembered fondly. Run freely and play happily with all the doggies up there. Till we meet again.
Originally published: 16 August 2015
Author: Vanitha Loganathan
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