It’s been two weeks since I was separated from my family. I thought sooner or later I will get back to home but now it’s not about going back but more about ‘’food’’ & ‘’survival’’.
One morning when I was lying in a park, I saw few people & their dogs with a leash, they all looked so strong and big, ‘’they must be nice people who are taking good care of them’’ I said to myself happily & ran towards a sturdy man who was playing with his dog, giving him treats in between.
My mouth watered at the sight of the treats ‘How should I get them? Should I jump,wag my tail and run fast or sniff and lick his feet?’’ but all of sudden I realized that I was too weak to perform any of these tricks and it wasn’t possible for me to compete with a hefty dog he had. So, I decided to go near him and ask for food politely. The moment he saw me coming towards him, he gave such a hateful look and kicked me in my stomach.
‘’Get lost! You dirty diseased dog or else I will break your bones to pieces.’’ Man shouted staring me with his big eyes that turned red in anger.
I whined in pain and got frightened thinking ‘’it’s better to run away and hide or else I might get killed by this man or his dog.’’
Hiding in bushes I thought ‘’why did that man behaved like this to me? He allowed his dog to jump on him, to play with him then why did he hit me? After all I was wanting was a piece of treat ‘’
‘’Did I scare him?’’ or ‘’Am I too ugly or disgusting to look at?’’. I concluded that day maybe people love big & strong dogs but not someone like me who’s so tiny & weak.
‘Doesn’t matter if his dog was strong and big but he wasn’t free like me, I am a free puppy without a leash and can roam around wherever I want’’ said myself to ease the pain.
One morning when I was sitting alone in the park, some kids came near me and a girl said ‘’Hey! Let’s take him home, he looks cute like a Teddy Bear’’. ‘’Oh yes! I am a handsome looking puppy’’ I said happily wagging my tail. She picked me up from the ground and took me out of the park where her bicycle was parked. Rest of the kids came running behind us.
She had a lovely bicycle with a basket attached at the front, she placed me in the basket and drove me her home where all kids wanted to play with me. Some were inspecting my ears and others were pulling my tail, I also wanted to play with them but was injured by that man and I was feeling hungry. The girl gave me some very sweet cookies which were delicious but I had tough time eating them as I couldn’t chew properly with my new teeth.
‘’Is it raining?’’ I asked myself
NO!! It wasn’t rain but a bunch of boys who were giggling & throwing water on me. ‘’Let’s see if he likes water’’ said a boy to another.
I was happy to see such a friendly behavior from them but it was bitter cold and water made me sick and I started sneezing a lot.
‘’I better run away from here or I may end up being very ill’’ I thought and started running as fast as I could and kids were chasing & throwing stones on me in between.
This entire chase made me out of breathe and my heart was palpitating. Trembling and protecting myself, I came back to park and rolled in grass to dry the water from my body.
Next day, I met four puppies who were playing in the park, which didn’t look upscale and they were feeble and dirty like me. Their mother was standing under a tree, watching them play.
Grief stricken I thought ‘’Oh! How much I miss my own mother, she must be sad and must have been looking for me.’’
I decided to be friends with them so that I don’t end up alone here, so I walked towards them in a friendly manner and asked one of the puppies ‘’what’s your name?’’
He giggled and said ‘’I don’t have a name.’’
‘’so they are without a name like me’’ I thought.
I narrated him the incident that happened with that sturdy man in the park. After listening to me, he explained ‘’don’t you know? They are pets. People take good care of their pets and pets get all the comfort which are just a dream for us.’’
I replied ‘’But they are also dogs.’’
He answered ‘’ they are not ordinary, stray dogs. They are expensive, purchased from the market as per buyer’s choice or sometimes people adopt them too’’
I was surprised & thought ‘what a crazy idea it is? Why to buy dogs when there are plenty of us here on the street fighting for daily food?’’
I asked him ‘’Can I come and stay with you? I am all alone here & got separated from my family.’’
He turned his head towards his mother and then nodded positively. I was delighted to get some friends here at an unknown place.
I started living with them afterwards near a garbage dumping ground. That was our only source of finding food, so every day we used to go there. We were not fortunate much of the time and after ripping a lot of plastic bags, we hardly used to get something edible.
I remembered the nights when we slept starving. It was difficult for their mother to feed them as she herself wasn’t getting enough food and was growing weaker day by day.
One blessed morning I found a whole piece of bread from one of the plastic bags. I jumped with joy and grasped my treasure carefully. ‘’Today I won’t sleep hungry’’ said to myself and started heading back somewhere away from the dumping ground then suddenly my puppy friends pounced on me together.
‘’Hey! Give that bread to us.’’ First puppy said growling.
‘’B...B...B...uttt it’s m...m....mine, I found it’’ I stammered a little
‘’Give it to us or we should throw you away from this place.’’ Second one said threatening me.
‘’It’s better to give them as they are more in number and stronger than me & I can’t afford to lose friends, after all it’s just a bread’’ I thought.
I loosened my grip and dropped the piece of bread on ground after which all of them including their mother tore it into pieces. I left quietly.
After few days, the little girl with a bicycle from the park visited me while I was sitting with my new friends; she brought a soft loaf of bread along with her which she threw in front of me. I knew I won’t be allowed to have all food alone so I shared it with my puppy friends.
Since that day, she started coming often and every day she used to bring little food which was later on shared by me with my new friends. I was becoming a little important for my friends and they were happy with me as they started allowing me to eat my share of food that I used to find from the garbage.
Though that garbage dumping ground was a life saver for us but I started getting allergies by lice’s and fleas. Sometimes I used to scratch so hard that blood would come out of my skin.
I was waiting to grow up, run fast & be stronger but hardly found any growth in my body. I was falling prey to numerous diseases, losing weight and strength.
Instead of progressing, I was regressing with each passing day. After over a month, my limbs were getting frailer and I couldn’t walk properly. I used to sit alone at night and cry to myself ‘’How I am going to run ever again? It hurts to walk now and my body lose balance when I try to stand up.’’
I spent much of my time sitting & seldom used to walk. I felt like as if I have become a burden who’s not of any use.
My new puppy friends stopped paying attention towards me as I wasn’t able to hunt for food anymore but I don’t blame them as they themselves were having a tough time. That little girl from the park didn’t visit me anymore and I was left alone again.
I thought being low spirited ‘‘this is the end. I will die of hunger soon and never be able to get back home or may get killed by some disease.’’ I didn’t want to die of some disease.
Then suddenly, I remembered the adoption thing that one of my puppy friends told me once,so I decided to place myself for adoption.
‘’I shall try my luck ’’ I thought.
I kept on sitting on the pavement for days as it was hard for me to stand up and wagged my tail to every person who crossed the street hiding my pain. My condition was getting deteriorated each day. I wanted to get noticed by someone & wanted to get some attention, love, care and food.
I tried hard to catch attention but no one looked at me and I knew my chances of survival were bleak.
One night I was starving & wasn’t able to move any part of my body without shaking due to weakness.
‘’I need to find food and get well or else I will die’’ thinking this I dragged myself to the garbage dumping ground to find something to eat. Luckily I got a little cheese in a paper bag & thought ‘’Tonight I won’t be sleeping hungry’’. I thanked God for the meal and gulped it all then lied down to sleep.
Next day in the morning I had a lot of vomiting and blood in the stool. After that I became unconscious and fell on the ground. I was thirsty & wanted some water but couldn’t gain courage to go out and find some water. I wasn’t able to open my eyes or move my body. After sometime, I heard some voices.
It seemed few people were standing near me & were saying various things like:
‘’He must have eaten something poisonous’’
‘’NO! NO! I think a snake has bitten him’’
’’He won’t survive now’’
‘’We must call someone to take away his body & dump somewhere far away or else infection could spread here. He’s a diseased animal’’
‘’ I just ate a small piece of cheese, OH God! Was it dipped in rat poison? The only food I got in such a long time was poisoned ’’I thought with a sinking heart. I heard somewhere about people putting poison in the food to kill rats.
I was dying and knew no one could save me. I wanted to see one last time my family who will never know what happened to me. No one will cry or moan on my dead body and it will be dumped like a trash in that garbage ground.
This was my fate I guess and fate of many others like me.
I wanted to ask one question before taking my last breathe
‘’ was it really a Poison that killed me?’’