Leah, a new pet who had entered my home and my heart without making any effort on her part. Leah is 12 years old bitch, who had traveled to Ahmedabad from Bengaluru, with my son Vaibhav as he has shifted to Ahmedabad recently.
The circumstances turned such that he has to leave Bengaluru. Leah was very much part of his family for last 3 years, so she has to be accepted in the family. I was very worried about adjusting with the canine and was not ready to take any responsibility for it – responsibility to cook for her or to take her out for her morning and evening outings. Oh yeah, I was already overburdened with not very reliable helping hands system at place. But I lost my heart to her beautiful clear and pure eyes.
Lheas’ First Train Journey:
She came in first class coupe of train from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad. There is a procedure in place to take the pets in train with owners only in first class air conditioned coupe. An application/ request is to be submitted but the confirmation comes just a day before. In Leah’s case, my son and his wife were allotted a two seated coupe where Leah can be kept and door can be bolted so that other passengers are not disturbed. If the coupe is not available, pets can be booked and are sent separately.
Vaibhav was worried as Leah has undergone much emotional turmoil and would not have survived if she was not allowed to travel with them. At first, she was very nervous and afraid but once she found both Vaibhav and Arunima, by her side in the coupe, she was settled.
Vaibhave , my son, was a volunteer with some agency/ ngo which works for the welfare of dogs in Bangaluru. Around 3/4 years ago, he got a call and was told to pick up a severely hurt dog from a garbage bin near his residence. He went and saw Leah starved, sick, shivering and profusely bleeding. He took it to the nearby veterinarian who was also associated with the same agency. The vet was shocked at the torture this poor soul has undergone. A “spring spaniel” , she has been used by the breeder , who has thrown her when she could not bear him any pups. The vet kept it in his kennel till it regained health. He assessed her age to be around 8 years then and was worried about the emotional stress the poor Leah has undergone. By the way, the name Leah was given to this angel by the doctor.
Leah was victim of “puppy mill”. Puppy mill is the breeding farms of dogs where puppies are more important than the dogs. I was shocked to know about the “rape stand” for the bitches so that the breeder does not lose time and his profits.
Poor lady has seen hell. The doctor told that she needs some one who can selflessly care for her and can give lots of emotional support. Vaibhave immediately made up his mind and adopted it. It took her almost three years to come out of the trauma.
In the earlier days of her stay with Vaibhav, she used to run inside the house whenever the bell rang. Her many teeth were broken. She does not let her paws to be stroked or titillated. Poor baby must be hit badly in the legs. She runs , shivers and cries in dreams with her all four paws moving even now. A very peculiar character of Lhea is she does not like small kids , specially the hand held babies . This might be her way of showing anger towards human beings of losing all her babies. Poor soul!!! 😦
When she came home in March 18, she was very much shaken. After a few days, with Vaibhave in the new house, she started getting adjusted to her new environment. We celebrated her first barking at the ringing of the call bell, a sign of her being feeling at ease in the home. It took her almost three months.
Her eyes are so full of love and clear that I wonder, how can some one be so cruel to an animal who is so full of unconditional love and dependent on us, humans. In the early days of her immigration to Ahmedabad from Bengluru, she used to sit in Vaibhave’s room only, while slowly and steadily , she has accepted the whole household as her own.
She has made our home full of conversations and activity. Taking her out for her routine morning outings and seeing her happiness while wearing her harness makes everyone’s mornings. Earlier , she used to be very much afraid of any dog she meets on her outings. Lately, we have found her to be very choosy about making friends, She gets friendly only with the dogs who are accompanied by humans ( pets only ) and does not give any damn to the few street dogs who are very playful and friendly towards one and all. She has set her route of walk and does not budge without completing the quorum. In the season’s first rains, she enjoyed running through the water on the street like a small baby. She really enjoyed the first rain though like any other dog, she is not fond of bathing.
Without saying anything, she conveys every thought of hers’ through her eyes. When she likes her food, she says it with her eyes and also thanks the person who served her by circling around with her wagging tail. When she wants to go out , she says with all the gestures and some funny sounds.
We inevitably end up talking about her likes and dislikes, her favourite foods or her favourite corner to sleep. The show of her anger towards one and all who cornered her to bathroom for bathing or who put eye-cream in her eyes when her eyes were infected was so clear and loud. She joins us for our evening tea for a biscuit break and loves jumping to catch up the biscuit in the air. ( I could not click a photo in action yet) Though, it’s not a big deal for any young doggy, it’s a big deal for our old Leah, who has undergone surgery in her hind legs for removal of a tumour. All of us at home try to make her every day happy and full of love, after all she has lost the better part of her life in hell.
We find it very amusing the way, she chooses the room to lie down. When she sees us all getting ready for an outing, she just goes to my father’s room as generally papa does not accompany us in the late evening outings.
I have turned a dog’s “eye reader ” and psychologist too.
It’s like having a baby at home and how much a baby keeps every one busy and happy, we all know. Leah has made my home a happier place. .Thank you Lhea!!