Thursday, April 08, 2010


Last night a friend dropped by for an after-dinner visit saying he just HAD to do something for a little dog he'd seen lying by the side of the road near his parents' home in Panchsheel. "I heard this low moaning from the side of the road and when I stopped and got down there she was. Poor thing!" A car must have run her over, because at least one her back legs was badly damaged. "It may have happened a day or two ago, because (the leg) was full of maggots and stinking ..."

He lives in Bombay so he couldn't take the poor creature in himself. His neighbour suggested calling the animal ambulance in the morning. But when he got to our house he was still wincing at the thought of leaving the animal alone and suffering all through the night.

"What about FRIENDICOES-SECA?" one of us said.

"Wow! Great idea -- why didn't I think of them right away?" When our friend lived in Delhi, he'd had two wonderful and much loved strays living with him. He had gone to the famous animal shelter under the Defence Colony Flyover whenever he needed help with his dogs.

"Uh-oh, don't have their number though," we said.

"NO problem," said our friend. "I'll just call Just Dial and find out --"

Literally one minute later, there was the number -- well, a list of them, actually -- for Friendicoes, sent by SMS, to our friend's phone. Another couple of minutes later, and after a couple of dud numbers, he got through to Friendicoes and explained the situation. "Do you want me to be there to identify the dog?" he asked, already holding his car keys in hand.

Keep in mind this was maybe 10.15 at night. The friendly voice at the other end said, "No, that's all right. Our night ambulance driver'll go over and collect the dog. All you have to do is tell him where to go. I'll give you his number ..."

Our friend called the number and described exactly where the animal was. Maybe fifteen minutes later he got a call from the driver, saying that he'd found the dog, had taken her in and all was well. We could hear the dog's pathetic whining even without holding the phone to our own ears.

Our friend and one of us decided this was really great. So they drove over to the shelter right away. By that time, the little dog had been registered, her wound dressed and she'd been given a sedative to ease her pain. Our friend had said on the phone that he thought it may be best to put her to sleep, but at the shelter they just smiled and nodded (I wasn't there, so I'm just reporting what I was told).

Today, when I went online to check their site, I realized that they've probably had loads of "hopeless cases" whom they resurrect and find happy homes for! Maybe this little one will be another such story. We made a donation right away, of course. But more than anything else, we came away from the experience feeling an unfamiliar sense of total gladness.

Everything was good: the fact that our friend gave in to his compassionate nature, the fact that Just Dial worked at once, the Friendicoes response and at the end of it all, one little creature saved from a lonely, painful death. Friendicoes was totally uncommercial: making the donation was absolutely voluntary. They go and collect the animal when they get a call; the rest is up to the conscience of the caller.

Yes -- yes -- I KNOW: it was just one dog, just one story.


But in this sad old world even one story is a miracle.


Ela Ghose said...

My stay so far (6 months) feels like I've had so many of these little miracles that I'm unexpectedly glad to be back. Even though my threshold for a miracle in India is pretty low e.g. Delhi-ites queuing to get into a plane constitutes a small one, it makes me feel that India IS working and even if it isn't shining, sometimes there's a glimmer of pure gold.

Anonymous said...

the post tells us many things, your friend who really felt for the dog and you all who suggested right things at the right time and the assns which cooly extended all help !Timely act of kindness from various persons at the time most needed! real great!

Paul said...

Good story. I wish we had many such organizations like friendicoes and many citizens who'd support such causes and some to do the same thing for human beings as well.

This thought has often struck me when I saw people in need of psychiatric help roaming the streets in their dirty rags, looking for food in roadside rubbish bins.

marginalien said...

Thank you Ela, maithreyi and Paul -- it's very pleasant to pass on a story like this one. Glad you liked it and tx for leaving messages.

nishka said...

we had a case similiar to that in husband called up an organisation that cares for street dogs and one of them picked up this ailing dog at 12 in the night. he had a wound on his neck. early next morning they called up to say that the dog was dead.....we were shocked....sometimes they just put them to sleep and tell you that they died.
still not got around to telling the guard who was fond of that dog about his death.....dont know if we will

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the story. I live in Canada and once stopped traffic on a busy road because a duck/goose (?) with a broken wing was hobbling across the street. It was also getting cold out and it wouldn't have survived the winter. I didn't have any way to pick him up but a mother and child stopped their van and gave me a blanket they had. I gently picked up the bird and drove a few blocks to the school where I teach to get a box. I then took him to the small animal clinic at the veterinary college - they take in wild animals there. I was so touched that other people stopped to help and I wrote the mother a really nice letter telling her that her child will undoubtedly grow up to be a wonderful man because he witnesses his mother stopping to do the right thing when necessary. Just like your friend did.