Ours is a story of chances. I am an event professional working out of an office in Vile Parle (W). One pleasant afternoon in January, I was taking a stroll in a by-lane near a public park when I stumbled upon two 1.5 month little Indie puppies (one female & one male) dodging the vehicles driving around. My instant reaction was to grab them and put them on the sidewalk near the garden. I was mad looking at 6-7 people just standing around and doing nothing to protect the little babies.
The security guard of the garden, Raes, saw me doing this and told me that they have been living inside the garden since they were born. But because the periphery walls of the garden have such big gaps in between, they would sneak out often and stray on the roads without notice. I asked if they have their mother around. It is exactly then that I saw an exhausted mother dog coming from the road side and covering up her pups. Raes told me that the mother lived on the street while the pups lived inside the garden.
Raes and I got talking about them and I told him to try and see to it that the pups don't run out again like they did that day. I also left him with some money to buy milk for the kids and food for the mother as she looked weak and pale.
Since that day forward, I paid a visit to the pups every evening. My every day routine included bringing milk, some puppy food for the little ones & playing with these babies for about half hour. When I told my husband, Kashyap, about this, and showed him videos of the kids, he instantly thought of naming them - Goofy (Boy) & Droopy (Girl). It perfectly suited their characteristics. Goofy because he was playful and goofed around more than his sibling, and Droopy because of her exceptionally unique droopy facial features.
On Day 3, I could see that Goofy was missing. When asked, Raes told me that someone took him away. He said "Madam - woh ladka tha na toh use lekar chale gaye." My heart sank thinking people even discriminate between girls & boys when adopting pets as well! He even told me that the Mother has not been visiting the babies since the previous night. That made me worry even more. Raes & I both looked at each other and assured ourselves that she may have gone away in search for her missing pup and that she would return to Droopy soon.
The next day when I visited, Raes told me that apparently the Mother got hit by a car the previous night and someone took her to a shelter nearby as she sustained some heavy internal injuries in her body. Since he didn't know who took her, there was no way to be sure if she was in good hands or whether she was ever going to return. We both took it upon us to take care of the little one. We waited for days for the Mother to return but there was no sign of her. It was after a week that I decided to start a search for a loving home for Droopy.
I updated my Whatsapp lists & sent out Adoption pleas to my entire phonebook for Droopy. My husband & I even posted on our Facebook Pages, became members of Pet Adoption Groups on the network.
She was playful, adorable, not to mention her quintessential puppy face that would make anyone's heart melt with love. I thought to myself, it would be a cake-walk to find a home for her. I even called up a few Adoption Centre numbers found from JustDial to see if they could help out.
Within hours of my messages, we started getting enquiries but it all led to nothing. From almost 10-12 promising enquiries we landed on to nothing concrete for her. In the interim, Raes got remanded by the BMC official who was responsible for the Park's welfare & maintainence as to why there was a puppy roaming around in the garden. As per the rules, pets/ animals were not allowed inside. While the majority kids who visited the garden every evening loved playing with Droopy, there was one old jogger who complained about Droopy occasionally runnning behind him and nibbling on his legs. She was teething at the time. Raes helplessly asked me to try and talk to the BMC official and reason with her for Droopy. Upon talking to her first, I stalled for one more week to make her stay at the park till I could find a forever home for her.
The decision to make Droopy stay at the park over me bringing her home made more sense as my husband and I both work full time. At that time, it felt it would be cruel to leave such a young baby home alone over a park where someone (Raes) could look after him and even get to play with the kids coming by.
One more week had passed by. On , morning around the BMC official personally visited the Park for her monthly round and upon seeing the pup inside the park vicinity, she shouted at Raes again. On this day, she was adamant enough to throw the baby out and that made Raes call me immediately to come to his and of course, Droopy's rescue. She was stubborn and determined to get rid of Droopy. I begged her for mercy, pleaded, even showed her messages & phone numbers of people who had enquired to convince her of our attempts to get her adopted but she refused to budge. She told us to take only that day's time to figure out what we need to do with Droopy else she will have her removed.
It was that day - that I and my husband took the decision to bring her to our home. Ever since, our lives have changed. We were scared out of our wits wondering how we would take care of this little one with our crazy schedules.
It has been 9 months since we brought her home and all we can say that - Droopy is the best thing that has happened to us. We had been thinking about taking the next step in our married lives i.e. to start a family soon and Droopy just made it happen in an instance.
She's become a celebrity on Instagram with 3500+ Followers. Her growth story can be followed here: www.instagram.com/droopykotak
We've become more responsible, our schedules have changed (there are moments when we feel we have no social life anymore) but never have we ever doubted our decision to keep her.
Hope our story becomes a good read for you! :)
- Disha Gadhiya