A Puppy Saved My Life
If it weren’t for my puppy, Shamu, I could be dead.
I rescued the cuddly fawn coloured mongrel with hazel eyes and a brown nose from its labourer owners. They often tied him up with rough nylon or coir ropes because they didn’t want him to run away. Which dog would run from an owner it loves?
Pup Tethered Cruelly
Every time Shamu heard me or saw me, he’d break his bonds and run to me, wagging crazily. I told the labourers who were working on a building nearby to untie the pup which was tied without the safety of a collar. This led to an argument, but they allowed me to untie it. I bought him a collar so that the tethering would not hurt him too much, but for some reason, the labourer removed it.
I fed the pup and his little friend a black pup every day and almost every day I had to release him from his bonds.
Rescuing the Dog
Then the day I was waiting for arrived. The labourer’s kids who are also made to toil, poor things, showed me a baby cobra imprisoned in a bottle. When I asked them to let the creature go, they said they would make medicinal oil from it. Aghast, I called Snake Rescue. They came right away. The volunteer discovered that the labourer was illegally catching snakes for big software firms in the area and destroying them instead of releasing them into the wild.
At the request of the volunteer, I wrote a complaint to the Forest Cell. Little did I know that it would lead to the revoking of fake snake catching licences across the State of Karnataka. It made news. I had been turned into a heroine of sorts overnight.
The event had another beneficial effect. When I complained to the Snake Rescue about the ill-treated pup they ordered the labourer to release him.
Puppy Saves Me From a Scorpion
Shamu is a naughty pup. But that’s to be expected and part of his charm. He likes to jump into my lap when I’m resting on my bean bag and singing. He’s rather musical. He always wags when he eats.
The other night, he walked into my bedroom, nose to the floor. I checked and found he was after a black scorpion! The tail was sort of flat and curled, not poised to strike. Heart thudding, I picked it up with a thick wad of newsprint and was about to carry it to the porch when it fell into one of the wicker beds for my doggies. A moment of panic. What if I couldn’t find it? Luckily I did. Seeing that its tail was still somnolent, I picked it up again with the paper, rushed out and chucked it over the wall. Whew!
Then I sat down with Shamu and thanked him over and over again for saving my life. Some scorpion bites can be deadly and the black scorpion is certainly deemed deadly.
Note: In the pictures, you may notice the prominent haunch bones sticking out, but that's because he insists on jumping walls.
My Dog Alerts Me to a Snake
Shamu is a year oild now or maybe a little more. Yesterday I noticed he was transfixed - staring at something in the compound so I went out to investigate and there was this small,
slender light brown squiggle on the ground. I looked closely and saw it was a snake. I had goosebumps. Snake! I yelled and immediately Shamu and my other stray Choco were at the creature, poking him with their noses, not heeding my warning to be careful and not go near it.
The snake was pretty cool and I thought its little head with the beady eye was quite cute - it just turned around and slithered into the nearby bush which had grown much too dense. I was amazed that it did not try to harm my dogs nor they him. I had the bush and another like it by my door uprooted right away. It's a good idea to keep the undergrowth in check. And not to have junk in the backyard where rodents can hide (and I know there are voles and rodents here which make gardening a challenge at times).
I called a snake catcher today who told me the snake would have left the premises. And that it must be a rat snake.
So once again my dogs have protected me from a possible bite.