Facebook was kind enough to remind me of what happened a year ago. It posted the first picture of Jadoo, our puppy. A year ago, that adorable fleabag entered our lives by wagging its little tail. A few days later, on my birthday, he got his sister to play with. We took such good care of those puppies, brought them to the vet, got them vaccinated, took Puppy Girl to get casts on her front legs that were as brittle as twigs. We fed them. We played with them. We ran with them. We loved them. And we know they loved us back. We left them in the care of wonderful caring people.
But we forgot about how the hierarchy of power and frustration works in India. If something bad happens to you, blame someone, someone lower on the totem pole of power. There is always someone lower than you. If you can’t find a human, blame a dog.
Our puppies lived in the clubhouse of our compound. They had several acres to run around in. The clubhouse was (seldom) used for parties, and they taught swimming at the pool. When the rich kids figured out how cute and friendly the puppies were, they renamed them (Jadoo become Leonard, whatever!), brought them treats… We reminded the kids to reassure their parents that the dogs were vaccinated, there was nothing to worry about in that respect.
Then we left. Heartbroken. But we had to.
A few months later, while visiting the Smithsonian in DC, I read a text from India, sat down, and cried. The puppies were blamed for being dogs. And removed from the premises. Lost. Stolen. Dumped. Maybe killed.
An old auntie walking her obese dog suited for the Arctic fell in front of the clubhouse. She claims blah blah blah. I have no interest in the story. She does not know how to walk her dog. She fell. She’s humiliated. She gets someone to share her pain with: she had the dogs removed. Radha and Jiothi pleaded to keep them, to keep them on the leash, but one morning, the dogs were gone.
When I went back in November, I contacted several people, nobody knows anything. Nobody wants to know. I had a plan to get them a safe home. But no one helped.
But the irony, what makes me even more mad at that woman, at the system, at everything, is that two puppies were brought in to make up for those “vicious” dogs that were deemed responsible for that woman’s loss of balance.
And they have no shots whatsoever.
Sometimes, India, I don’t like you at all.