Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tinkoo came to live with us a few days ago, after his mother was taken away by the employees of the municipal corporation. They were acting upon a complaint registered by some local residents, stating that the stray bitch was a threat to the local populace and tried to bite any one who tried to go near her. The complainants, of course, did not take into consideration the facts that she was acting in that manner because some urchins (of the human variety, obviously) had beaten her up with sticks very recently and that she had a very young puppy to care for.
We were out of town, when all this happened. When my mother tried to find out what had happened to Nikki (the name we had given Tinkoo's Ma), upon our return, she was given a detailed account of the sequence of events, by one of the neighbours. So, she went looking for the pup in the bush where his mother lived and came back with the little bundle of joy that my brother has christened Tinkoo.
Initially, the little one could not see anything, because he could not open his eyes (like most puppies his age) and could only manage to drag himself along the ground as his legs did not even have the strength for him to stand up straight. Gradually, he began to toddle along on his tiny feet and now tries to chase us around too. He was also able to open his eyes after the first few days and seems to be able to see well enough these days.
At first, we tried to feed him buffalo's milk (diluted with water) through a dropper, which was quite a task in itself! Now, we have acquired a feeding-bottle, through which we feed him his liquid diet about four times a day. The photograph above shows Tinkoo at supper, being helped along by my Ma.
For a good part of the afternoon and through the night, he sleeps in a cardboard box that a neighbour was kind enough to lend us. The box is lined with old newspapers and some rags (to keep him warm), which we replace when he wets those, or worse, and his inbuilt sound alarm goes off! Of late, though, he does seem to be learning to relieve himself while having an 'out-of-the-box' experience, rather than when he is resting inside.
He did give us a few anxious moments over the past three days, for something caused him to have an upset stomach and, therefore, loose motions. However, we have been giving him some medicine and he seems to be responding well to that.
He also seems to have understood the power equations in the family well enough and follows my mother around a lot more than my father or brother or I. My mother, whose writ runs unquestioned most of the time and who had earlier threatened to let him return to live where his mother did i.e. on the street, once he is old enough, has now adopted a softer line and my brother and I hope that he will be allowed to live with us for good. The two of us, on our part, have been doing whatever we can to help make that happen, in terms of cleaning up after him, feeding him whenever our Ma does not feel like doing that, etc.
Whatever else may happen, I hope that Tinkoo will have a long and happy life ahead!