Ch­hoti’s labour of love and a life’s les­son

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - REGION - Dr Gul­ba­har S Sidhu

One feels pained to read news re­ports of peo­ple be­ing at­tacked by stray dogs. I have lived among these lovely an­i­mals for al­most two decades now and have felt ab­so­lutely safe in their com­pany. In fact, I have more friends among them than the hu­man race!

It is so un­for­tu­nate that no one seems to hear and un­der­stand the voice of these voice­less an­i­mals. I would like to share a re­cent in­ci­dent that would sure enough re­move the mis­in­for­ma­tion sur­round­ing the life of the so-called stray dogs. This one’s about Ch­hoti, the she dog with a dwarf tail, who had joined our neigh­bur­hood gang of ca­nine friends a few weeks ago.

Ch­hoti had a won­der­ful trait of show­er­ing bound­less af­fec­tion on each and every­one around her. This in­cluded peo­ple who de­spised dogs, those who feared stray dogs like her, and even those who de­rived a strange plea­sure from kick­ing or hit­ting dogs with­out any provo­ca­tion what­so­ever. She would wag her dwarf tail with in­fec­tious en­thu­si­asm and look at the ap­proach­ing per­son with eyes over­flow­ing with love! She did get hit and kicked a few times but some­how man­aged to be­friend most oth­ers.

Soon enough, she had a steady sup­ply of milk, bread, bis­cuits, lassi and more from peo­ple rang­ing from ar­dent dog lovers like me to down­right dog crit­ics like our neigh­bor­hood chai­wala. A cou­ple of weeks ago, we dis­cov­ered that our friend Ch­hoti was on the fam­ily way! She de­vel­oped labour pains one lazy af­ter­noon. This trig­gered a buzz around the lo­cal­ity.

The an­i­mal-lov­ing florist made a com­fort­able home for her be­neath his wooden show­case and cov­ered it with an old car­pet. The chai­wala rang our door­bell know­ing that I was a doc­tor by pro­fes­sion. He asked me with a wor­ried ex­pres­sion, “Sir, Ch­hoti is go­ing to be a mother pos­si­bly for the first time. She is suf­fer­ing from dis­abling labour pains. Could you give her some medicine to make her feel com­fort­able?”

The owner of the nearby pro­vi­sion store came with two pack­ets of milk and a bowl full of desi ghee. Af­ter all, Ch­hoti needed en­ergy to get over the dif­fi­cult pe­riod!

I was over­whelmed with such out­pour­ing of af­fec­tion. We stayed up till late in the night. Fi­nally, Ch­hoti greeted us with a lit­ter of five pup­pies the next morn­ing, sit­ting com­fort­ably in her im­pro­vised liv­ing room.

I learnt a very im­por­tant les­son of life from her, which is the power of love. True love and af­fec­tion al­ways tri­umphs over the steep­est walls of ha­tred.

Our friend Ch­hoti is a liv­ing ex­am­ple. Could we take a leaf out of her book to en­rich our lives? I wish that the an­swer to this ques­tion is in the af­fir­ma­tive.


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