Mind the gap.

She was only a little mite but even in a very short time has left a gaping hole.

I first heard her yelping as we passed during one of our MYCycle Tours on Srirangapatnam. It was as if one of the guys at a chai shop was teasing or hurting her. I sort of adopted her. For the next week, I  saw her every time we passed by.

First impressions were not good. She was slow, almost subdued, had what seemed to be a scar on her head, was pretty run down and a couple of days later was completely covered in fleas. I fed her with milk each time and the locals, who have got to know me over the years realised she was adopted. Typical firangi! She seemed to be really very young but was already lapping up her milk. Her mother was nowhere to be seen. Pups are often cruelly separated and dumped. I treated her and got rid of the fleas. I decided to kidnap her (no one gave a damn) and took her to People for Animals ‘rescue centre’ aka death camp. ( a bit unfair but the level of illness and death is known to be high).

Ruby, as she became known with variants of Too, two and tue…. was left at the rescue centre for a check up and treatment but not for too long. It’s a lovely place with caring staff and volunteers but a lot of illness for puppies. I brought her home after a week. That in itself was a quandary. Should I have left her there for longer? What would the women of the household think?

At first she seemed to be managing OK. Eating, although not very much, the quantity of worms she expelled was amazing. This was the first of three lots. Her means of carriage, the princesses pumpkin with handles aka the shopping bag was ideal and endlessly entertained the local children. They couldn’t believe it when they noticed her little head popping out, I have of course reinforced their view that foreigners are more than a bit weird,

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Lucie and Ruby’s relationship was a ‘work in progress’ they generally kept a discreet distance.

She developed a cough and chest infection, laboured breathing, running nose and constant diarrhoea. We seem to be at the vets every other day. They’ve stuffed her with antibiotics, a drip and minerals to rehydrate, vitamins, powder to stop the shits you name it, she’s had it. Michael-virtual-vet-Heath, in Australia was advising from afar. Back at home I created a den out of a cardboard box with a lovely bed with pillow, blanket and neat little door to get in and out. As things seemed to be getting worse I’d just nurse her. Manjula reckons for most of the day. Then the three of us would go out on our Adams family jaunts.

On reflection if might have been better for her to stay longer at the centre and perhaps she was too vulnerable even for the bath. Who really knows. We did our best but for our lovely Ruby the roller coaster ride is over.

We now are left with fond memories and are pleased we could spend that precious time together.

Manjula who was all no-no-no (she was the same with Billi) was won over after just a few days.

It helps me realise together with some of our other experiences (this is not the most challenging by any means) , what a hard life it can be here and how important it is to make the most of it.

so this is just the latest example of …. it’s been a bit of a weird year, more of that later.

She’s sprung a leak!

Lucy is a mainstay of Mysore Bed and Breakfast: she’s critical in welcoming new guests, licking toes and generally helping people feel ‘at home.’ With such a wonderful temperament many of our guests fall in love with her. We even have Indian guests who bring their children to help them get used to friendly dogs.

Six years ago she was dumped along with her brother and sister at just a few weeks old. Well, we sort of adopted them and our neighbour downstairs (at that time we just lived upstairs) was seriously unimpressed, as the little puppies soon realised where I lived, obviously, and then were forever pestering for food and play.

We found homes for the other two and kept Lucy.

She’s now a fully fledged house dog who has the tendency to roam the streets and hang out at another 4-5 house (and that’s the ones we know about). We’ve had her spayed/neutered or as the vets say desexed (yuk what an awful term) and recently has developed an unfortunate tendency to leak on the carpets so we’ve called in supervet: Michael from Australia for his opinion.

Michael Heath is one of the vets behind Vets Beyond Borders (VBB) and was instrumental in setting up the local project and much much more. He does so much it leaves me breathless. With his own vet practice  in Australia, regular travelling holidays around the world and especially in India, fundraising back at home and regular stints on volunteering, often as a teacher to pass on his skills to others.

VBB, is an Australian NGO that places volunteer vets on projects around the world. We’ve had many come and stay with us here. Michael has helped establish the project to vaccinate and spay dogs in the nearby Tibetan Settlement. He’s visited us many times and continues to be our online vet, with solid helpful advice available at the ‘drop of a hat.’

His advice was Stilboestrol as its a problem which arises in bitches who have been spayed. It’s a hormone thing girls! For you doggy fiends who wish to know more about it, here it is….