Posted on July 22, 2015: Meet One-Eye, a 13-year-old Indian dog born with one eye, who was abandoned by her pet parent about two years ago. Not because she was difficult or misbehaved in any way. But because her pet parent moved to the US and instead of taking her with him or at least, finding her a safe home, he found it rather convenient to just leave her out on the street. He isn’t the first person to have done that and he isn’t going to be the last person either. Over the last couple of months, Gingertail has continually reported about the rising incidence of abandoned pets in cities like Mumbai and Chennai. And in Bengaluru, up until two years ago, NGOs rescued about two to three dogs abandoned on the streets each week. But that number has multiplied since.
Dogs are “bought” on a whim because they are cute, but what we don’t realise is that adopting a pet means being ready to give unconditional love and most importantly, not abandon them because it’s too much work when they get sick, old or both and because we don’t have the resources or the inclination to take them with us when we move to another country or another city. Because these pets are called pets for a reason. They’ve grown up in a safe environment that we as pet parents created for them, where they didn’t have to fend for themselves. And when we abandon them and leave them on the streets, it’s similar to signing a death sentence for them. The streets are unsafe and the reasons are plenty - we all know how territorial street dogs are, which means that an abandoned pet is not welcome to join any of these existing packs. Moreover, many dogs bear the brunt of road accidents, which either result in lifelong injuries and in some cases, their demise. Read the full story on What Becomes of Abandoned Pets?
One-Eye’s journey from the streets to a new home
It wasn’t easy for One-Eye either and it would have been tougher for her to survive if she hadn’t found local resident Samran Hannan and a few other people in his building in Bangalore who took her in. Soon, she found her way to Samran’s front door everyday and, “A young couple living upstairs and I, gave One-Eye all her meals and we made sure that no one locked her outside the compound at night. The couple even took her to the veterinarian on two occasions, when I was traveling. One-Eye had severe hair loss around her lower back closer to the tail and a rash started developing there. She was suffering for months till we consulted with a vet who suggested a cream which we applied on her and it helped with the itching and the rash, but the hair hasn’t grown back as yet,” says Samran, a 24-year-old photographer, who grew up around dogs and cats, “I live in Shillong, a home there is very different from a home in a crowded city. We have big houses and a huge compound with a garden and add to that a huge backyard as well. Enough space to keep pets and to make sure they aren’t too confined to a space. It’s always good to be around pets. It’s a happy feeling.”
Do you want to know who else was happy to see One-Eye’s original pet parent when he came back from the US for a visit? Yeah, it was One-Eye. She held no grudge against him and followed him back to his place, which happened to be in the same neighborhood. Needless to say that Samran and the others were disheartened to see her go, “We didn’t know what to do so we thought about confronting him, but we found out that he was only back to meet her. He returned to the States and left her behind again. It is okay, she has us to care for her,” shares Samran.
Like every other dog, One-Eye is loyal, loving and recognizes Samran’s friends and house-help, explains Samran as he puts down her water bowl and grabs a few treats for her, “She appreciates the love and care that we give her. She is territorial and very protective as well. She usually barks at unknown people trying to walk into the compound which sometimes, is unnecessary, but it gives us all a sense of security.” It’s obvious that she’s been through a lot which is why she is skeptical of strangers like me, but at the same time, her love for Samran is evident, to say the least.