“All I want in the future is to be a dog mom to a house full of puppies!”

“I wasn’t a dog lover until my kids convinced me to get Ginger. Ever since she came into our lives, I started noticing the other stray dogs in our colony too. They didn’t have anyone to care for them, so I felt the need to take care of them.

I remember around 2 years back, even during my daughter’s wedding preparations, I woke up early to feed the strays. Another time, I got home late so I ended up skipping dinner myself just so I could feed them.

It hasn’t been easy though– our society would often put up ‘No Dogs Allowed’ signs and people would come to their windows and scream at me if I was feeding them. But I told them that they had no right to shoo the dogs away. ‘Who will feed them if not us?’ I’d ask.

I just kept going and eventually other people started helping me. A few months back, I’d fallen very ill; I’d had two operations last year since I was detected with cancer, and the side effects worsened during lockdown. My body had become so weak that I could barely walk. So I posted online requesting volunteers to feed my dogs; I mentioned that I’d provide the food and just needed someone to distribute it to them. The next day, 3 of my neighbours came to my door and offered to help; slowly, my society became dog-friendly too.

When I got better, I started going around the colony in search of stray dogs to feed; since I couldn’t take my car out due to restrictions, I’d wake up at 6 AM and walk for 3 hours, lugging heavy bags of food and water; I fed nearly 200 dogs everyday. Even immediately after my operations, when I was at the hospital, I’d call the security guard daily to check if the strays were being fed. The doctors told me that I needed to rest for 6 months, but I started feeding the dogs just 2 weeks after my operations– I couldn’t sleep at night without feeding them.

I’m in remission now, and get check ups done every 3 months. But I still feed 200 dogs a day. And with Diwali coming up, I wanted to do more– so I bought reflective collars for 100 strays to make sure they’re safe from accidents at night. My kids often get angry and ask me not to overstrain. But I reassure them that I’m fine. My dogs are all I need; they’re family, and to be honest…all I want in the future is to be a dog mom to a house full of puppies!”

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