Tuesday, November 08, 2011
I was returning home from the gym yesterday when I saw a strange sight on the main road of Al Wasl... a little Yorkie running helter skelter, about to run out onto the road towards oncoming traffic. Being a dog lover, I slammed on the brakes, jumped out of my car and ran after the dog. Luckily she seemed to understand "come here" and ran towards me. I waited for 15 minutes for the owners to show up, or to try to figure out if any of the houses close by accidentally had left their gates open and had this poor little creature run out onto the roads. Nobody came. I called my friend Pinky who is an absolute dog lover and asked her what I should do. "Take her home," she suggested, "and after I get done in an hour we'll figure out what to do." Being Eid, most of the vets, K9 and the muncipality would be shut, but luckily the cute munchkin had her dogtag which meant that she might even be micro-chipped. I brought her home but had to be careful since I already have a Yorkshire Terrier at home (the famous Chintu who's with me in my logo above) who is quite a ferocious thing and so I had a bit of trouble putting the two of them together. My mother suggested I walk around the block and hope that the owners are out looking for the dog, and since my maid thought she knew whose dog it was, both of us set out to find the dog's home.
I went over to the compound next to my villa that has Vivel and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf when a girl looked so excited to see the little furball, I almost thought it was hers! Her name is Cynthia and I told her that the dog was lost and she offered to help me to find the owners and to help in whatever way she could. Turns out she's a huge dog lover too and even volunteers at K9, so really this dog was extremely lucky to have 3 crazed dog lovers looking after her. After we had no luck in the neighborhood, Pinky came over and the both of us went over to the Al Barsha veterinary clinic to find out the microchip number of the dog, which they gave us in 2 minutes. The vet was kind enough to examine her as well and confirmed that while she was not ill and had not been hurt, she wasn't kept in the best of conditions either- her hair was matted and she was way too thin and seemed to have some sort of a bruise on her head. We hoped she'd been kept well and that her owner hadn't abandoned her on purpose. Since she had her tag on, we assumed that wasn't the case, but I'd have to wait till the next day (today) to be able to call other vets to find the parents of the beautiful pup, which the vet estimated to be under 2 years old. I kept her during the day but since I didn't want her and Chintu fighting during the night, requested my good Samaritan neighbor Cynthia to take her, which she did gladly.
I woke up this morning to a call from Cynthia saying she'd started calling vets but hadn't taken the number of the microchip from me, so was requesting me to call them and try to locate the owner. I told her I'd walk over and meet her and take the dog from her and continue to call the vets all over. The little pooch was SO happy to see me this morning and Cynthia looked like she was about to cry while handing her over. She had to go to work so couldn't babysit anymore, and was super apologetic about not being able to help more (really, this girl was incredibly sweet!) I told her I was going to go next door and have a coffee myself and that we'd be in touch. 5 minutes later she came running over excited saying she'd found the dog's owner (they were matched with the microchip) and that while the owner was at work, she'd be sending a friend over to collect the dog. Over this one evening that the dog was with us mind you, Cynthia had bought dog food and milk and fed our new furry friend this morning, and had put up posters in Choithrams. Pinky has yesterday evening put up pictures all over Facebook reporting that a little Yorkie has been found, while I was trying to get people to retweet the news in the hope that the owner or owners friend would read it and be able to bring the dog home and had left my name and number with the coffee shops nearby hoping the owner would come in and ask about the lost animal.
Anyhow, after about 20 minutes the owner's maid came up to me to get the dog- the dog didn't seem happy to see her at all, and there was not the hint of a tail wag that came from the pooch. I asked the woman what had happened, and she said that the driver had let the gate open and the dog must have run out. I asked if the Owners had tried looking for the dog, and she said she'd suggested they put flyers but that they hadn't yet because they had a party that night that they were busy attending to. I asked her what on earth they had done all day to recover the dog and she said, "no he only ran out at around 6 'O Clock".. Mind you, I'd found the dog at NOON. They had gone 6 HOURS without even noticing the dog had run away, and how they didn't notice that the dog hadn't eaten any lunch is absolutely beyond me!! She also goes on to say that the dog often ran out of the house and this wasn't the first time.. I shudder to imagine what the dog's fate will be the next time!! Anyhow, I took it upon myself to call the owner, and at this point you can imagine how furious I was! I introduced myself as the girl who had found her dog, and asked her if she didn't even take care of her pet... she sternly replied that I should not be questioning her about how she runs "her household" and that I was overstepping boundaries. I tried to calmly myself and ask her if she tried to look for the dog at all, and what steps she took to do the same (again to remind you, no vets had reported any missing dog report to us and we had to find her) and she yelled at me saying she didn't have to justify her actions to me and hung up on me.
So first and foremost, Eileen, Owner to Chikoo the Yorkie who lives behind Union Coop/Choithrams, you are not fit to be a dog owner. Your dog is neglected, too frail and obviously gets no care or attention from you or your 16 year old daughter who apparently is Mother to this poor creature. Secondly, if you were in the US or some place that allowed me to call and complain about animal cruelty, their number would be on my speed dial to make sure your home was pet-free and that this dog got a new, deserving home. How you went for SIX HOURS before even realizing your dog was missing is beyond me, considering that her whereabouts were not unknown to us strangers for 6 MINUTES while she was away from you. SHAME ON YOU. And while we were going from place to place trying to figure out where a concerned owner might look for their beloved pet, you seemingly searched a total of zero places, or else you would have found us, and not the other way around. Again, SHAME ON YOU.
I realize animal cruelty is rampant in Dubai and most dogs fare much worse fate as they've been abandoned on purpose and often have to be put to sleep, but this little dog has really tugged at my heart strings. I requested Cynthia to call this Eileen person again to see if she was willing to sell her dog to me, but she hasn't since taken her call or responded to her messages. I will going to bed tonight only praying that the wonderfully sweet dog that I've so fallen in love with is being taken care of, or that by some miracle the Owner decides to give or sell her to me, Cynthia or make sure she goes to a more deserving home.
Also not to state the obvious, but if you are thinking of adopting a pet PLEASE make sure that the pet will not be abandoned or that you are fully capable of taking care of one. Pets, especially dogs, are like little children and need constant love and attention, and often people forget that they are in a transient city like Dubai and that they might have to leave and go home and won't have space for their pets in their new life. Sometimes they buy one during the summer to entertain their kids, but when they realize their kids have no time and no discipline to take care of an animal, they abandon it and kick it out on the roads. Again for all the stupid people who leave their animals in a parked car over the summer with the windows shut, YOUR PET WILL DIE.
In the absence of any proper authorized body against animal cruelty, please lets just use common sense when it comes to animal care, and hopefully if you guys see a dog or a housed cat running on the road, you'll stop and help it out and not keep on driving!
Oh and if you know Eileen, please do forward her this link or "like" it or "retweet" it or whatever, so that someone can look at it and tell her to take better care of that darling dog that she has!! Thank you!!! And for all the people at K9 shelter and other animal rescue places that are dealing with these dogs and see the cruelty of humans taken out on their dogs and deal with that without crying every single day, I salute you!!!