Updated: Jun 27
Story by Abhipsa Choudhury
Cutie was the golden brown blessing in my world of greys, a stray dog in my neighbourhood who found her way into my life with soulful eyes and a calm bearing. As we started spending time together I realised she was becoming my stress reliever, the one I looked forward to when I returned home from work. I never formally trained her but somehow she began to understand my instructions. At times when I couldn’t find her, just shouting out her name was enough for her to come running to me.
Not long after meeting her, she introduced me to the other stray dogs in my locality, trusting me with her friends too. And I started feeding them a proper meal, once a day. They lived without disturbing the neighbours and accepting what little they used to get from a few kind people. I was happy that I was accepted into their small world.
But I failed to acknowledge the power of the storm that was going to destroy this world. There was one particular family in my neighbourhood who was against me feeding the dogs and one day, they stopped me and threatened to kill the dogs if I did not stop. I sought the help of the local police the next day. The incident had shaken me, their words were crude and I felt helpless but the promised help from the police never came.
I felt I had to do everything in my power to protect these harmless lives that trusted me, so I mailed a prominent personality who was very vocal about protecting animals and their team contacted this particular family.
Our lives continued without any incidents for three more weeks after which I lost my Cutie. It has been a year since that day but I remember my panic as I searched for Cutie when she didn’t come to me when I had called for her and the pain that crashed over me when I found her. One year of memories with her ended with a frame of her bleeding through the nose as she lay still.
What awaited me was a desperate attempt at getting my Cutie justice. I approached the police and begged them to take the case but she was just another stray dog for them, a life without value. Through the help of some local groups I was able to make them accept the case and take her body as evidence. At the hospital where the autopsy was conducted I was faced with indifference from staffs and tedious, discouraging procedures.
It took months for the autopsy report, but I learned through a different medium that her death was due to an internal injury caused by a heavy blow. The investigation did not go further, even though I frequently visited the police station. Eventually, I stopped my legal battle.
I had adopted a stray puppy fifteen days after the incident, her characteristics reminds me of Cutie. Her eyes reflect that of Cutie's. I believe that animal’s reciprocate the love we give with a much deeper love and trust. When I cry, it is my pet birds that sit on my shoulders in an attempt to console me.
It is because of this reason I continue to fight this battle, educate my friends and family, rescue an injured one, and give a morsel of food to those without homes. The streets and the fields belong to them as much as it belongs to us.