Friendship Day just went by – two rescuers reflect on the duties we have towards our companion animals

Murali Anand’s best friend is his old man, Clint – a senior dog he rescued from the street and adopted. Clint is over 12 years old and despite his age, the feisty mongrel keeps Murali and his family on his toes through non-stop antics. “He manages to run, or hop if he has to,” laughs Murali who believes that adult dogs too deserve a chance at adoption. “For every ten people who want a puppy, only one wants to adopt an older dog,” he says. He calls Clint a ‘master mischief-maker’ and wishes that other families opened their eyes to the joy of bringing home a fully-grown dog, especially for busy or older couples who might not have the time or energy for toilet-training pups.

He reveals that several adult dogs (both Indian and pedigree) find themselves on the street or shelters after their owners abandoned them. “When they tell me their dog is seven-years-old, and they want to give him up because they are relocating, I remind them that when they adopted him, they made a commitment to him for 14 years or more. Your cat or dog thinks of you as his mother or father. We wouldn’t dump a family member on the street while relocating, so why put animals in a different category because they can’t speak?” he asks.

Karthik Upadhya jokes that his best friend Inji, a rescued mongrel, is at risk of being scooped up by visiting relatives. “Inji is a social butterfly with an eager-to-please character. There is not a single relative who has come home and left without asking if they could take Inji back with them”. He reveals that Inji is a zealous caretaker and a source of comic relief. “We have a window with a direct view of the front gate. Inji sits on the sofa there and uses it as a watch tower,” he says. “Inji is literally a colourful character – her fur colour has changed so far from light brown to copper red to normal brown. We are asking her if she can turn purple next!” Karthik urges people to adopt homeless pets, irrespective of their looks and to value them all for their strength of character – the one thing that all our companion animals have in common.

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