Actor, film-maker and founder of Asthtva (an NGO for Sri Lankan refugee children) Poongkothai Chandrahasan on the impulse decision that saved a life
Poongkothai Chandrahasan (a.k.a Pongo) was in a tearing hurry when she nearly drove past a lump on the road – a lump that on closer inspection turned out to be a palm-sized, orphaned puppy. Pongo remembers thinking to herself – “I can't drive past her. I can't do it”. She disregarded the meeting she was late for and picked up the filthy puppy that already had one paw in death's door. “She was malnourished. It took three days for the doctor to resuscitate her”, she says adding that a yellow infection stain had to be scrubbed repeatedly.
Today, Pongo can't walk down the street without being stopped by Bambi's admirers. The sweet-tempered dog won trophies for two consecutive years in the Blue Cross Mongrel Show (for having the rarest spots and the waggiest tail) and has now been selected by PETA to be the official mascot for Indian dog adoption in their celebrity campaign. Bambi shares the spotlight with movie star Trisha in an advertisement that encourages people to adopt homeless animals. The doting owner reveals that her diva dog posed for the cameras and demanded tummy rubs from everyone in the studio.
“Every street puppy is so beautiful and loving”, says Pongo. “I wish people would adopt them, instead of flying in dogs from all over the world – dogs that can't even cope with this weather! Many are bred in terrible conditions, it's so unfair. Why have these foolish notions about things like breed? It doesn't make a difference to your relationship with the dog”. She confesses to feeling a pang of sadness at the thought of shelter animals everywhere and signs off with what's number one on Bambi's wish-list. “She sleeps with her head on the pillow, so when it's cold, she wants the razai to be pulled over her. She's such a princess”.
HERO OF THE WEEK Bindhu Prasad nominates her daughter for rescuing a weak, young kitten and adopting it. The kitten is now named Mini and is looked after with kindness.
TAKE ME HOME These lovely Indian pups are 4 months old and are in good health, with vaccinations up to date. For free adoptions, call 24918723
TAKE ME HOME These three-month-old kittens are siblings that are friendly with people. They love being together and would prefer to be adopted in pairs. Call 9444038758 for adoption.
HOLD MY PAW Hi! I'm a male Spitz aged 7 and was found on West CIT Nagar on 20th May. If you are my owner who's been looking for me, or if you'd like to adopt me, please call 9566259443
HOLD MY PAW This six-month-old female German Shepherd with a green collar was found near Besant Nagar bus depot yesterday. If you're the owner or would like to adopt her, call 94450 11904