Kanak Vikram is less than a week away from delivering her first baby, but is already an ace at motherhood. “This is my second child as Oozy is my first daughter,” she says, of the shadow-like presence in her life. Oozy is her rescued Indian dog who has followed her pregnant owner around over the past several months with a watchful eye. “She helped me a lot through the mood swings with all her antics,” says Kanak.

Two years ago, Kanak’s husband Sam had spotted Oozy scrounging near a garbage dump in Adyar. Their plan was to clean her up, vaccinate her and put her up for adoption. However, the grateful puppy fell in love with them and ended up becoming family. Kanak reveals that Oozy being a black, Indian female pup would’ve made it hard for her to find an adoptive home due to superstitions and prejudices. She laughs them off and believes that she is their lucky charm. “We’ve puppy-proofed the house and tuned our timetable to suit her needs,” she says.

When Oozy grew up, the rescued became the rescuer. The thoughtful mongrel decided to take Kanak’s other rescued puppies under her wing while they waited for adoption camps. “She used to calm them down, play with them and tire them out,” says Kanak who found Oozy’s help with the rescues invaluable when she and her husband were both at the office. “She has fostered around 10-12 puppies this way.”

Kanak observes that Oozy’s compassion was instinctive and hopes everyone experiences the love of a dog.