A flock of photographers surrounded a dog at the entrance of C.P. Arts Centre, Alwarpet.

The next few minutes saw a frenzy of clicks and the occasional plea —“Look here, Ruby!” The baffled mongrel finally spun around in her wheelchair and posed for pictures.

Ruby and her owner Prasad were among the first to register for the Great Indian Dog Show, an annual event organised by the Blue Cross of India to promote the cause of homeless pet-adoption.

Ruby, who won the trophy for ‘Best Rescue’ was injured as a pup in a hit-and-run accident that left her hind legs paralysed. Her rescuers adopted her and got her a custom-made wheelchair. The event saw the telling of 82 such stories revolving around non-pedigree dogs and the people who gave them a new lease of life.

The show was flagged off by People for Animals founder Maneka Gandhi and was attended by actors Trisha Krishnan and Anuja Iyer. The judges struggled as owners narrated stories of how they rescued puppies from the streets, slums, construction sites and animal shelters.

Aishwarya Varma brought her 17-year-old dog Muthu in a pram, as a contestant for ‘oldest dog’ — a prize to honour those who take care of senior pets rather than abandon them. The event also saw a group of dog owners from Bangalore participating. One of them was Levin who judged ‘Best Owner’ for adopting a blind homeless dog.  

Sporting a t-shirt that read “Discrimination is passé”, participant Karthik Upadhya showed off his mongrel, Inji who returned the favour by licking him non-stop for 30 seconds during the kissing contest. During the event, 38 puppies found homes.

Mrs. Gandhi applauded the initiative, saying, “Indian dogs have always been cherished by everyone from Moghul kings to Rajput princes. These events should be held in every city, and in every district. It’s time to give the great Indian dog his rightful place in the great Indian society”.

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