Deepika opens her heart and home to the dogs and in turn, they bring her fame. Liffy Thomas reports

Bringing a stray dog home, taking care of it and making it part of the family is a rewarding experience. It is even more gratifying when the dog has brought you fame. Deepika Murali and her mother R. Usha talk in awe about the three stray dogs — Ini, Boo and Puploo — to whom they opened their home and hearts and how one of them went on to win the ‘Rarest Colour’ title at the Great Indian Dog Show 2012, organised by Blue Cross.

Deepika, working with a law firm, picked 20-day-old Ini near Kondi Chetty Street in Parrys. Its mother had given birth to a litter of puppies in November 2010. “There was something special this four-legged friend. Ini would be loitering around my office and I did not want to see it crush under the wheels of a passing vehicle, so I brought her home,” she says.

Since then Ini has been part of the family, playing the role of an excellent watch dog. “She does not bark much, and if she does we know she is warning us about an intruder,” says Deepika. Boo was the second mongrel picked from a park in Perungudi in October 2011, while Puploo was found at Broadway with multiple injuries.

“It was a big commitment for me. I work for more than 12 hours a day and taking care of the injured dog was a task. A few months after Puploo recovered we handed it over to another owner. The other two are with my mom,” she says. Taking part in the Great Indian Dog Show was a new experience for the family. “There was a participant who brought a blind dog, another one was in a pram… It was nice to know that there are so many people looking after stray dogs,” says Ms. Usha.

Nearly 91 dogs from the city took part in the event, and every participant was given 45 seconds to talk about their pet.. “I think it is Ini’s shiny coat of black and brown that got her the title,” says Deepika, showing off the gold-coated medals the pets won at the event.

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