When Madeline Menefee first saw Taj, she recalls that he was five days old and already just inches from death — quite literally. The American who was visiting Chennai for a Montessori teacher training programme saw the orphaned mongrel pup lying on the street in Velachery as cars whizzed by. She impulsively picked him up and brought him home. The pup looked at his rescuer with barely opened eyes and had no idea at the time that he would soon be joining a large family, halfway across the world.
“I grew up in a dog loving home. We adopted our dogs from the Humane Society of United States,” she says of her family tradition of adopting rescued animals. “Adopting a street pup is a very good choice. They make smart, loyal and reliable companions. Taj is highly trainable and is a well-mannered, beautiful dog.” Madeline speaks up for homeless pets in shelters — “Breed is the least of my concerns. Every dog, when shown a little humanity, is so responsive.”
When the time came to return to the U.S., Madeline did extensive research on which airlines are best for pet travel . “It only cost me around $150,” she says, adding that she micro-chipped Taj and stuck photos of him on his crate to ensure he didn’t go missing. Upon arrival, Taj settled blissfully into her ranch amidst horses, cats and other dogs. “He keeps himself well-groomed and is very picky about what he eats,” she laughs, contrasting him with her other dogs that enjoy rolling around and getting their paws dirty.
A year has passed since they made the long journey, and Madeline shares an email she recently sent to the Blue Cross veterinarian who vaccinated Taj:
“He has traveled with me to Canada, California, Arizona, Las Vegas and Wyoming! I’ve gotten so many compliments from strangers telling me how gorgeous and regal he is. He’s the best dog in the world. I’m so happy I brought him home. Lots of love to India’s dogs and to the people that help them.”
(To adopt a healthy, vaccinated Indian puppy in Chennai, call 24570489 or 8939940630)