When Sanjuktha Ramachandran heard about an injured pup in Kodambakkam, she contemplated ringing up an animal shelter for help, as she already had a house full of rescued pets and was unable to find a temporary home in her friend circle. But when she saw the handsome 4-month-old mongrel whose paw was crushed by a speeding motorbike, she rushed him to a vet herself for vaccinations and treatment. “Someone had tried to help, and had bandaged his paw with a sock”, she says. “He was nearly unconscious with pain”.

In just five days, the mongrel – now named Milo – went from whimpering puppy to vocal brat. Sanjuktha marvels at his spirit and intelligence, and observes that his loyalty kicked in from day one. “Within a day, he had learnt the routines in our house – he learnt from the other dogs when to bark and alert us about strangers and when it’s feeding time”, she says. “All the dogs and cats in my house sit on sofas and beds. And since Milo couldn’t jump up himself (because of the paw), he would bark till someone lifted him up onto the surface that he wanted”.

While Sanjuktha busied herself with the task of finding her latest rescue a good home, Milo perfected a manipulative head tilt that he used whenever he was being photographed.

He soon found a home with a family that had four other rescued pets. “Milo’s going to a farm house where there are 4 other Indian dogs for company”, says a delighted Sanjuktha. “And they’ve all been spayed and neutered”.

For her, Milo is the latest in a string of perfect endings, and she reveals it all began with an abandoned Indian dog she adopted years ago. “I knew he used to be someone’s pet because he had absolutely no road sense,” she says. She took Jackie in from the rain and gave him a home, and since then, there has been no looking back.

SRIYA NARAYANAN

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