Andhra Pradesh

A man’s best friends during the time of pandemic

A woman and her child playing with the puppies at Aretamma Colony at Puttur in Chittoor district.  

A dog with four puppies in tow was trying to cross on the outskirts of Puttur when it was crushed to death by a speeding lorry. However, the puppies had a miraculous escape, but in no time presented a tear-jerking spectacle, gamboling over their mother’s carcass.

Two college boys, who were returning home, picked up a pair each. Reaching home, the duo could not convince their families to adopt the days’ old puppies as they were still not able to walk steadily and that their mothers argued that feeding them was not an easy task. There was a reason when one of the mothers shouted: “At least they need two litres of milk per day. Who would buy it now at this hour of COVID pandemic?”

Disappointed, the boys abandoned the puppies on the premises of Aretamma temple on the outskirts of Puttur. After surviving their first night without their mother, the puppies slowly crawled to reach the adjoining Aretamma Colony, when a group of children spotted them. The cute puppies became their favourites instantly. Again, four of the boys, aged below 7, picked up a puppy each and went home. No surprise, the households again rejected grooming the canines.

Once again hitting bylanes, the pups were in danger of growling and menacing seniors. In the meantime, reportedly pricked by their conscience, the schoolchildren returned to the puppies and secured them inside the compound of a house. The children could gather all that they could — pocket money, their share of milk, biscuits and food — and kept feeding the puppies, naming them COVID-1, 2, 3 and 4. Whenever they sneaked into the houses in the neighbourhood, the puppies could succeed in getting some eatables from one and all. Slowly, the neighborhood, including children and homemakers, were in the forefront to feed them in turns, and shooing away the street dogs from harming them.

After a month, the puppies have now become the cynosure of many households. Missing mother’s milk and care, yet the four could overcome their initial days of emaciation and hunger. Now, they have close to half a dozen regular patron households, apart from their saviour-kids.

With holidays to schools and the lockdown owing to COVID second wave, the children try to draw maximum joy playing with the puppies.

“The boisterous presence of these COVID 1, 2, 3 and 4 series are a big relief to us at this pandemic time. Though irritating sometimes, these cute pups are serving the children of this colony with much enjoyment,” says Divya, a homemaker.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 5:32:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/a-mans-best-friends-during-the-time-of-pandemic/article34492965.ece

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