This Sunday was an authentic hot summer’s day. It started off well enough, with some fresh cool winds breezing through the pine trees and putting a spring in the four sets of doggy-paws intent on pulling groggy glassy-eyed me out for the morning walk. Late night chats with my dear friend and confidante ( there have also been evening movie sessions and quiet companionable silences while we both battled with our personal levels of Candy Crush) had left with me some potent sleep deficit effects.
So then, out steps groggy me and four excited dogs….but hey! its five excited dogs today. I get some winsome wags and loving licks from this HUGE, happy, shiny and smiling St Bernard dog. Wait a minute, a St Bernard dog?!
I have been been greeted by huge, happy mountain doggy admirers of Kajal earlier, and I have watched other dogs saunter past our home with travelling families. But a healthy and happy St Bernard dog at my doorstep was too weird even for this devoted dog lover! No humans around this happy fella, no passing walker calling out to him. He had a thick brown collar, but there was no name or address on it. His obvious delight at meeting me and my canine gang, the joyous hop and skip gamboling around Biskit and the happy drooling on the steps meant that this big fellas had run out from his home for a little adventure.
Highway speeding ( yes, we have summer visitors who believe that mountain roads are for checking out the engine power of their new monster SUVs) could turn this little adventure into a big mishap for this happy-go-lucky hunk. Vicious attacks by village dogs or forest big cats could injure or even kill this big innocent and ignorant giant. Turning my back on this sweet fella and getting on with my Sunday lazing plans was just not an option. I had to do something, if not for those large soft brown trusting eyes, or the big pink tongue licking my hand,but for the worried family running all over the town in search for their gentle giant.
Biskits’ leash was snapped on to the collar and the big fella trotted in obediently behind our two little ones. Once inside, Pepper growled out doggy instructions on privacy and placement matters, Biskit checked out monkey menace matters and I put on my “think-rescue-cap”. How does one find the owner of a large pedigree dog in a small ( but scattered over hills) town, surrounded with villages and summer cottages?
and this is when the blessings of SMALL start kicking in!! read on—
- Called up a friend who lives 7 kms away, with 12 dogs and 6 well-appointed home-stay rooms and a dream cafe. Her large Rufus was safe at home. Our big fella was way more friendlier than her Rufus, but its good to proceed from known to unknown!
- Woke up the Vet officer of the hospital and asked her if she could contact all the owners of St Bernard dogs in Ranikhet. Her mobile had the contact numbers of all four owners ( SMALL). One of them had switched off his phone, and the other 3 replied to her call while patting their personal gentle giants.
- In that one hour, our big fella had stretched out on the floor, munched the rag carpet, bounded and barked his head off at the monkeys ( just following Biskit and her directions), stared at me adoringly, and eaten all the dog biscuits in the jar. Pepper was not impressed by the vanishing tid-bits…not one bit.
- Spoke to a friend living near the switched off owner….it was only the silence following the jangling door-bell which alerted the family that their loud, lovable Bernard was missing. A particularly raucous wedding party had lit up the night sky and torn the cloak of silence with fire-works, and the terrified dog would have run out as fast as he could.
- Phone calls poured in from the vet, my friends, the dog owners ( SMALL) and in another half an hour, our suitably contrite big fella was hauled into this large Scorpio vehicle and driven home. There were lots of profuse thanks and strong tea and happy smiles too!
- I could almost hear the dogs sighing in relief when we walked into our now-quiet home. There were big paw marks all over the rooms, a drool and dribble soaked rug and a water splashed bathroom waiting for me. It had been so GOOD to have a large, adorable, friendly fella at home, so what if it was just for a few hours!
- Thank God for technology, said me, while downloading the pictures from my camera. At least I have his pictures to look at and to share with my daughters! I knew how it felt to be dismissed for my so called “imaginative stories”! and this is what I had excitedly clicked…….
- and clicked….
- I hate these million odd options which these new cameras come with…and I hate fat instruction books .