This is a heart warming tail – a rags to riches story of how an Indian Pariah because of a chain of events got adopted off from the streets of Mumbai in to a cozy home filled with not just humans but 4 legged too.
What makes Simba’s story special than the other rescue/adoption ones?; because he isn’t an ordinary dog. Simba was spotted by a Good Samaritan in Andheri station( 1 of Mumbai’s most crowded stations) where he lay in one of the corners on a platform. As she approached Simba she noticed that the poor dog was “blind” something which the thousands of commuters failed to notice because as a species we are so wrapped up in our own lives that we fail to notice pleas of help in front of us. The Good Samaritan not just fed him but put a word out on social media for either having him fostered/adopted.
In a couple of days his woes had ended for a foster home was found for him where he learnt that human touch was capable of kindness too and not just harm. I met Simba for the first time in one of the adoption events where i fell instantly in love with him so much so that i wanted him to be home with me. As i sat pondering there on how i could convince my folks to bring him home something magical happened. A gentleman Mr Anand Siva that i have immense respect for because of the infinite work he has done for animals came to say hi!! to Simba fell in love said he would adopt him as soon as his other fosters would get adopted. It was an unforgettable day where Simba went back to his foster place with the promise of a new home filled with immense love and care.
As Simba joined the Siva household he forged friendships with the rest of his pack – Hobbes the Labrador, Calvin the Golden Retriever and Sienna the Indian Pariah and several cats. It took quite a while for Simba to adjust to his new home. His steadfast friend Sienna took up the role of being a guide dog to her blind friend directing him where need be and always by his side yet allowing him to maintain his independent streak when it came to exploring. The rest of the pack too pitched in when they were either climbing up the stairs or descending making sure that Simba was never at the outer sides always in the middle so if he were to slip, his fall would be cushioned by the dog ahead or next to him.
How do i know so much because i saw the pack and Simba in action when i pet sat for the Siva’s. One such incident that still has me in splits is during my first stay there. I was to use the room with a single bed in it and an extra spare mattress on the floor. Each night the spare mattress lay empty while all 4 dogs piled up to sleep with me on the bed. Picture this an xxl sized person that is me sharing the bed with 2 large and 2 medium sized dogs one word to describe it – CRAMPED!!. So just for a night i forbade the dogs to climb on to the bed with me so i could stretch my legs ended in a disaster. I did manage to keep the dogs off the bed but late in to the night i was woken up by some noise. As i put on the lights i discovered Simba had managed to open one of the wardrobes pull out all the clothes and had made a make shift bed for himself 🙂 . That was my “cue” put everything back in place allowed the dogs back on the bed while i went off to sleep on the spare mattress on the floor (Dogs: 1 Pet Sitter: 0 points). Only to wake up in the morning to find all 4 dogs asleep with me on the mattress and the single bed empty.
Its very aptly said that when one sense is diminished or absent nature sharpens the other ones, Simba’s sense of hearing was fantastic. It aided him to even play fetch and do the retrieve beautifully. Simba could now climb and descend steps with confidence and a little help from Anand’s voice commands.
I kept meeting Simba from time to time especially once they moved to my locality. It was then that time when the packs sister Shasvathi was to be wed.
It was time again to pet sit the Siva’s pack on a destination Vegan Wedding. It was the Sangeet night as me and the pack sat on the mowed lawn facing the stage from behind. As all the festivities began with the singing and dance performances the dogs sat off leash with me watching listening to Shasvathi speak when she did. It was amazing how the packs gaze was cued on to the performances even Simba. I decided to treat them from the packet i had with me everybody ate except Simba. As time ticked away we were all doing a “down” on the lawn. Simba got up walked a little away towards the bag with essentials in it picked up the treat pouch walked towards me and dropped it in my lap. I was spell bound by his intelligence how could he zero down on that bag kept quite far away pick up the treats and then walk back towards me especially when it was new territory for him. He waited patiently for me to give him his treat which was finished in a split second.
The amount of time and effort put in by the Siva’s to making Simba comfortable in his surroundings and understanding him was instrumental in him being the dog he is today!!. Adopt dont shop. Take a Leaf out of the Siva book and open your home to an animal in need.
How To Approach A Visually Impaired Dog
Because a blind dog cannot see you, it is important to remember that she may be a little hesitant or defensive at first.
- Most blind dogs are sensitive to movement. So be gradual and gentle while approaching one.
- Allow the visually impaired dog to always approach you on his own free will, once he is given time to sniff the air and pick up the person’s scent.
- Make a little bit of noise before you approach so that the dog knows you are there.
- When introducing your blind dog to other sighted dogs in a secure environment, have the sighted dogs on leash so they can be controlled and the visually impaired dog off leash so he can maintain distance if he is afraid to socialize.