After much discussion and consideration, Anjali took a brave yet tough decision to let go of Sona and Zor for whom we had found a foster home at my friend Choudary's farm at Shamshabad. A watchman couple he knows will take care of them - they have a nice clean yard, kennels and a secure perimeter where the pups can grow and play without harm. Considering the number of times they have been attacked here in my colony by bigger dogs (one incident even today), it felt like they might be safer there.
|A few days ago - Sona, Zor and Anjali outside our house|
Since their birth in April (10th I think), Sona and Zor somehow survived four turbulent months - where Kroor and Zindagi did not - and not easily. Both owe their life to Anjali - Zor after a highly traumatised three day gap which completely traumatised her and Sona after a car ran over her leg and caused a fracture and internal hemorrhage. She nursed them both back to good health and literally carried Sona like a baby.
|A couple of days before - Anjali studying with all three keeping her company|
But then came practical decisions - Shobhs and I are not much dog people - though I know Shobhs got attached to Sona in the past few days. The fact that Anjali would have to go full time to school in a few months perhaps, and college in a few years was a factor. We considered travel, how we may get home bound, and how if she does move out to study in three years, it might not be fair on the pup (or us) later. Anyway, there were two of them together and she felt they would be happier and safer together.
|A moment before we left - Anjali holding Sona|
So she said we would go today after school to give them over. I kept saying she could reconsider and maybe we could give one now and another later but she was resolute. During the school break we went and bought collars and leashes for them and Akela - and they all looked smart in them. They played around at home until it was time to go. For Zor this was the longest and farthest journey yet - Sona had been to the vet before.They sat in the car quietly.
|In the car not knowing where they are headed|
At Beauty Green they played around while we waited for Choudary. Anjali let them gambol around in the lawn. And then Choudary came and we carried them to the place where the watchmen couple Ramesh and Bujji live, and gave them over to them. Shobhs gave them some money, Anjali told them their names and how to feed them - gave them a packet of Pedigree too. The pups settled down in a corner and surely will soon find their rhythm. Its quite a protected place. The woman called after an hour to tell us that they had eaten and slept.
|Sona and Zor exploring Beauty Green lawns - after scaring away two bigger dogs|
Anjali was naturally upset at the parting. All of us were. I will also miss the way Sona would frisk around the house - the way it would jump on the beds and the bean bags, the way it would look, find its way under nooks and crannies. But mostly I felt very sad for Anjai who had put her heart and soul into the pups and Akela. The way she cared for them, fought for them, held and nurtured them, loved them is something I can never do, am not remotely capable of. Only someone with so much compassion and love can do those acts, take such decisions - and like I always said - lucky is the person that Anjali loves. There's a quality about it, and intensity about it I cannot even touch. I am glad for her for that and so so glad she's been blessed with so much love and compassion.
|Anjali playing with Sona and Zor|
We spoke in the afternoon before we left and I told her how it had been such a superb manifestation by her - five dogs - the mom and four pups, when she had been yearning for a dog for years - and the whole gamut of experience from birth to death, illness to recovery, living with one to separation. We decided to look at this experience not with sadness but with a 'What else is possible' and 'How can it get better' outlook on life.
|Anjali holding Sona while Zor explores|
And I felt so bad when Anjali recovered in the car and patted us both and said 'thank you for everything'. But Anjali my dearest, like I said, let's be open. Maybe there are better things to come - for all of us - including Sona and Zor.
And Sona and Zor, for all the love and fun, your friskiness and mischief, your brave fighting along with your mother when those big dogs that would attack you, your attempts to protect Anjali from whatever you imagined - lots of love and farewell and have long and healthy lives. And yes, we'll see you soon!