As a true animal lover- It’s so tempting to want to take in almost every homeless dog you see with sad eyes walking around. And yet- there are so many if’s and but’s on adopting a fully grown abandoned pet. Komal Bhende shares with us a special story of how she took in an abandoned dog. Read on…!
This story is about JOJO, a little white dog who suddenly became a major part of our lives without us even realising it.
In April 2005, my housekeeper, Gulab, saw this poor little thing crounched up behind some trucks probably hungry and scared at the same time. Feeling sorry for him she started feeding him small bits of chapatti, rice and milk which she had taken for the three street dogs we look after, and placed him in our “sick-bay”, a small shed that we had made to shelter sick and homeless animals. JOJO refused to wake up for three consecutive days only coming out to eat and pee.
Komal with Jojo
One morning when I returned from my night shift, I saw my mother and Gulab standing at the gate as JOJO had been howling all night keeping everyone including the neighbours from sleeping. I realised it was time to find him a home and started calling my friends immediately to do the same. Eventually at 5 p.m. that evening a rather daunting man showed up. Seeing him JOJO immediately took him as a threat and hid behind me growling and snarling, something he would usually never do. It was then that the realisation dawned on us that JOJO had chosen us and would not accept anyone else as his masters.
JOJO was a mess but our first concern was to get him vaccinated so we immediately called our vet who came and did the necessary with the help of a sedative and took the opportunity to bathe him and groom him well. He was a surprise for my father and it was surprising how they took to each other when they met. JOJO refused to leave my father’s side for even a minute and would get hysterical if that happened. After a month of his being with us we learnt that he was one of the few dogs who liked all vegetables including cauliflower, bhindi, carrots, peas etc and fruits like papaya, watermelon and chickoo with alfanso mango being his favourite. We finally managed to toilet train him though it is only my father who can give him a nice bath.
It is then my father’s responsibility to brush him and powder him. After spending his morning eating and getting ready JOJO spends the rest of his day at my father’s feet, be it under the chair when he is doing his paper work or by his bed. But the minute the clock strikes 4 p.m. his attention shifts to my mom who he looks at with the most mischievous expression enticing her to come and play in the garden with ginger, the cat. After 2 hours of playtime JOJO along with the 3 garden doggies and 3 street doggies are given a treat. Come night time he has a small bowl of milk and is in slumberland by 10.30 p.m!
Having been with us for eight years, JOJO has become a part of our family. He has given us all unconditional love and joy and is an element of security for my parents now aged 72+. It was his bulgy eyes which made us name him JOJO which stands for ‘eyes’ in Gujarati. Being away from home made me miss him more and value and him love like never before.
Komal has been practicing medicine for twelve years in some of the leading Intensive Care Units. Having grown up surrounded by 22 cats and dogs, her love for animals intensified to such an extent that people often call her the “animal whisperer”.  She says, “My childhood memories are dominated with the various activities that I engaged in to rescue poor, helpless animals who had been tortured and beaten mercilessly. I have spent endless hours in the police station till 2 a.m. fighting for a defensless dog, saved a monkey who was been beaten by his keeper and eventually went on to join “Ahimsa” with Dr. Satnam Ahuja to fight for the cause.”