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Rani – from Puppy to Old Age !! Journey of Life !


Rani was born on the streets almost 12 years back. Just like a street pup, she grew up facing the many ordeals of life. What made her life different was the love, warmth and food she got from people (Naiks) who make food on this cart under which you see her seeking refuge from the rains.

It was a cloudy day, and the street was moist with a light shower of rain as I just left my workplace to go home. Rani came running, her running more like a wobbly hobbling run as a result of her developing arthritis. She quickly dashed underneath this cart to rest and snooze the rest of her day.

This cart is owned by a family which makes their living by selling “hot potato vegetable stuffing rolled into gram flour called “Batata-Vada” and onions with spices rolled into gram flour and deep fried called ‘Pakodas’. “Batata Vada” or the Indian burger had with a slice of double bread with some chutney is a delicacy amongst rickshaw drivers, cabbie drivers, masons, construction workers, labourers, and office goers too, who stop by to have this hot delicacy .  Rani loves just plain potato rolled into gram flour and deep fried our proverbial “Aloo Bhajia”.

Mrs. Naik lovingly feeds her in the morning as she comes to prepare breakfast for the many who come to eat. Her daughter in law helps her in making the pakodas.

About 12 years back, Mrs. Naik late husband, adopted this pup who roamed the street in search of food. He started caring for her on the street, when she had no one and named her Rani.   A few years later, as Mrs. Naik narrates, her husband expired and with tears in her eyes tells me, Rani did not touch food for a week and always sat close to the cart.  This made my eyes moist too and I felt and could see the compassion and love with which Mrs. Naik spoke.

Recently, I remember when Rani was injured on her back, the result of a dog fight, Mrs. Naik, came to me and told me she is wounded as I was busy feeding the other street dogs.

I saw a not so big but a deep wound, and immediately started her on medications and treatment and within 4 weeks Rani had completely healed. This brought me very close to Rani and she would come running to me.

A few months later, Rani injured her left eye and it was a injury to the eye which showed signs of a developing glaucoma. Rani could not open her eye and it was rather very swollen. Rani yet hobbled and crossed the huge and busy Andheri Link Road which made me worried as ever.

With medications prescribed by my veterinarian,  Rani improved and the swelling in her eye subsided. The glaucoma still persists although is not prominent and large, but the eye is close to normal and Rani can now open her eye, blink and cross the road with both eyes open.

As Rani sees me now, she comes hobbling along and rolls on her back demanding for a nice belly rub !!

JULY 2010
This stall was demolished by the Municipality few months back. Now Rani lives alone on the street and the small vendors who sell the “Indian Cutting Chai (Tea)” and the local roadside “Omlette” and “Dosas” feed her a few biscuits ..

I am unable to visit her daily but I try my best to run a check every Sunday, on the dogs in that area and give them food and treat them for their injuries or illnesses.

RANI is an old lady, however, there is no shelter who will keep her, so my efforts continue to search for land, and I try to impress upon people a dire need to give a place for sheltering of AGED animals (those who have arthritis, cataract, heart ailments, deaf animals - as they age) and PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED animals- those with one eye, three legs, spinal problems, genetic defects, birth defects ..a SHELTER ...where dogs like Rani, Boris and many more could live the “Evening of Their Lives” in “PEACE”.

- Written by Priya Shindurnikar