Sarah Hirani - 33

AUG. 11, 2020

Curtain Hug

Lara was the first stray dog I took home. She took some time to trust me, so initially I'd keep biscuits and a blanket on my staircase for her. As she got more comfortable, I consulted a vet and then took her in as my own.
I noticed more stray dogs in my vicinity and decided to feed them. Every weekend, I'd spend a few hours organising special meals for the dogs. And on weekdays I'd feed them on my way to school. My parents had not warned up to the idea but dogs meant a lot to me from the very beginning.
From 2-3 dogs, I began feeding 40-50 dogs. But my neighbours derided me and blamed me for ‘allowing’ dogs into the colony, even resorting to throwing rocks at them. Once, a lady stood waiting for me with a rock in her hand, ready to hit me as I was about to feed the strays. Regardlessly, I'd go everyday on my bike to feed the strays. Then the vehicular movement was restricted during the lockdown, and I had to go by foot. My education came to a standstill owing to the pandemic and my parents stopped funding me to feed the dogs too. I had to cut down on my expenditures and decided to spend that money on their food instead. I saved up on a dog bowl by using coconut shells and used all the money I had got on my birthday and on festivals.
I can’t sleep without meeting them. During Christmas, I bought 100 winter coats for them to remain safe and warm. Someday I want to open a shelter for them. Till then I’m doing the best I can to feed as many dogs as I can. That’s why you will always find a packet of biscuits and a little doggy bowl in the trunk of my scooty… I can never miss out on making a new four legged friend!