In Jan 2016, her office receptionist gave Sharmista a copy of the SOSD calendar and life for her and her family hasn’t been the same, since. Seeing the beautiful images of kids with their doggie pals made her determined to give the same experience to her then 15-month-old daughter.
Soon she and her husband – Viraj – made a visit to SOSD.
“We were invited by Loshy – an SOSD volunteer – to meet a one-year-old dog. He was a sweetheart but he was as sprightly as our daughter Ira. However they didn’t seem to connect. Then, as we were about to leave, one of the volunteers asked us to meet a four-year-old dog. And there he came, sashaying down the walkway, Snowy! It was really love at first sight. He was everything Ira wasn’t. She was hyper, he was calm. She was a baby, he was fully grown. As they say, opposites attract, right? He greeted her with a lick and she reciprocated by hugging him tight. Instinctively, we knew he was the one!”
The family however did have some teething issues because during the home stay Snowy had some skin issues, scratching incessantly and wasn’t appreciating the toddler’s aggressive affection. But over time, with a good diet, love and a lot of careful correction for both daughter and fur-kid, things started to get smoother.
“It’s fascinating to have an animal that’s so attached to you. The eager eyes, the licks, the attention he pays to us. Of course, there is also the wagging and the never-ending requests for belly rubs,” says Viraj.
As with all dogs that are adopted, Snowy too was initially shy and reserved. But soon he emerged from his shell – interacting with other dogs – and showed clear signs of missing family members when they were on holiday or work. “When my daughter and husband went on a trip and I Skyped with them.. Snowy heard our daughter’s voice and went looking in the corners thinking he would find her there.”
“Abandoned dogs have a very tough life. And a second chance is very rare for them. I sometimes think of what might’ve been for Snowy if we hadn’t met him. It is a bit of work to take care of him but think how much tougher it must to be for an animal to be abandoned by the ones they loved. This, I realised the day we were bringing Snowy home. Every volunteer who heard he was being adopted bade him farewell the same way: ‘Bye Snowy, hope to never see you again’.”