Canine Chronicles - Radha

Departures and Arrivals.

All the students and many of the residents of the ashram had a special event to attend.  The place was going to be almost empty of humans. Krishna and Kaneya kept everyone on their toes by saying that just because all the humans were not going to be around for the day didn't mean there could be any revolt or misbehaviour from the 'squatter' dogs.

Even though Radha had made herself acceptable to them, they still included her as an outsider and someone to keep an eye on.  Not so much that Radha herself was a problem, but that her presence caused troubles due to her being the object of extreme jealousy.  Particularly from that alpha bitch of Daddy Dog's.

It had become ever more apparent, indeed, that Winkie was the lead dog, and not the stud male.  He was just a total sook who had one thing in mind.

He was good at it too.  There were many faces of varying ages in the neighbourhood who bore his trademark white and brown patches!

Then along came the day of the big buses coming to transport the humans to their event up in the hills.  They left very early.  Krishna and Kaneya - the 'K-dogs' - were present as always to make sure nobody got left behind and in case there were any treats on hand. Plenty of cuddles and orders from favourite students to 'guard the grounds' were there and a wee biscuit or two was witnessed to be snuck into muzzles. What was interesting to the Radha supporters was that for the first time, she too came to say goodbye. 

She was very heavily pregnant by this time and the strange-amma muttered to the small but caring support group "They've got to be due to drop any day now".

Fated words. 

Later that morning, Radha could feel the stirrings of whelping.  She slunk away from the quadrangle and wriggled her way into her secret place.  She had been busy this past eight weeks and there were plenty of old papers and leaf-litter built up into bedding.  Having eaten well the night before and winning a few biccies from the send-off before dawn, she felt totally ready for what might be a week of austerity.

By the time the  humans returned, late evening, Radha had borne seven puppies.  She was very careful, however, not to advertise the fact.  For two days she was not seen and the strange -amma and one other senior student were concerned that their absence had allowed the B-pack to 'do the nasty' on the gorgeous girl. 

However, the human Uncle came running to strange-amma on the third morning and declared "They're right under our noses!"

Clever Radha had found a way into the storm drains which crossed the ashram.  Not just that, but she had placed herself so that anyone walking up and down to the quadrangle would be able to see them - if she made a noise to attract attention.  That is exactly what she did that morning when she saw Uncle going overhead.  By this time too, the puppies were 'mewling' a bit.  Until then, she had not eaten and had only been able to move along to be under the dripping garden tap in order to quench her thirst.  Six of the puppies were feeding well at that stage.  The seventh died on day one.  By day five, the second death.  By week two, the third weakling passed also.

Uncle took full responsibility for taking milk from the waste bucket, rice and rotis and Radha willingly took them from his hand.  This was amazing, given how timid she was without that concrete grate between them!

Strange-amma was concerned, however.  Uncle was just a touch too over-caring.  It was not that these things ought not to be supplied, but she could see that he was eager to start picking up pups.  This was not a domestic situation.  For these free animals, such interaction could pose problems.  Both for the dogs and for the humans.  There are fine lines drawn between the INDog and its two-leg cohabitants. 

The experienced amma warned all that care should be taken.  Not least because there was the ashram policy of non-interaction with all but the K-dogs.  Too many folk ignored these rules anyway.  She was fighting a losing battle.

Radha stayed in the drain with her pups till week three, then ventured out, foraging for herself again, but was never far away.  She kept the bedding turned over, cleaning after them and moving them along the drain gradually to ensure their health.  For a first time mum she was proud of her efforts. The instinct and ability was coursing through her veins.  

Finally, of course, there came the day - week six - and by now those pups needed to be out and about.


© Yamini Ali MacLean  


4 comments:

  1. VERY SMART.

    WE want to wish you a VERY MUCH Merry Christmas!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Merry Christmas Auntie Yam!

    Aroo to you,
    Sully

    ReplyDelete
  3. She sounds like quite a good mother. So sad that three pups passed, hope the others make it and thrive in the world.

    ReplyDelete

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