Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Early Years 2010: Amulia Amulia!

Originally Posted on June 25th, 2010

     Amulia is the closest friend I've made in Bangalore. Though she's not human, if you know me then you shouldn't be surprised.  Amulia is an adorable puppy that was kindly adopted by our security guard Chinuppa.  I named her, her name means "precious" in Hindi.  Bangalore has a overwhelming amount of homeless and feral dogs. I'm guessing well into the hundreds of thousands. I'm not quite sure how Chinuppa came across Amulia, but when I first saw her running around the garage my heart melted.  She is about four months old, and she's a beautiful white with brown spots, though her coat takes a beating with her crawling around on the dirty concrete all the time.  I have sort of taken her under my wing.

      Chinuppa gives her a surprisingly good amount of food though it consists of rice and vegetables.  I bought a small bag of pedigree dog food for her, and she now turns her nose up at the rice.  Dog food is hard to come by in Bangalore and I have only ever seen the Pedigree brand.  It's ridiculously priced too, 400 rupees ($8.61 U.S.) for a decent sized bag.  Despite the poor quality, dog food is royalty compared to what most of the city dogs get to eat here.
It's amazing to see how a dog acts when it has finally received love and affection.  Amulia didn't know how to react when I first cared for her, but now she is spoiled and expects it of me everyday. She is supremely smart as well.  I taught her to sit and shake in a matter of ten minutes.  Last night we worked on the rollover trick and she understands it but refuses to obey me completely.  People who witness my trick training laugh when they see her obedience.  She loves dog food so much she would do nearly anything for it.  Imagine how happy it makes a puppy to get a chew bone and know that I see that look on her face everyday when I give her the simplest of attention.
In the few weeks that I've cared for her, she has begun to come out of her shell.  Sometimes it is more than for her own good, but my motto is that she is a puppy and she is supposed to be crazy.  She has learned to climb the stairs throughout the apartment building and at night she sneaks up and steals people's shoes that are left outside their doors.  I've seen numerous pairs with her needle teeth marks. A few nights ago, after I fed and played with her in my apartment, she was restless and wouldn't sleep.  She continued to whine after I put her back in the garage, and I heard her come to my door shortly after.  When I opened the door to see where she was, I could see her on the floor below with a shoe in her mouth and a pile of shit next to my neighbor's door.  LOL Needless to say, she is getting into puppy trouble.

     Chinuppa isn't quiet sure how to take care of Amulia, and I try to help him understand the basics.  He doesn't understand English and speaks Telugu, not Kannada even though we live in Karnataka.  I mostly communicate to him through body language and facial expressions.  When Sanjeev is near, he is my translator, and we explain to him what Amulia needs.

     It breaks my heart to think of the hard life this dog will experience.  Chinuppa struggles himself and may not always be able to care for her and she may end up on the street like all of the other dogs. Thankfully though, she has been spayed.  I am amazed that she has because most people here don't even know what spaying and neutering is.  Spaying here can mean survival because dogs are constantly breeding.  It's practically impossible to find enough food for themselves let alone puppies.  Amulia is very intelligent and I have no doubt that she will learn the skills she needs to survive here. My only hope though is that she continues to receive some sort of affection because I never want to imagine her eyes turning into cold, feral eyes like the ones I so often see on the faces of dogs here.

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