Thursday, 20 August 2009

Last evening, around 7, a friend called Yasmine to say he'd seen a dog hit by a car and lying on the road near Safina Plaza. He works as a driver, and could not stop as he had a passenger to drop. Yasmine and I rushed to the spot, where we found that another passer-by had moved the dog to the side of the road, outside the new Krishnaiah Chetty showroom on Main Guard Road (which thousands of people who drive through it everyday seem to know only as 'that road there...um the one between Infantry Road and OPH Road...er...'). For some reason a BMP van had also pulled over, and there were a couple of traffic cops on the spot as well. They were trying to arrange an ambulance for the dog. The police were talking to someone - perhaps CUPA itself - who would only agree to send an ambulance if someone would give them their address. Not the spot where the dog was, but their own home address. Odd rule, that.

Anyway, Yasmine called CUPA and arranged for their ambulance to come and pick up the dog. It was at Ramamaurthy Nagar (a little beyond Jai Bharath Nagar, a little before Banaswadi, if you're driving down from the former ITC Factory), so we knew we had a long wait ahead of us. The good samaritan who had earlier carried the dog to the side of the road asked if he was needed for anything else. Since there was nothing further he could do, he carried on. It isn't easy to decide stop your car and to pick up a strange dog from the road and carry it to safety in the midst of rush hour traffic. I wish I'd found out who he was, because he was the real hero of the evening.

I brought some water for the dog, a young female with vaguely german shephard-derived markings. Nervous, she tried snapping at my fingers. The BMP guys took over and tried pouring the water on her, which of course freaked her out and made her run away. She was too exhausted and wounded to get far though, and collapsed just around the corner, at the beginning of Bowring Hospital Road. We managed to get the BMP guys to get into their van and scoot. One of the traffic cops stayed with us for a while, pointing out various dogs in the area who were regular police buddies, and telling us about Kariya, a black dog at the Commercial Street traffic police station. Kariya is the pride and joy of that station. This is the second time a policeman from that station has told us proudly of the time he chased a criminal, grabbed him by the seat of his pants and apprehended. Each policeman makes himself Kariya's intrepid human companion in their version of this story. After a while, the policeman left on his rounds.

Time passed. Around 7.45, a teenage boy whose mother and sister were sary or jewellery shopping on Commercial street while he waited in the car with the driver came over to us. He said he'd been watching us looking after the dog for a while and wanted to know what was wrong with the dog. He was quite worried and suggested we call his vet. We told him we'd already organised an ambulance and chatted with him for a while.

The ambulance finally turned up at 8.45, around an hour and a half after we'd sent for it - not a bad response time considering they had to negotiate through the extremely congested Old Madras Road. The attenders, as usual, were needlessly brutal in picking up the dog, and then when it understandably reacted angrily, they started saying it must have rabies. I wanted to hit them with the stupid rod they were using the intimidate the dog with, but Yasmine was able to calm the situation down and they drove off with the dog. We still need to follow up with the vets at CUPA and find out how the dog, but I'm confident she is out of danger now.

And that was how we spent the evening of Yasmine's birthday.

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