Abbotsford and Delhi together care for desi dogs

Dr. Choudhary (right) and Veeru. | Photo courtesy of Kristy McGilvray

Dr. Choudhary (right) and Veeru. | Photo courtesy of Kristy McGilvray

My fiance and I adopted a puppy from Delhi, India two years ago. We named him Sahib, which among many translations in different languages means “sir” or “companion.” We found him through a non-profit organization called Adopt an Indian Desi Dog (AAIDD), based in Abbotsford. Those that have or know desi dogs will agree: they are an interesting breed full of surprises, fun and challenges. Sahib was such a serious name for his very young personality, I felt the need to give him the nickname Sabbi. He has grown to be a very friendly and happy dog – a spirit I consider to be part of my family.

We had the chance to visit another side of AAIDD in Delhi when we were there this past December. Dr. Choudhary’s Pet Clinic is a veterinary clinic that rescues desi dogs and puppies that would not survive on the streets of Delhi without their intervention. The clinic then liaises with AAIDD in Abbotsford to send over the dogs and puppies from Delhi to Abbotsford. We met Dr. Choudhary along withMini Seth, who helps with the rescues. Seth was the person who rescued Sabbi and his three littermates from the street of a bustling marketplace full of people and vehicles. Seth told us of how Sabbi was a bully, which garnered him the name Ballu, meaning “bear” in Hindi. It was very interesting to hear this as Sabbi is far from a bully now. He is quite a passive dog – so long as nothing threatens his humans – and can even be too friendly for dogs or people who do not wish for his company.

While we were at a café, a female dog came onto the terrace and started begging for food, a normal activity for any dog. Many of the locals in the terrace shooed her away in a frightened manner. The dog looked quite healthy, something I noticed about a surprising amount of the street dogs I saw in Delhi. Dr. Choudhary informed us that her clinic brought this dog in, spayed and immunized her before she was let back on the streets. The clinic does this out of its own pocket for the dogs they encounter. Dr. Choudhary could tell I wanted to meet this street dog so she led me outside the café and to the dog. I was told that they had named her Rani and that she even had a bed behind the café.

Another dog came by as we were visiting with Rani. His name was Veeru. Veeru had also been taken in by the clinic, immunized, neutered and released. The calm and affectionate dispositions of these two street dogs reminded me of one of the dogs I used to have as a child. It was comforting to find that peace within a street dog on the streets of Delhi during my first visit.