By Ryan Pravato
People generally don’t like to think about the cruel and disgusting things that humans, animals and the environment are subjected to every day. It’s just so uncomfortable — and we are all to blame for avoiding and ignoring these things. But this lack of action is why bad things are slow to vanish — and sorry for the cliché, but it’s why the world will never change.
Recently on vacation in Sri Lanka (an island country off the south coast of India), my girlfriend and I realized the cruel and saddening fate of so many dogs there, most of which are stray and live in less than ideal condition, with problems and injuries ranging from just a little malnourishment to serious unhealed breaks to gaping wounds. The factors that cause this stray problem are obvious and may take decades more to fix — but I’m not going to write about that, as it’s up to local people within those countries to take action.
During our travels throughout Sri Lanka we felt helpless at the plight of the stray dogs, as we weren’t often in situations to help them — and even if we were, which dogs do we decide to help? What do we define as a serious enough injury? When would we stop? Simply, too many dogs are suffering and there are not enough people that truly care. As dog lovers, we couldn’t shake this realization.
The last week of our Sri Lanka trip we settled in a beach area flush with beautiful scenery, tourists and yes, a bevy of stray dogs — some in OK shape, others not so much. Even while in our beach bum trance, a quite skinny brother and sister puppy duo (between 3 and 4 months old) caught our eye, and they didn’t let it go for the rest of our trip. They were very friendly, inseparable and quite good at making us not walk by them without stopping. And that’s how it happened, we became attached bit by bit. In the first couple of days of knowing them we casually talked about finding them a clinic so they could get de-wormed and checked out. The pups weren’t in terrible condition, but the conditions they were in were dangerous and dirty. Our number one concern was the traffic of the busy main road and the wild tuk-tuks blazing along the beach road with all the hotels along it. During our stay in Sri Lanka we saw numerous dogs limping around with a leg up because of an encounter with a vehicle. And those were the lucky ones.
Probably in the morning of the three-day mark, on our way to the beach, we officially got attached to the pups — as casual concern turned into constant fretting.
Do they have clean water? Was that leftover food the locals gave to them expired? Will they stay away from the bigger, meaner dogs down the way?
All it will take is one solid hit from a tuk-tuk and that could be the end of it!
The pups could sense we cared about them, sometimes they would follow us down the road after we’d stop by and visit, perking up to our every whistle or word.
During our last full day at the beach we arranged a driver and took the pups to a clinic, specifically known as the Dog Care Clinic (German run). The pups are there safe now, but adoption is an uphill climb, as there are just so many dogs in need and not enough people to adopt. The clinic hopes a home can be found, no matter where. In the end we were happy to see them off the streets and in decent care, but it was bittersweet saying goodbye.
How did we become so attached in just one week?
Well, we were on vacation, but we still didn’t allow apathy to rule over us. Hoards of tourists think nothing of the problems, and if they do actually feel something wrong with the situation, they quickly ignore it, maybe thinking that someone else will come save the day instead. So few actually lend a hand — but I know many more would if they would just allow themselves to see the big picture.
If we all just thought about each other a bit more and took action, not so many creatures, four-legged or two-legged, would fall through the proverbial cracks. All my girlfriend and I did was do a simple deed. We can’t change the poor situation with just one act, but we can join others in lending a hand and trying to make a difference.
As for these two pups, I hope all the readers out there take time to consider the reliable and dog loving people in their networks, and consider themselves too. Your help would be magnificent for these pups! For it is humbling to know my girlfriend and I can’t adopt them, as our living situation is not suitable for one dog, let alone two! But we know there are people out there that have the ability, and it will mean the world for these pups.
Any questions or anything at all, please get in touch with me by email: [email protected] Or you can contact Ingbert Krull with the Dog Care Clinic via email: [email protected] or visit the clinic’s website.