Monday, April 24, 2017

Teni and the puppies

This article appeared in Business Bhutan on 22nd, April, 2017

Effortlessly pretty in pigtail braid and a bow hair band, Tenisha Rai, 23 waved at us from across the road. In her arms was a mix breed puppy that had clean white and hay-brown coat. Fluffy is a half-Retriever with brilliant gray-blue eyes who knows how to “sit” and “jump” when asked. I and two other friends were over at Teni’s place to visit the dogs. Halfway through tea, Fluffy got tired of endless picture taking and she went outside to play with her friend Angel. Angel is a beautiful black-and-white dog who was abandoned by her former owner and left to survive on her own. Tenisha took her in and it was a while until Angel learned to socialize with other dogs and stopped being so frightened.

It’s been quite a while since Tenisha has been taking stray puppies in, grooming them and searching safe homes for them. It began in September last year when she saw pictures of stray puppies from near City Camp. They were a total of three litters that were in pathetic condition. Tenisha brought them home, cleaned and fed them. Then she began looking for genuine people who wanted puppies. She posted pictures on Facebook to advertise, and often got mistaken as a dog-seller. One man even asked if he could have a puppy in exchange for eggs!

At times, Tenisha had to force some of her friends to share her Facebook posts. Some people weren’t very serious about wanting a puppy but she was determined to find genuine homes for the little darlings. Tenisha pointed out that most people had preference when it came to breed. At certain points, she had to even lie about the puppies’ breed because only the half-Retrievers with their attractive eyes were getting adopted. However, in the end, Fluffy was the only one left. Tenisha grew fonder of her and decided to keep Fluffy for herself.

Tenisha insisted that we understand the consequences of not finding the right homes. She lost a puppy called Maggie and she was still guilty about it. She said that it was like “we take them away from their mother and push them to death”. She also said that puppies provide therapy. They alleviate loneliness.

An hour later, as I and my friends were leaving, we watched Tenisha wave at us with Fluffy and her friends circling around her.  

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From "Die Mitte der Welt"

It's one of those hot, sky-blue days that taste of vanilla ice cream and summer and future, when your heart beats faster for no apparent reason, and when you're prepared to swear any oath that friendships never end.

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