It was a hot summer afternoon. The temperatures were soaring having crossed the mid-40 degree Celsius mark already. I got a call from a friend about a super-friendly dog named Alexa, one of the dogs of our area whom we fed and took care of.
Alexa was bleeding and in pain. She had been beaten badly, supposedly by a guard, and had sustained injuries on her forehead and could barely move.
She was taken to an animal shelter in Noida where the vet treating her suggested after a week or so that her hind leg needed to be amputated. She had sustained a compound fracture and it was untreatable, he said.
Alexa was not even a year old and it was heartbreaking to imagine her
losing a leg.
We decided to show Alexa to another vet, Dr Mahendran, at CGS Hospital, Gurgaon. Alexa cried in pain all the way to the facility. After seeing her X-ray reports, Dr Samar S. Mahendran announced that her leg could be fixed. His words were like a ray of sunshine after a long, dark night. We decided to do all we could to save her.
Unfortunately, when the doctors ran tests on Alexa they learnt that she had tick fever too. So first up was the treatment for the tick fever.
Funding and treatment
Once Alexa was admitted to CGS, her treatment expenses became our main worry. CGS is arguably one of the most expensive hospitals in the Delhi/CGS, and we had to act fast to arrange the necessary funds – at least several thousand rupees given the nature of injuries Alexa had sustained.
We had pooled in money among friends. But we knew that just wasn’t enough — almost like the proverbial drop in the ocean. We started posting about Alexa on the social media, requesting friends and friends of friends to help.
Funds started pouring in from completely unknown quarters – not always a big amount, but even a Rs 100 donation mattered and kept us going. It was the willingness to help that touched our hearts. A 10 year old came forward to help Alexa and that overwhelmed us. He broke his piggy bank and told us to save her!
In a short time, we had generated enough funds for Alexa’s treatment. And then, much to our surprise, Dr Mahendran decided to bill us only for the medicinal expenses, waived the rest of the expenses.
Road to recovery
Now that the treatment had begun, the recovery period was long. Alexa had to be kept in a sterilised environment so that she did not get infected. It wasn’t easy as she had already been in the hospital for over two weeks and we were not able to find a foster home for her.
We kept asking around but always hit a dead end.
Eventually, a friend decided to keep Alexa till we found a nice, forever home. But we faced a problem there too. The home she had been kept in would be supervised by helps, and we did not have confidence that they would take adequate care of Alexa. As her movement was restricted, she needed exclusive attention. We decided to take her back to the hospital where Dr Mahendran agreed to keep her till her leg was healed.
We heaved a sigh of relief. We now knew that she was in the care of the best medical professionals and her chances of recovery were great. Meanwhile, my friend discussed with her family to make suitable arrangements for her return.
Raring to go
A couple of days later, we visited Alexa. When we went inside to meet her we couldn’t believe our eyes. She was healthier than before and jumping with joy.
The feeling we got on seeing her run and jump without pain is indescribable. We were humbled and overwhelmed at the same time. Alexa would have died by the roadside unattended had she not been spotted by a kind lady and had the rest of the chain of events not unfolded the way they did.
It’s a miracle how everyone got together to be Alexa’s family. She has given us beautiful memories, and the courage and confidence to take the plunge and save more animals. As the old adage goes – if there is a will there is a way.
Not only did Alexa get a new lease of life, she was also spayed during the course of her stay at the hospital. Her caretakers took a liking for her as she is a no-fuss and a well-behaved dog. They were sad to let her go.
She is now back in her foster home happily hopping around.
(Gaurav Dar is a Delhi-based animal activist)