After a few nail-biting days of wait, when the 46th POTUS-elect, Joe Biden delivered his victory speech, he referred to some memories of his grandparents, which go like this: My grandfather used to say, Joey keep the faith…my grandmother used to say, Joey spread the faith too.
Our today’s story is also about faith in goodness, having sense of purpose and being responsible not only towards fur-kids Bella and Jackson but also the community.
Let’s get through with the introductions first; Bella and Jackson are the beloved companions of their humans. They live in Varanasi, a beautiful city by river Ganges in India. While Bella is the matriarch, Jackson is the loyal protector. Bella’s maternal instincts are so strong that often she seeks to nurse the stray puppers and teach them a thing or two about building confidence. On the other hand, Jackson is a classic example of the innate beautiful nature of a dog who will not instinctively attack even if he is ill-treated.
“Jackson’s past was not merry,” his humans say. “He was really ill-treated and kept chained near a drain. He didn’t have a place to sleep and wasn’t even fed properly. Jackson was in a terrible condition when a friend urged us see him once and try to rehome. This friend had stayed with Bella during the lockdown when we had to travel due to emergency; he was aware of our love for animals.”
Seeing Jackson’s condition, his now forever humans decided to foster him and eventually find a home for him. But that wasn’t meant to happen, because they fell in love with each other and couldn’t bear to be separated. There was one hurdle – Bella didn’t take to Jackson initially. That’s possibly a natural reaction when you are the only kid at home – being a single child, I know this feeling only too well 😊 “But you know as they started staying together, Bella’s separation anxiety decreased. Earlier if we left her alone at home for a while, we would return to find a few things destroyed. That stopped after Jackson joined her.” Now they love each other’s company. They love to go on walks together, eat together and cuddle up with each other too.
Over to the humans now. Alongside caring for Bella and Jackson, they feed other Indie dogs from their neighbourhood. “We can’t bear to see hungry animals and ones who are ill-treated. One day, we want to buy a plot of land and set up a dog shelter. We may not be able to accommodate 200 dogs initially, but at least we can change the lives of 70. We want to create awareness about adoption of Indie dogs. Animals aren’t treated very well in India and we want this to change. But instead of preaching, we want to drive change in people’s mindset towards animals, especially the strays.”
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Even on a Zoom voice call, I could hear their emotions loud and clear. And I am happy to say that they have already started a tiny, yet a large-hearted endeavour called @Bellsonpawstore on Instagram. They sell pet accessories made from spare fabrics, offering a livelihood to a tailor whose business dried up due to the pandemic, and a part of the proceeds from the sales go towards feeding stray dogs.
So, I guess I am right in saying that these are the kind of humans who make goodness infectious and these are the people with a strong and clear sense of purpose. Add to that a strong bond with their fur-kids Bella and Jackson.
On that note, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes by W. Bruce Cameron from the movie ‘A Dog’s Journey’: You can usually tell that a wo(man) is good if s/he has a dog who loves him/her.
PS: Bella & Jackson’s humans prefer to be known as just that “humans to our fur-kids.”