It is a tale of two doggos who stick with each other like a shadow, such is the camaraderie, acceptance and love between Hashtag and Cookie. When Minakshi and her daughter Poushali wanted to give Cookie a second chance at knowing what a forever home is, Hashtag – their first doggo – was totally in with the idea. He even went to meet Cookie and after the initial sniff and tail wags, they became inseparable.
Cookie was rescued from an industrial site in Abu Dhabi covered in scars, with her hind leg entangled in a barbed wire and a broken tail. Who could imagine that this little doggo would still have faith in humans and even hug them unabashedly?
The erstwhile Rescue Animals in Need United Arab Emirates took care of Cookie and nursed her back to health. After the initial recovery, Cookie stayed with an ardent animal lover and activist Nabeel Mohamed Sali Haroon for almost seven-eight months. Minakshi stumbled upon Facebook posts about Cookie and showed keenness to adopt her. Poushali leapt with joy and immediately decided to bring Cookie home. “I could not risk Maa changing her mind.”
There was not even a slim possibility of Minakshi changing her mind, who had, by then, turned from a reluctant to a crazy dog-mom with the entry of Hashtag in her life back in 2014. After bravely battling the big C, Minakshi let go off her inhibitions of having a dog at home. Now, she often talks about the healing powers of a dog.
Read a similar story: A second chance
Unlike Cookie who almost instantly claimed her place in her forever home and the cosy spot next to her human-dad, Hashtag took a while. He was anxious and did not sleep for the first 10 days of coming home. “On the 10th day, I could not bear to see him uncomfortable anymore. I lay down on the ground, placed his bed next to me and called him to come and sleep. To our utter surprise, he lay down next to me and after a while started snoring.”
Hashtag has come a long way from being anxious to becoming more and more confident. He is quite intuitive as well – every evening at the same time, he urges his humans to switch off the lights so he can sleep. While Cookie will hang around the humans and watch television. She always needs the human touch. Sometimes when she gets up after sitting or lying down for a long time, Cookie tends to wobble, possibly a long-term damage due the injury in her hind leg. But otherwise, she is confident and sends a message loud and clear that second change doggos have a lot of love to give.
I was curious to know if there was any initial territorial behaviour from Hashtag towards Cookie. Apparently, right from the moment they met each other, they have stuck together like glue. We think that rescued doggos need more attention and reassurance, but Cookie is a tough nut and is very protective towards Hashtag.
Before signing off, I could not help mentioning to Minakshi that her first fur-kid has a rather unique name. “Little before we adopted Hashtag, I had watched a movie where a doggo was called Facebook and I decided to call mine Hashtag.”
Cookie (4) and Hashtag (7) are the heartbeats of the Ray household, Minakshi’s constant companions and even sounding board sometimes. Under the tutelage of Hashtag, an absolute foodie, Cookie is slowly learning the joys of tasting new foods (albeit in moderation). Their human Minakshi has earned the ‘crazy dog-mom’ title. Someday, Poushali wishes to set up an animal rescue shelter.