By Dr. Kuhu Roy
Mumbai, June 2006, brought Georgina to me. Back then, she was a scrawny lactating stray dog. She was a black beauty with a white cross on her chest. In our first meeting itself, it felt as though we had known each other for ages. There was something more than the conventional unconditional bond of love between us.
Georgina, along with Jalebi, Tweeky, Orange and White came under my father’s care after I left Mumbai. They got a sense of belonging with him, Georgina especially became exceptionally close to Papa, she was his Kaalu. She walked beside every dog with a leash. Although she was known as Rani on the premises, she craved to be owned but was surrounded by those who had little understanding of her worth and love.
Stray dogs being fed and looked after even discreetly always attracts negative attention. When friendliest of the dogs like Georgina became hostile, it spoke volumes about the behaviour meted out on her. They became repeated targets of accusation for countless dog bites, that even costed White his life. When Papa left Mumbai, things became even more hostile. For close to an year, I did monthly rounds to check on them. It was the toughest phase of their and my life. Repeated phone calls accusing the remaining four dogs of something or the other became a daily affair. Only if the stray dogs were allowed to live and let live.
To maintain my sanity and their security, I brought the four chambers of my heart to Baroda. Georgina built our home, nurtured it with her love, care and discipline. She taught the youngsters to welcome every needy child that came home. Then, she took it upon herself to nurse every ailing/injured dog back to good health. She was gifted. She was also a guide dog to the blind children who came home. No wonder why she had a white cross on her chest. Holding her paw and watching my reflection in her soulful eyes was therapeutic, a strange sense of calm that brought peace in the most turbulent of times. Her presence was equivalent to having an elder who not only understood the responsibilities but also helped run the house smoothly.
It was 19th October 2018, the last day of Durga Puja, that Georgina left on my lap after losing her battle to the dreaded C. A friend reiterated that Goddess Durga took back her favourite child with her.
Georgina’s death marked the end of an era for us and plunged our home into silence. After all, she was the soul of our home and my backbone. Infact, it was for the first time I looked out for resources to help me cope with her loss. There was no support group and no mental health professional who could guide me through. It had struck me very hard then that what must others like me be doing? Suffer in silence?
Georgina’s legacy lives on as she passed on the baton to Chhutki, who cares for every needy dog just like Georgina did.
It must have been some very good karmas of mine that I had Georgina as my dog mother. She was the biggest blessing of my life. She is missed every second and she knows that.