By Dr. Kuhu Roy


If by risking our lives we can save someone, we always must.

It was raining cats and dogs on the 26th of August, 2019. The stubborn me refused to stay back at home because Matalu, who lived fifteen kilometres away, would have waited for me no matter what and the previous day, he had just not been himself. Forty minutes later, Matalu was found standing at a distance away from his place with his head down. There was no recognition for me. He did not want to eat also. Since it was pretty late, I decided to take Matalu home and show him to the vet the following morning.

In the meantime, Mishti, his young subordinate, arrived. Matalu, in an attempt to bully her, scared her away and ran after her. As he reached the other side of the road, he got hit by a scooter. He collapsed on the road. The scooter fellow did not stop. After all, it was just a stray dog. A bus that was approaching would have hit Matalu in about twenty seconds. It would not have been the driver’s fault if he would have run down Matalu because it was pitch dark, raining and Matalu was all black. I ran and crossed the road to pull aside Matalu, but there was no time. For most of the world, human life, any day, holds more value than an animal’s, although both are born equal. I stood in front of Matalu who had started to bleed from his mouth and eyes. I hoped the bus driver would brake and in the worst case, I would take the hit. Momentarily, I had a thought of my parents and then Butter. Former would have understood but Butter and I just could not have ever imagined existence without each other. I signaled the bus driver to stop. He did, and the bus stopped an inch from me. A crowd gathered to make sense of what I was upto. I asked for help for Matalu as my hands and legs were trembling in shock. It was a sudden realization of the close shave with death it was for Matalu and me. I pulled out phone from my pocket and dialed the vet to wait at the clinic as it was an emergency. Matalu regained consciousness and kept puking blood every couple of minutes until we arrived at the vet late in the night. The vet examined Matalu, administered shots and asked for him to be taken for x-ray and ultrasound should the blood vomits have continued. The night went off peacefully although I was scared of the impact of the first hit on his legs, head, and internal organs.

Sun is always symbolic of hope. When Matalu woke up incoherent in the morning, his eyes had the pain of the trauma. Soon, he got up, passed urine and came to me for a hug. Maybe our love and soul connect is what protected us both. A vet visit later, it was confirmed that he had lost most of his vision in both eyes and would just not be able to see during the night. However, from the third day, ‘Don’ Matalu took over charge of the house as the leader of the pack.

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