By Dr. Kuhu Roy
It was March 2016. Maa was trying to figure out how to catch an elusive female stray dog who had abnormal swelling in her limbs. The dog had managed to escape the catcher. “How would you define, abnormal swelling, Maa?” When she showed me the picture, I was left baffled. I had never seen such type of swelling in any dog ever legs of a dog ever.
After imploring and begging another trained catcher to take out time for this dog desperately in need of medical help, the dog was finally caught and rushed to the radiologist. Although she was emaciated, her energy levels were massive for the protest from her end. She detested humans and she certainly must have had a strong reason behind that.
The radiologist, who offers his expertise free of cost for stray dogs, in honour of the late pet donkey he had, diagnosed that the dog was a rare case of idiopathic pulmonary disease. In short, the cause was not known and hence there was no cure. Often genetic, her condition could only be managed with steroids after an array of blood pictures, to ease off the pain and allow her lungs to function smoothly. Her scans were taken by the radiologist for the students of vet med.
The dog certainly did not have much time in her hands. But she had a lot of life in her and the will to live that glittered in her big eyes. She got named Stephanie on the way and she came home. She did not like the bed so a clean sand pile was made for her to sleep inside the home itself. From a challenging life on the streets, suddenly her surroundings became loving and kind. From a dog who detested humans, she became the dog who craved for human touch. In less than two months that she spent at home, she became an integral part of our life. The warmth of home, its human and canine members probably changed her perspective, but only if she had more time in hand. It is precisely seven years today that she left for the hereafter.
It was an honour to serve Stephanie in the terminal phase of her life, give her the dignity and respect that every life form deserves. What she has left behind is hope that love is the only medicine that can transform to weave miracles. There was a strange sense of attachment with this girl that can never be put in words.