Beelu and Peelu were my canine brothers who are no more. I have been wanting to write about them for quite some time now but it has been too painful to go over all those details and jot them down here. That is why I have been avoiding it.
But I do think that it is important for me to do so, not only to let others know of how much I loved them, but also to keep a record of everything I remember about them.
Have To Go Back Around 10 Years
I have to go back around 10 years when I was working in an IT company in Gurgaon in India. I had recently started working and my shifts used to change every few months. I was like most Indians, very insensitive to animals and very scared to dogs. I sort of hated them. When I saw food for dogs I used to say people are dying all over the world with hunger and here we are feeding animals. Well, I was like that only.
How BEELU Came Into This World
I lived in a place in Delhi, where there are predominantly independent houses. One day I was returning from office, and when I entered the lane where I live, I saw a lot of puppies yelling and screaming in an empty plot where a house is yet to be built. Only pedestrians, that too very few, used this lane; and there was no traffic here.
The road main road ran perpendicular to this small lane. The entrance to the plot, where the puppies were kept, was blocked with a make shift gate with a few wooden planks to stop them from running all over the nearby road. A neighbor had done that to keep them safe, and his daughter offered them pieces of bread, water and some milk from time to time. I was a little worried about them but did not think about it too much. I went to office as regular and few days passed by. While returning home I noticed that there were quite a few pups less in there, and when inquired, I was told a few died and a few got run over as they escaped on to the road.
I was a little saddened but returned home and went on with my usual life. A few days later I noticed that the barricade was not there any more as only a couple of the pups were alive and they had grown a few weeks now. They were running all around the place.
The next day while returning home, I noticed that one pup was lying still on the side of the lane, leaning against the wall of a house next to where they were barricaded, and was whining in pain. I was told that a woman in the neighborhood had hit his tiny leg with a broom.
I lowered myself and tried to touch his foot but he started yelling and I didn’t know what to do. I felt very sorry for him and went home. I kept thinking about him the whole time and the next day in office. When I returned home, I saw that he was not there and was lying on the vacant land opposite the road. A few meters away were the rail tracks that ran parallel to the road.
He lay in the vacant space between the road and the tracks. He as dead too, and his mother lay close to his body. It was still drizzling as it had been the whole day. The mother lay still next to the pup, perhaps thinking that he would wake up anytime. I don’t know what was going through her head. I don’t know if she knew that the pup was no more. The neighbor’s daughter who used to offer them food sometimes, told me that the pup’s mother has been there since the morning.
So by now, only one pup survived. The next day I called from office and inquired from my mom if the pup was fine. Someone had told my mom that he too got run over and is dead, so she did not know what to say, but still told me he is fine. She was really worried what she would tell me when I got home. And when I did the pup came running to me wagging his tail and everyone at home were so relived to see him alive and fine.
Now only one pup had survived and I worried about him, as he ran around the lane outside my house. We started giving him food and he would often come and wait outside our main gate. We have never had pets in our house and did not know what to do. Winter was fast approaching and temperatures could really dip low in Delhi. So we built him a small shed in the lane outside our house, and somehow he knew it was for him and he started living inside it. About a month passed by like this and the winter started to get worse. Most nights I felt a little guilty knowing that I was sleeping comfortably in my blanket and the little pup was outside in that make shift shed, without any protection.
During daytime he started following us wherever we went, and we would have to pretend to be mad at him and scare him so that he would return back to our house.
This started to become a big problem over time, as he would follow us everywhere.
PEELU Comes Into Our Lives
Another day while returning home from work, I saw another pup, quite far off from my house, drinking from the drain. I had to walk about 5 to 7 minutes from where my office cab used to drop me from work, to get home.
I thought he was the cutest thing in the whole world, and felt so sorry for him. But quickly walked past him as I wanted to avoid seeing his misery. That same evening I heard someone continuously whining outside my house. It seemed to come from the main road itself where there is heavy traffic at this time. I stepped onto the lane outside my house and could see only part of the main road, as it ran perpendicular to this lane. To my surprise I saw the same pup I had seen earlier going up and down the road continuously whining at the same time.
I ran inside and shut myself in so that I don’t have to see whatever happens. The next day I called home from work and inquired about the brown pup(Beelu) that was already living in the shed. Everyone was excited about a new very cute looking black and white pup that was running around in our lane now.
I thought, oh no, of all the places he could have gone, why did he land up outside my home? I couldn’t believe it! What were the chances that he would end up here? But he did. And that night he went inside the shed we built for the brown pup and would not come out. The brown pup tried his best to kick him out, but he couldn’t either. So he gave up and both of them slept together. But somehow the black pup kept whining the whole night.
Treatment For PEELU
The black pup kept whining and scratching himself.
He was so small that when he tried to scratch himself, he would roll over and fall backwards.
That made everyone in my house and my neighbors laugh so much. Everyone thought it was super cute. He kept whining the whole night again, and I too could not sleep because of his whining. So the next morning I went to a government veterinary hospital and told the vet about his condition.
The vet told me to bring the pup so that he could examine and prescribe medicine. I told him it was not possible as it was a stray dog. The vet said that in that case, he can only write the name of the medicine and I would need to buy it (I won’t get it free from the hospital).
I told him it was okay and purchased the ointment that I needed to apply on his body. The vet also told him I would need to wash it off after 12 hours. I did not know how to go about it, but when I returned, I took the courage and held the pup between my hands. I rubbed the lotion on his skin which seemed to be rotting, I don’t know how to describe it exactly. I applied it thoroughly all over his body and washed my hands. Surprisingly that night, I hardly heard him whining at all.
The next day I washed him off with pouring a bucket of water on him. And he got scared and started running all around. Everyone laughed and made fun of him. So days passed by and my mom was feeding them regularly. One day it started raining and my mom could not see them outside. She had some food in her hand as she ventured into the nearby lanes looking for them. She returned worried without finding them and then suddenly they came running into the lane from God knows where and everything was fine.
Finally Both Becomes Part Of Our Family
One day in office I got a call from mom, saying that brown pup was hit by a cyclist and that she was taking him to hospital with the help of a neighbor. The doctor gave him medicines and asked to keep him indoor under supervision. We did not know what to do again.
A few days later, a few lanes away some people were cooking food outside, and the black pup went there thinking they would give him food. He got treated like any other dog gets treated in India. Someone threw a stone at him and it hit his leg. He started crying frantically and ran to our house as fast as he could. He was limping and crying. So it was time for a decision now as to what to do with them. It was evident that they are not safe outside and our attachment for them was growing everyday. A final decision was taken that we would keep them indoors from now onwards.
They desperately needed a bath so we took them on the roof top and prepared to bath them. While washing them I noticed that they had ticks on them which looked disgusting and I wanted to review my decision to keep them indoors. My mom said, when you take someone’s responsibility, you have to go all the way no matter what. So she removed the ticks and helped finished bathing them.
That was the day they officially became the adopted members of our family.
BEELU & PEELU Get Names
We decided they were needed to be given some names now.
My mother suggested that we call them Beelu and Peelu. Beelu, the brown puppy, being a month older than the black pup, Peelu. We all liked the names as they rhymed and sounded cute too.
My Mother Needs To Leave For Brazil
My father was in Brazil and we got news that he was diagnosed with Cancer and was being treated for it. My mother would need to join him to support him soon now. I lived with my mother, sister,and a cousin of mine; and my mother was not sure whether we would be able to handle the two pups alone.
We looked at options, even to the point of leaving them with an organization, where we would pay something and they would take care of them. I don’t know why, but I even called a few NGOs to find out the possibility. One NGO said they would be keep constantly in cages only. I asked why would they do that, and they cited lack of space. I called another NGO, and they said once we leave them, we cannot ever go back and see them, as they do not take any guarantees of what would happen to them! That was shocking.
I told my mom, its not worth taking the risk and we will be able to take care of Beelu and Peelu. She does not need to worry. She should go and take care of my father. The day my mom was to leave, she created bedding on the floor for Beelu and Peelu, where they would sleep. She said goodbye to them as we left them behind to drop mom at the airport.
When we reached home after 2-3 hours later that night, the whole bedding and pillows were torn apart. My sister was upset at this and she was saying whether we should reconsidering our decision on leaving them with an NGO. I told her that night, “If anyone wants to leave this house, they are welcome to do so, but they will not leave this house ever. It is their house.” And this matter was finally put to rest, and we all knew that come what may, they are here for good.
The Bond Between Us Grows Stronger
Days went by and bond between us grew stronger by the day. Very soon they familiarized themselves with every corner of the house. Slowly but gradually they lost all inhibitions and became freer as the confidence grew that they are a part of this family.
Initially we did not know whether they should sleep at night, like we do, or just let them do what they want. So we chose the later. We kept the rooftop door open for them should they want to go there at night. And they did.
They spent the entire night on the roof everyday. They would keep barking the whole night and we could hear them fight too. Sometimes they would just doze off and suddenly they would be barking again. They had different barking patterns and we could see how individual they were in all other aspects. They had different personalities, likes and dislikes.
In the morning we could see trees pulled out of their tubs, the whole roof soiled. It became a part of our daily life. And no one complained, everyone secretly seemed to be enjoying all this, though it meant a lot more work for everyone.
We Get Introduced To Evening Walks
Another thing that became a part of our daily lives, were the evening walks. I had never walked a dog before, and it was quite embarrassing in the beginning with everyone starring at you, and sometimes at the dog. Within a few days time, uneasiness went away and I started enjoying the walks.
Though at times, the thought that it was obligatory to go for a walk every single day was quite bothering, but when you love someone, you don’t seem to mind. It was more like a responsibility that you have towards a family member’s needs.
Beelu and Peelu started looking forward to this time the most. It was like they have some kind of watch in their head that keeps track of what time of day it is for them. I am not exaggerating when I say that they knew exactly what time it is, accurate perhaps to the minute. And it had nothing to do with how light or dark it is outside.
They both would sit near the main gate looking outside exactly when it is time for their walk.
Initially we did not go for long walks, they usually lasted for 20 to 25 minutes. And when we came back home, we used to wash their feet too and pat them dry, as they were allowed to go on the beds also. This is not something I have seen anyone else do. But again, we have never followed examples and mostly do, and have done, what we feel right. Once we are done with them and let them free, there would usually be a bout of craziness with both fighting with each other. You can hear them bark and growl, their feet tapping, jumping, and skidding.
There used to be a fold-able bed kept near the roof boundary wall, so that they can stand on it and see outside comfortably (the bed got changed so many times over the years). There were a couple of plastic chairs kept there too. And you could hear them getting on and off the bed and hitting the plastic chairs as they fought.
I think those were the golden times of their life, when they were relatively young and had a gala time every day.
A Couple Of My Cousins Join Me
By this time, I started my own web design business and to help me out, two more of my cousins decided to join me. So by then we were seven members in total including Beelu and Peelu. Initially the new members were scared of Beelu and Peelu and they somehow seemed to be aware of this. When the new members were alone in a room, Beelu Peelu would sneak in and would jump on them.
Terrified they would scream for help and we would laugh so much. However, within a few weeks time, it started happening the other way round. My new cousins would grab Beelu and Peelu whenever they got the opportunity and they were always trying to flee now.
It was a gala time for everyone. We would go to office in my new car and a few members stay back with Beelu and Peelu and work from home, and sometimes they would go and others stay back. We cooked great food everyday and had so much fun eating together. In our house the first person to eat were Beelu and Peelu. Once they have finished they knew it was time for them to go on the roof and play. And now others could eat.
However, everyone knew that they all have to keep some special bits for Beelu and Peelu when they finish. And magically Beelu Peelu would also know exactly when we are done and they would run down the stairs like crazy to claim their rewards. We used to say that it was “hafta” (protection money) that we need to give them for staying in their house.
To Be Continued…