A couple of years ago a puppy turned up at Lakeside. Starving, cut and bruised from beatings he was a sad sight to see, but we took care of him and he soon settled in, although he has always been nervous of men. Bobby, as he came to be known, was a typical local Indian dog, very intelligent and incredibly fast – he could have given a greyhound a run for its money!
Bobby was a great friend to Loki, my Alaskan Malamute who sadly died last year. Loki’s place was taken by a puppy called Perry who finally taught Bobby how to play! The two were firm friends.
Having spent some months living wild as a puppy Bobby has never been a ‘house dog’. He has always slept outside and taken himself off exploring every day – but always coming back for his meals! Like most local dogs, and particularly because of his early history, Bobby was a scavenger and would eat anything he found on his explorations that was vaguely edible !
A week ago our neighbours dog took ill and died suddenly. There was a case of a dog further up the valley suffering from poisoning but he luckily survived. There are reports of at least 5 dogs being found poisoned on the other side of the lake. And the wild boar, who have been making a bit of a nuisance of themselves while the diggers are deepening the lake, have suddenly disappeared. There are rumours that a local official has said that all stray dogs must be ‘got rid of’ and it appears that indiscriminate poison is the preferred method.
We have seen a reduction in the common wildlife over the last week or so, but one wonders also about the animals we see less frequently. What of the local leopard who not only hunt but also scavange on dead animals? Have they been affected too?
On a positive note (if there can be such a thing in a situation like this) Lakeside borders the Reserve Forest which is teeming with wildlife so we hope it won’t be long before other animals move down to take over the vacant niches around the lake. Of course that is no comfort to our neighbours and others who have lost pets, including ourselves.
Bobby has not been seen for over a week. We did hope for a few days that maybe he had just found a ‘ladyfriend’ and would be back, but as the days passed we have come to accept that he, too, is a victim of the poisoning.
We will miss him.