Pharmacy Laali has been a part of our extended family since 2010. Maa had met her for the first time when a lactating Laali was found running with a plastic bag in her mouth. Maa followed her and found her pups too. As with all street mother dogs, she too was a bag of bones. With daily feeding, she became food secure. Daily meetings also paved the way for interactions and bonding. That led up to build trust to the extent that she was easily caught for spaying six months down the line. When her three surviving children came of age, two girls and one boy, even they were sterilized and vaccinated against rabies. Spay and neuter builds confidence in stray dogs and surety of one good meal a day further boosts that trait. They became a pack all the adjacent dog neighours beware of and Laali became the chief mischief manager.
Fast forward present day, in thirteen years, nothing has changed. Laali still rules the area and her clan. Her son has developed mild cataract while she continues to remain young. A fortnight ago, she went missing. Search and asking around did not help. A week later, she turned up with a very bad wound on her left ear, with flowing pus. She came running to Maa as though asking her for help, the day this picture was taken. Day five and Laali is healing perfectly well on the roads, she takes all her medicines and allows Maa to clean her ear that now has no pus. That is the thirteen years of trust built on love and care. Letting dogs heal where they live has several advantages. It is less trauma for the dog that heals far better in their own surrounding and less burden on the overworked shelters too.