It was the howl of despair that could have only come from a distressed soul. I was filming a documentary in the backwaters off the beaches of Sandspit in Karachi, when I heard the cries for help. A tiny brown and white puppy was wading through the murky waters of a mangrove swamp at the edge of a fishing village.
I first spotted the puppy while my crew and I were waiting for someone to show up for an interview. Something didn’t seem quite right about him as I observed him from a distance. He was wandering around aimlessly and seemed a bit confused. I lost sight of him as he disappeared into the bushes and decided to follow him to see if his mother was nearby. I went around the corner of a house next to the mangroves, but couldn’t see him anywhere. I thought maybe he was fit enough and had scampered off to where he had come from. But no. It was then my cameraman pointed him out in the shade next to a wall by the water’s edge. Although it was 3 in the afternoon on a hot summer day, the puppy was shivering and was too weak to even sit properly. He looked like he hadn’t had anything to eat since a few days and kept stumbling over if he tried to walk.
A few children from the fishing village were swimming in the mangrove channel. None of them had seen the puppy before. Then much later one of them piped up that the puppy’s mother had died a few days ago, apparently from hunger. I asked them to bring some water for the puppy. We had some milk biscuits with us which we soaked in the water and offered to the puppy. He had probably been having mangrove swamp water the past few days, and so was initially hesitant to drink, expecting it to be salty. When I held a biscuit under his nose, he just pressed his mouth on it, and seemed unable to open it. He had probably still been on his mother’s milk when he got separated from her. After a while, though, he finished all the water and the biscuits, and immediately seemed a bit more energetic. Soon, our van showed up, and we took out some chicken from our leftover lunch, and gave a little to the puppy. After that he was fine, and was running about following the children.
Still, the puppy was in no condition to be left all by himself, and so by then I had decided to take him with us. One of my friends, Ayessha, had been wanting to adopt a street puppy for her horse stables, and I knew that this little one had just found himself a home.
I put Saeed, one of my crew members, in charge of the puppy while the rest of the filming was being done. Once we had wrapped up from there, one of the children accompanied us with the puppy in our van to a nearby shop from where we picked up an empty cardboard box. We put the puppy in the box, said goodbye to the children who had followed us on foot all the way to the shop, and made our way to our next location. While we were filming in the open field, the puppy kept following Saeed around, and seemed quite happy.
We wrapped up the shoot around sunset, and made our way back to the city. The puppy slept in my lap the whole way. By then I had informed Ayessha about him, and went straight to her house to drop him there for the night. The next morning she took him to the stables which were to be his new home. The day after that we took him to Dr. Isma’s animal clinic for a check-up. She prescribed an antibiotic for his upset stomach, and said to bring him again in a few days for deworming and vaccinations.
The puppy, named Tiger by the stable grooms, is now on a dry puppy food diet and is getting used to his new surroundings. He also has the company of a dozen horses, two rescued donkeys, and a few chickens. But best of all, he is in the tender loving care of Ayessha, and does not have to spend the rest of his life fending for himself on the tough streets of Karachi.
We often come across little street puppies like Tiger who are in need of loving homes. If you would like to adopt such a puppy, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org