Day 93: OFF WITH MAD AND A BAG OF DROOL TO FIND THE MAGGOT DOG
How to look for a distressed dog in the indian forest with a bag of biscuits
‘We have a mission!!’ MAD calls out.
Today is my first day of dog-rescuing with my new indian friend. Mad (AKA Vishnu) has recently left the army and has a smile as broad as his shoulders. He, like me, wants to save the world, only he, unlike me, believes he can actually do it. Hence the name, perhaps. Hence my instantly liking him. Hence the chance that today we will actually save this dog.
Mad has got word that there is a very sick dog out in the forests behind the villages.
Apparently the dog is running loose with a gaping maggot-infested wound on his neck (eat your heart out Freddy Krueger….er, yeh, literally) and people are throwing stones at it.
Now it feels like the maggots are attacking my heart.
We have to get that pooch.
We are working largely independently of the Ark today as their rescources are limited and no doubt Mad and me would exhaust their patience too so we have decided to take our chances on our own with nothing but a pack of biscuits (Tiger brand), a set of dog snacks (‘drool’), a catching rod (metal), a local rickshaw (old) and a large amount of optimism (ridiculous). Combine this with a very small amount of knowledge/experience of catching dogs and the results are likely to be catastrophically insignificant.
What can one do but try?
But I am reassured. Mad tells me that he was a commando in the army. He also tells me he is a writer so he understands what I am trying to do with the blog. And he is a businessman and a painter and speaks five languages and also has a vision of 6.9 which is virtually perfect and part of his training involved him spending time in the jungle eating fallen nuts and learning how to make friends with wild animals even monkeys.
‘Wow’ I say, ‘that should be useful’ I am half impressed, half doubtful but nevertheless hopeful.
We do not take the guitar. Instead we take the rickshaw. We drive to the place where someone last saw the dog. When we get out I ask Mad to take my photo and he says no problem – presumably he is a photographer too – and he holds the camera from his hip and fires it into the sky like a machine gun, shooting in an impressively free form way that I must try and adopt if I want to progress in the fashion world although I am not sure he actually got me in the shot.
We then spend much of the day walking through villages and their backwaters and then into deeper forests. Everyone has a different story pointing fingers in every direction – left, right, up and down. The dog is white, no it is black, the dog is dead, no it is alive, the dog was there, no it is here, the dog plays piano, no the dog plays banjo. Where is the bloody dog!!! Oh god, I really shouldn’t say that, it IS bloody afterall. ‘Here, fido, here boy, here fido..’
After the day is out I am exhausted – not so much a Tiger…more drool – but we find a small dog with very bad skin that we take into the centre. I feel deflated even if we have found one dog.
‘Tomorrow is another day’ says Mad. We vow to come back and fight on. Avis tells us that if the dog really is as bad as they make out it has only a few days to live…The sweat is pouring down my neck and back but I’m aware that is little discomfort to a series of maggots eating me alive.
We shall be back maggot dog. We have big hearts and a big will, we shall get you to safety.