Dec 22nd
    The dog looked surprisingly calm and stylish in his impromptu neck bandage..

    The dog looked surprisingly calm and stylish after we caught him and put him in an impromptu neck bandage to stop the flies attacking his horrible wound….

    After 72 hours of searching through the forest we find and capture the stray dog with the neck wound. He WILL be OK.

    It may only be one dog but today my heart feels like a million rupees (about £11,256, which is enough to buy a small car – not bad)

    My friend, Mad, and I are a LIFE-SAVING TEAM.

    He may not have slept for three weeks because he is in love with an unavaiable Russian woman whom he showers with inappropriate presents, I myself may be a meat-eating confused crusader but EVERYTHING SOMEHOW MAKES SENSE TODAY.

    After three days of trap-making, biscuit-laying, rickshaw-driving frustration we have got the dog that was dying slowly from a maggot infested wound and now he is being treated and should make a full recovery. This has made everything worthwhile: india, the dirt, the sadness, even my stomach that is learning to swear in Hindi.

    ...but the wound underneath was not so pleasant.

    …but the wound underneath was not so pleasant.


    How it happened

    The dog was seen sleeping in the trap at 6am and the kids who saw it pulled the net shut. The dog freaked out and after fifteen minutes of confusion managed to escape. I was incredibly disappointed – we has asked everyone not to touch the trap and now it was likely the dog would never go back inside.

    We spent the morning earching with familiar frustration.



    A woman that said she had a special relationship with the dog said she could track it down. It turned out her relationship was not that special – the dog was no where to be seen and we lost an hour wandering around.

    We attended to a couple of other dogs with bad skin condition and even took some dogs in for neutering when we suddently got a phone call to say that the maggot dog had gone back to the trap (where we had laid more food).

    We raced back but it was gone. A moment later the ‘special’ woman screamed out  across the forest that she had it. We ran to her – she didn’t in fact have it but the dog was at least cornered – and we spread out around the location until the woman, who obviously did have some sort of relationship, managed to pin it down before we could put a wired loop around it.

    Calmer now..

    Calmer now. Flies swarmed around his neck so we wrapped a fetching scarf around his neck and fanned the area for flies.

    While we waited for the ambulance to pick us up I stared at this dog – now placid – and he looked back at me with big black eyes fairly calmly. ‘OK, you win’ he said to me, ‘I give up. I shall trust you’

    ‘Thank you’ I said.


    Vishnu, aka 'Mad', and the dog back at ARK rescue centre

    Vishnu, aka ‘Mad’, and the dog back at ARK rescue centre. We called the ambulance and took him back to the centre for treatment. He didn’t budge whilst live maggots were pulled deep from his wound. I think he understood what was needed. Cream was applied and he will rest and recover.



    Who has saved who?

    Now as I lie on my bed there is a deep regeneration that I feel that might quite possibly be more powerful than the anti-maggot cream they put on the dog’s neck.  There is something transformative in touching that sort of suffering and helping it recover.

    The dog, we called it 'Maggot', waiting for treatment at the ARK

    The dog, we called it ‘Maggot’, waiting for treatment at the ARK


    One of the other dogs we picked up who had wounded legs and bad skin

    Maggot and one of the other dogs we picked up who had wounded legs and bad skin

    The first time I came to India I closed my doors to life.  This place used to scare me with its impossible contrasts –  the luscious greens amid the ugly browns, the perfumed air alongside the sickly pollution, the cool mountains above the stifling plains –  India pulsed with both a beauty and pain that echoed a rawness inside that I didn’t want to know. My consequent depression was a closing down: a protection from teh outside but also a prison on the inside.

    Now I feel I have opened the doors again. Life comes rushing back in all its wonder and horror and touching the suffering has given me a chance to be more whole.


    People often say ‘why animals, why not humans?’.

    Animals are voiceless in a way that goes beyond even the most mute human. While I am never advocating that compassion isn’t needed for humans – it is, and buckets loads of it –  animals will never be able to speak out against their pain and injustice as we can. To see a dog running wild through a forest without food or care and being eaten alive was just unbearable to me – I needed to touch it and give it back some of its life.

    And by doing so it has given me back some of mine.



    Dog in a car - since being out here I feel I have opened some doors to my own locked spaces

    Since being out here – and helping dogs – I feel I have opened some doors to my own locked spaces inside

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    16 Responses to “Day 97: MAGGOT DOG RESCUED!!! CHRISTMAS HAS COME!!!”

    1. Thank god for your persistence and for giving this poor dog a chance of life.Thank you.

    2. Am sitting here reading this waiting to take my chocolate labrador out for a wet and muddy walk in the UK. She’s so lucky and so is ‘maggot’ that there are people like you in the world.

    3. thank you Kim!

    4. Hi Martin,
      I’m very happy to read this post. Happy for the dog, happy for you. Well done. Merry Christmas!

    5. This post made my morning!! I am SO happy you were able to save this beautiful dog. I read once that maggots actually serve as a positive effect in an open wound because they eat away the flesh that would otherwise become infected and life-threatening. In this case, however, it was probably overkill and they were getting in way too deep.

      Thank you SO much for all that you are doing to help animals in need. You are making a difference and, hopefully, locals may view stray dogs a little differently after seeing your gallant effort to save this one. Merry Christmas to you, MAD and all the workers at ARK!

    6. Martin,you are doing such a fantastic job!I wish I could be there.That dog has been through so much suffering and then you come along and save its life.It is so sad that the locals do not love their dogs like we do.Hope you continue your work saving as many dogs as possible.PS.dont forget the cats!

    7. It has and I’m so grateful to the ARk for the work they do…thank good ness for them

    8. Hooray! don’t really need to add anything else!

    9. You write beautifully Martin,with true compassion and an open heart.I do so hope you visit us again soon and thank you so much for all your care for all the animals. Much love from all the team, volunteers and all the four legged friends at ARK. God bless and Happy Christmas. Emma 🙂

    10. Thank you Emma and Terry – and thank you for all the wonderful work you have done and will continue to do. It is incredible that you are out there doing this – I wish you a wonderful christmas and a huge hug to all the dogs out there. Much love and support and hope to see you soon

    11. HELLO MY DEAR FRENDS I AM MAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD…………………how r u all…………..and wiwish you a happpy x mas and happy new yearsssssssssssssss………..and mad martin how r u man……..thanku for writing about me in this……..BA BYE GUYS……………….

    12. that’s him!!! Thanks MAD and a big happy christmas to you too!

    13. Amazing.Lucky dog he is.Keep going guys.U r real hope for the animals in distress. Hope to join the TEAM soon.

    14. This has made my Christmas, odd but true. Well done for all your perseverence and hard work. At times your blog makes me cry (at my desk at work – slightly embarrasing!) but it is all so worthwhile. I admire the way you are dealing with everything you see with such strength and conviction, many others would have run back to the comfortable, clean and clinical safety of home where they can easily ignore what some animals endure. If only more humans were like you guys 🙂

      Well done Martin and all your friends who do such brilliant work in impossible environments. Truly inspiring. Have a wonderfully Merry Christmas all!

    15. thank you Becca. Merry xmas and new year to you too! Thanks for reading

    16. Martin, unfortunately I only discovered this blog on 7th february 2013, so I have a lot of your daily blog postings to catch up with.
      This one is very touching and I am glad it has a happy end.
      Cheers, Martina

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