Thursday, May 14, 2020

#BEINGTHECHANGE: A heart-warming story of love and friendship

I have always felt a strange connection to Spiti and I have been visiting this beautiful and magnificent valley for multiple years. In 2018 when I started volunteering with Spiti Ecosphere, I found one of my many soul connections to Spiti, my dog – BALLU.  

It had only been a couple of days since I had started volunteering at the Sol Café, when this black dog with blue and yellow paint all over him came in to my life. He suddenly appeared outside ‘Taste of Spiti’ (our beloved hotel and restaurant) and joined our pack of dogs. It was peculiar to see this tight pack accept a new member without much resistance; anyone who has been to the hills knows, how territorial mountain dogs are. But this black dog was different, he seemed to blend right in and was soon friends with the whole pack.

I too felt a strange connection with him, I instantly started to pet him and he returned my affection with double the love. He was so calm and loving, he wouldn’t run around or jump on people, he simply sat giving away lots and lots of love. I named him ‘Ballu’ full name ‘Ballu Lama’ because of his ‘Blue’ paint and calm behaviour. Soon he became the highlight of my day, I loved spending time with him, talking to him and watching him play with other dogs. Not just me, but everyone at Spiti Ecosphere loved him dearly.

I remember when my stint at Sol Café was over and I had to return back home, I felt a strange sadness in my heart, it wasn’t just about leaving Spiti but it was about leaving Ballu behind. Ishita offered me to take him home with me, but I knew my family wouldn’t approve. (they were really scared of dogs.) 

I came home, returned to my normal life but always had this longing, I missed Ballu so much. After a couple of months Ishita texted me saying Ballu was not keeping well and it would be best if we moved him from the hills to somewhere in the plains. 

I couldn’t say yes but I couldn’t say no, in the end, against my family’s wishes I decided to take him in. My family obviously wasn’t happy, but I was adamant. Ballu needed a home and for some reason I knew it was with me.

So long story short, I got him to my home town in Bathinda, where my family greeted him by serving him lots of food but never truly loving or accepting him as a part of the family. But Ballu has a charm of his own, it didn’t take him even a week before my mom and grandfather both started to warm up to him. His loving eyes, his calm behavior and his timid walk started to warm their hearts, their fear of dogs flipped to loving Ballu. He too, gradually started to accept life in plains and soon became, the dog of the NEIGHBOURHOOD! All my neighbours started to love him, everybody wanted to feed him, to quote, “they felt connected to him”, they even got upset if he wouldn’t visit their house or eat their food. He became a total hit!

It’s been 1.5 years since he has been with us and he is the most active dog you could ask for. He is spoilt, runs like the wind and has started to bark fiercely at cows. (poor cows). He hates being on a leash and likes to take his walks by himself, he refuses to do his business if I am around, he is hilarious! My family now loves him more than my brother and I, and honestly he deserves it.

I know he only showed up at my doorstep in Spiti, because he wanted to come home to his family, not just us, but the whole neighbourhood that loves and adores him. He has truly enriched our lives with so much joy and love. Now none of us can remember a day where Ballu’s tales are not shared. We are truly blessed that he chose us!

There are many such loving dogs in Spiti waiting to go to their homes. Adopt dogs from Spiti because they all deserve loving and caring families.

P.S. - Spiti dogs sing!

About the Author: Megha volunteered with Ecosphere in 2018 and helped us out at Sol cafe.

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to her for being so compassionate and Making a Difference to the life of a Spiti Stray.

No comments:

Post a Comment