A week ago, I visited the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre. I had many reasons to go there but in the world full of ambitions, we avoid the little things that can bring us joy. A friend told me that I had asked him to join me when I go there on my birthday the last year. I must have because I wanted to go there for such a long time. I even suggested this thing to my college society heads but I don’t know why it didn’t work there either. Ironically, this year a friend was going there on her birthday so she asked me to join her. She made me realize how we forget small things that would make us happy. Our priorities keep filling the bucket and by the time we realize those little things fall off the brim.
Going to an animal shelter is not a big deal but as I said, I had my own reasons. 🙂
So, I thought I should write about that experience: How I worked at the ICU, how dogs are just on cloud nine to see people around, the way they befriend you and all the good things. But I would rather want you all to experience this on your own so you can share your experience with other people and ask them to go too.
So what can I write about then? How about a Do’s and Don’ts List for visiting a dog shelter? Coz who teaches that in school, right? Also, working in ICU? How is that even possible? You aren’t even a doctor Pratyasha!
This is why you need to read the following before you visit any such place. Happy reading 🙂
1) visit an animal shelter asap!
Since your boss is not gonna approve your 5-days leave so you take a break from your mundane life and chill with friends in Goa, I think taking a break on the weekend that will give you a whole different experience will be worth it. Thank me later, maybe 😛
2) wear something comfortable
Dogs don’t want you to keep running away from them so you better wear clothes that are not white because they will definitely get dirty and that will help your skin breath ( if you are going in summer days) and definitely wear shoes because you will be running around a lot. Also, carry an extra pair just in case. 😀
You can carry a mask with you because obviously, it doesn’t smell like roses there and a cap too if you hate vitamin D.
3) treat them like your own
None of them will treat you differently so you should also make them feel that they are the reason why you are there. Think of them like your own pet sent to a health care center because he is sick. Won’t you want him to be treated in the best way possible?
4) donate something meaningful
Most of these shelters barely have necessities to survive. It’s better to contact them beforehand and ask what all things you can bring or what is it that you can donate. For example, when we visited SGACC, the heat was unbearable even for us and there were dogs that are meant to stay in cooler regions but are brought here by some stupid people. They told us normal fans or coolers don’t work in the open so they will appreciate getting big fans. See if you can donate something like this.
5) follow the instructions properly
You don’t visit there daily so they will not give you major jobs. They aren’t paying you either so they expect you to help them by doing a lot of small jobs. Listen to their instructions carefully.
1) throw food at them
Surprisingly, some of the dogs wouldn’t eat the biscuits that would fall off my hand in fear of getting bitten. They like it when you feed them with your own hands. So please don’t throw food.
2) just go there to show off
You are gonna get real dirty and they have to clean the wounds every day, apply ointments, remove maggots, etc. (talking about the ICU department) and they need volunteers who would do a real job instead of sitting in a corner.
3) ever sit idle.
If not anything, pet them! They don’t know when will they see your face again so show them all the love you can.
4) be hesitant or scared
I play with my street dogs all the time but when I saw 30-40 of them literally coming towards me all at once I got scared. They will come to stand next to you, or keep staring at you or will be fighting in some corner. Be calm and handle them with care. (pun intended)
5) leave the gates open
Who let the dogs out? 😛 You! You! Because you forgot to bolt the gate and now they can make other dogs sick and the owner who left their dog (if not stray) to be treated properly will never be able to see its face again. So, make sure when you pass through a gate, it’s bolted properly afterward.
6) visit if you are sick
I know I have persuaded you to go there asap but not when you are sick yourself and your immunity is low. Not only you can infect them but you can also catch some infection from them.
These are some of the points worth considering before you visit a dog shelter. I hope you see their happy faces soon. 🙂