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Jumbo by Goodicia Vaidya

I have named him 'Jumbo' rightly so because he is a huge dog of 30 kgs. - big, broad and fat as the 'Jumbo' plane itself. He resides at Bandra Reclamation in my husband's office. He used to literally sit all day, curled up in a chair, which was small for his size. His size and his friendly nature have made him every one's favourite.

Dogs have the habit of basking in the sun, and Jumbo loves doing that. One day when he was sun bathing, tragedy struck by way of a Sumo running over him. I received calls from all over about a dog lying outside the office, unable to move. I rushed to the spot and what I saw completely numbed me. At first sight I knew that he would never be able to walk again.

I immediately took him to the Bombay SPCA. The Doctors examined him, performed various tests and an X-Ray and declared that it was a hopeless case, but they assured to try nevertheless. Usually I am in favour of mercy killing but I just could not think of doing this to Jumbo. For two months he was given medical aid at the Bombay SPCA, however, he was still unable to move. He would get frustrated and howl in exasperation. But I did not give up. Finally the Doctors told me that I should either take him away or put him to sleep. With all my courage, I took him back to his familiar surroundings - to the office. For nearly 3 months I made him get up and walk slowly. He would take a few steps and fall. I decided to bring down his weight so that his legs could support his body. Whenever people saw me put him through this vigorous training, they would advice me to put him down. But I had taken a decision that I would not do so, even if it meant that he remained like this all his life.

One day I saw that he slowly made an effort to get up and take a few steps. I could hardly believe what I saw. He gradually started walking, knuckling his toes and in the process he developed sores on his toes. However he progressed slowly and today JUMBO walks quite well, slowly but surely, putting all his feet firmly on the ground. His recovery was not at the hospital. It was because of his own efforts, his will power and my hard work, which made him walk again. Today as he is unable to climb and sit on the chair, he sleeps on the floor all stretched out occupying nearly the whole entrance. But let me say that all the dogs are not as lucky as him - rather not as persevering as he is. Lack of time and space sometimes make us take hasty decisions, which we later regret. However we can always try a little harder to give a fair chance to an ill or a wounded creature by treating them and letting nature take its own course.

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