I write this short story, with the snow falling around me, first of this winter in Srinagar. Dino, our lab sneaked out to inspect the snow, and I started thinking, how just a month ago he was doing the same with rains in Calicut. This reminded me too of my promise to write about the journey of our travelling circus at the beginning of this month.
I’m in awe of our dogs, let me introduce them to you first. There’s Dino, our 4 years old male Labrador who has opened up the world of animals for us, because of him we welcomed 3 female Indie dogs and 1 Street cat in our family. One dog & the cat are no more with us.
Next is our awesome Kaia, a 2 years old female Indie from Trichur. Lastly, our naughty Noori, a 1 year old female Indie from Calicut.
As husband is in a transferable govt. job, we had to shift from Kerala to Kashmir suddenly. We had no clue as to how to shift with 3 dogs. Flying wasn’t an option as the dogs weren’t crate trained.
So, the best option was to book an AC Cabin in Rajdhani train. A cabin has 4 berths, and a coupe has 2 berths. One has to go to the railway station a few days in advance to arrange this personally.
The day of the travel arrived. We packed our household into a huge truck. And got ready for this adventure.
The train departs from Calicut at 2 am so we reached the station in advance to complete some formalities and then boarded the train.
All 3 dogs had a different reaction. Dino was over excited and was trying to befriend everyone in sight. Kaia, our bravest, suddenly became very fearful. Noori, became the most awkward living being one has ever seen. She just blocked the way with her four legs attached to the door frame. Somehow, we entered our cabin, heaved a sigh of relief, and just wanted to sleep. But the dogs decided otherwise, they kept hopping from berth to berth, guess they weren’t able to find a spot cozy enough to curl-up in.
After every night there comes a morning. And with that, the doggies morning walk for pooping & peeing. So the first long stop we arrived at in the morning, we jumped out to do our business. We made so many friends out of the curious co-passengers, railway staff, bystanders at such stops. People were quite fascinated with this trio. As soon as the train gave its signal and the light on the tracks turned yellow, we would all rush to our compartment, with people trying to help us in any way they could, encouraging words and even helping hands whenever needed. It was some sight!
In 36 hours we reached Delhi finally. Took a break in Delhi for 2 days, staying at a generous friend’s house. Then again took Rajdhani train from Delhi to Jammu. This time the trio acted like pros. But that doesn’t mean Noori didn’t block the compartment door with her long awkward legs! This was just an overnight journey. No big deal for our experienced trio!
Early morning we reached Jammu station. Doggies did their business. And after a short break, off we went in our car for the longest drive we ever had. Surprisingly the dogs got so used to the travel by then that we reached Srinagar without any major incident. It took us 8 hours to reach Srinagar from Jammu with two long breaks along the way to stretch our legs.
It’s been 3 weeks since we reached here. As I finish writing about our crazy ride, the snow is still falling, I look at it from my huge windows, dogs sleeping peacefully by my side, Dino’s soothing snores our background music, I feel awe as well as gratitude that we made it here to our new home. These amazing companions of ours, have adjusted so well to this stark climate change, all they need is to be with us.
I hope our story inspires others to not abandon their dogs while shifting.
This write-up is by Roopa Yadav
Roopa has 2 daughters and 3 dogs. She loves animals, reading, coffee & wine. She is trying to spread awareness about animals issues through her personal experience.