When the litter was due to arrive, there was a long list of prospective owners waiting to get a pup each. When the litter was actually born, no one wanted him. Because out of all the siblings, he was the only one who was born with a deformity – the left foreleg was missing.
Meet “Euro” – a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle. After his birth, there were no takers for him. After all, who wanted a pet that was disabled and would obviously require a lot of care. Our friends, Sanjeev and Rabeya, who are dog lovers and already have a full-grown, 7 year old Labrador called Dollar. When they saw him they decided to take him in, although at that point they were also slightly unsure. It was there that my wife Rani met him, and brought him home for a few hours. At that time he was a little less than two months old, and all of us fell absolutely in love with him at first sight.
Although he spent just a few hours with us, we found him adorable. One thing that was pretty obvious even then was his zest for life. He is extremely active, playful and adorable. If I was to look for a term to describe him, A Tiny Spark of Life would perhaps be the most appropriate one, for he is no less than that. Although we have never contemplated having a pet at home, we were sorely tempted to keep him. So much so, that I actually called up my friend Vasudev Murthy in Bangalore, who, apart from being a management guru and a published author, is a dog lover and a well known animal rights activist, and sought his opinion. He advised us against it for the simple reason that none of us are at home during the day, and there would be no one at home to look after the poor little thing in our absence, considering the fact that he was very small and needed a lot of care. It would, in fact, have been cruel on the little fellow and would probably have caused more harm than good. Therefore, very reluctantly we dropped the idea. However, a couple of days later we were delighted to learn that Sanjeev and Rabeya had decided to keep him and we knew that this tiny bundle of joy couldn’t have found a better home. Not only did he find a great home and a great family, he also found a Big Brother in the form of Dollar, who totally accepted him. And since Dollar was already the senior resident, the little one was named as Euro ?
It is said that Nature has its own way of compensating any shortcomings. What Euro lacks in terms of a limb, he more than makes up for with a sheer zest for life. In fact, it is hard to believe that he was born without a foreleg. Now at almost three months old, he is already much more healthier and active, and his sheer spark of life is amazing. Also, among the siblings born in the same litter, he is the only one who eventually survived ! The hard work of Sanjeev, Rabeya and their family in caring for him, and looking after him like a baby, and not to forget the company of Dollar, the Big Brother, has worked wonders and the tiny one shows that he has the grit and determination to pull it off.
He may have been born one limb short, the fact still remains that he does not know that and does not miss it. After all, nature has made him adapt to its three legs and sure enough, he makes good use of them. Although he still hobbles while walking, you should see him running. Sure, he won’t be much of a race-dog, but try stopping him from trying ! Looking at him in action I am reminded of a quote by Mary Kay Ash: “Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.” Such is the case with Euro. He doesn’t know that he is supposed to be “disabled”. To him it is only natural that he should be active. It is his spark for life that drives him and endears him to everyone.