Homeward bound for Gomta, the indie dog

Gomta upon arrival at Su jaya’s pet boarding home in the city.

One weekend morning, while I was in Mittur for a break, I got a call from my assistant, Sandeep, from my pet boarding home in Bengaluru. He said that a foreigner had brought a rescued Indian pup for treatment and admission. The pup’s condition was bad, and it was difficult to admit him since it was a weekend, and the veterinarian wasn’t available.

When I spoke to Elizabeth (she was the one who brought the pup), she said that she wanted to have the pup to be treated and taken care of until she could take him to Australia with her. I was astonished at why would someone consider taking a sick indie street pup all the way across continents, but her decision was firm.

Elizabeth found the pup screaming and begging for food on her pilgrimage to Shravanabelagola. She was aware that some Indian dogs carried rabies, but she also knew that many dogs were simply malnourished, neglected or physically abused and not at all dangerous.

Elizabeth went up and down the hill that day, at least six times to check on the pup, hoping for a miracle. Seeing her distress Shinson, her driver for that day, decided to help. To her amazement, he suggested that they turn back and retrieve the pup.

It was difficult to locate the pup in the dark, but they did and brought him all the way to Bengaluru. Since it was too late in the evening, no rescue centres would take in the pup. It was Shinson who finally guided her to my pet boarding home.

The pup came to the pet boarding home with lots of health issues, and my staff did their best. We named him Gomta.

A couple of months passed under the careful supervision of the doctor and my staff, and Gomta got better. He grew up to be a cute little mischievous pup who loved playing with other dogs.

Elizabeth and Mark had made enquiries regarding the quarantine and transportation of Gomta to Australia. With all the details required for safe transportation in hand, Gomta got a passport of his own and was ready to travel.

The Australian quarantine authority was strict that the pet should stay in a host country for 180 days before arriving in Australia. This was to ensure the animal is disease-free. Elizabeth made arrangements for Gomta to arrive in Singapore as it was one of the countries approved by the Australian authorities.

I also had to train Gomta to stay in the transportation crate. An airline approved crate was purchased and Gomta was slowly trained to stay in it for a few hours every day.

It was finally October 2011 and we had to say goodbye to Gomta. The airport staff were quite interested to hear Gomta’s story.

Gomta then left for Singapore. Elizabeth and I were in touch throughout with the Singaporean airport authorities to ensure Gomta’s travel status. Elizabeth even made a special trip to Singapore to meet Gomta.

Gomta finally arrived in the city of Melbourne on April 16, 2012, and stayed in quarantine for one month before he went to his Australian parents.

My family and I get to visit Gomta every year as my daughter, Preethi, lives in Melbourne.

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Homeward bound for Gomta, the indie dog

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