Vanille and Baloo



It’s a “friend” of mine who doesn’t live anymore in Goa, who brought me Vanille as she was a puppy. It was supposed to be temporary, and she was supposed to keep regular money for her, but it became permanent, and she gave money only for a while.

I love dogs, but I prefer cats because of my sedentary lifestyle and also because I prefer the relationship with cats rather than the one with dogs which is based on hierarchy. And Vanille is a dominant female dog in spite of her small size. She got pregnant early, and she knew that I wanted to sterilize her, and of course she was not there the day of the appointment of the sterilization and she went into hiding during her pregnancy. After she got her babies and came back more often to eat, I took some time to discover her “nest” and found it in the garden: she made a big hole, like foxes and delivered her babies in there beginning of December 2019. There were 3 of them. She growled at me first when I approached the hole, so I told her not to worry, that I would never kill her babies, that they were welcome, and from that moment, she cooled down. Animals understand what we say. It’s us who don’t understand their language most of the time.

She was a really good mother. When they were old enough to have solid food, she was taking the pieces of chicken and was giving them to her babies before eating herself and was also stocking it in holes she was making in the garden. I really appreciated that they grew up in the garden, it was way easier for me as there were no piss and shit in the house.

There were a full black male puppy who was really beautiful: I called him Coal; the other male puppy was with 3 colors, with a dominance of black, like Dobermans: I called him Baloo, and the last one was a girl, black and white like her mother.

But the confinement started because of the pandemic mid-March or so, and it became really difficult to find food for a while. I had to buy dry food as chicken was banned from Goa. It’s been hard for the dogs, as they were not used to this type of food. And Vanille disappeared. Looking for her, I realized she went to live in one of my neitghbour’s house! The food was better there! So, I went to see them and asked them if they wanted to keep her, and they said yes, that they liked her and named her “Choti” which means “small” for a female in Hindi. And after a while, she started to come back here. She was having two homes. They were giving her shower, she was sleeping in the house, and was getting along with their female dog.

And one night, during the confinement, this smart Vanille did something I never saw before: she stole a really big piece of pork from I don’t know where, brought it back in the kitchen and gave it to me!! I was stunned! I then distributed the meat equally between all the dogs. The other dogs also came back a couple of times with huge rats, but I threw them away.

The puppy Baloo was (and still is) a home-loving type while the two others were always outside with their mother, and at the neighbour’s house, and one day, I don’t know what they found, but they came back sick, and I think they ate something bad. The girl was really not well. It was really in the middle of the confinement, and no way to go to the vet. Anyhow, I knew what to do in case of poisoning, but it was too late, the poison already did its damages and they died within hours. Only Baloo survived, because he stayed home. It was so sad.

I remember a similar situation I lived with one of our previous dogs in Martinica, in the West Indies. His name was Bouba. He waz a local dog, mixed with Terrier. He died here, hit by a car on the road. He lived only 4 years. When we were in Martinica, one night, around 7pm or 8pm, I found a kitten we just adopted dead in the kitchen, and Bouba was shaking and salivating. Obviously, they had eaten something with poison. There are mean people in this world, and I don’t know who did that, but someone must have put poisoned meat iin the garden. There were no way for the dog to go out. When I saw that, I called the vet right away, and he told me there were no time for him to come or me to get to him, so he asked me if I had charcoal or bentonite clay. I told him yes for the clay. So, he told me to put clay (don’t remember how much) in a bottle of plastic, shake well, and give everything to drink to Bouba. I just did that, and half-an-hour later, Bouba was ok.

Bentonite clay is not easy to find in India, but it’s very common in France. So, here in Goa, I have a big bag of activated charcoal that I bought on Amazon. I really advise you to get some. It’s cheap and it’s what is used in hospital for some kind of poisonings.

Anyway, it worked for Bouba, but not for two of Vanille’s babies. I got her sterilized when the sterilisations resumed in Chinchinim after this covid craziness.

As Baloo was growing up, I realized his father is Coco. They have exactly the same round eyes. And extraordinary thing, my neighbour Rosario told me once that Coco is the dog of people his knows who live close-by. And he told me his name is Daloo!!! If ever Coco was their dog, they didn’t know how to take care of him, and obviously, he didn’t want to stay there.