Why We are Still at the Blue Corner

Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of India  , Goa,
Sunday, March 4, 2012



 I don't really like dogs that much. They just sit there looking at you. Waiting. If you dare look back they think they belong to you. When we moved into our cabina at the Blue Corner we found a mother and six puppies living under our floor boards. Two days later people complained about the whimpering. Next thing you know the front of our porch was taken apart by the Blue Corner wrecking crew and the puppies were taken away.
That night, Elenka sat on our porch – Elenka's not a big fan of dogs either – in tears, worried about the puppies. Two days later, momma showed up carrying one of her young by the scruff of the neck. She was trying to put the puppy back under our cabina, but the space was boarded up; no room at the Inn. When we jumped up she got skitterish and rushed off across the adjacent field with her young clamped in her jaw. The following day she came back and deposited two of her puppies beside a cabina. Elenka and I were forced to become proactive, a word I learned while working for the government back in Canada. We picked up the puppies and took them to a boat shed behind the Blue Corner. I figured that if we put the young ones in a boat, that the mother could jump in and take care of them in seclusion. It didn't work. She wouldn't get in the boat, and then a horde of puppy-eating dogs appeared.
Plan B was to keep them in our bathroom, but that wouldn't work either, momma refused to enter our cabina. In a last ditch effort to save the puppies, we found a small opening under our new porch and deposited them underneath.
That night, as I slept, Mother Elenka – earlier in the day Elenka had become Mother Elenka – and pretty much everyone else at the Blue Corner were kept awake until three in the morning by the whimpering puppies. Momma had been testing the waters. Now all six were again living under our cabina. In the morning we avoided the other guests. Then we heard distant hammering. Mother Elenka was afraid that a nine-station gallows was being erected for us and the seven dogs. Without eating breakfast we struck off north along the beach to the town of Colva, where we'd heard that an animal rescue facility existed. Eventually we found the place and were told that the puppies could not be taken into their facility until they were eight weeks old. That's five weeks from now and we're only here for seven more days.
The following morning as I was making notes about the canine dilemma, I looked over at Mother Elenka. She seemed aglow, staring oddly towards the sky, as though a miracle was about to occur. Moments later, two sets of Blue Corner guests – both new arrivals – came by offering smiles and wanting to touch and hold our puppies. Then more people came by, Swedes, Germans, Brits, even the French, all with smiles. It was as though a new friendlier European community was emerging from the Blue Corner. Sadly, there were no Portuguese, Spaniards, Italians, or Greeks - perhaps, as the week goes on? Then the hammering stopped. There'd be no gallows. 
Then damned if another problem didn't crop up. Momma wasn't feeding the pups. One of the guests, an animal care worker from France, said that momma had dried up. What to do ... surely at three weeks old the puppies weren't old enough to eat solid food. I had an idea. I took a handful of the dry dog food we'd bought in Benaulim town for momma and soaked it in water. The puppies started gobbling it down. Then I gave them some Basmati rice. They ate most of that too.
Last night, before bed, I went down to the Blue Corner bar for a bottle of water. The man who runs the place, the man who almost never talks or smiles, came to me and said that the puppies are getting much bigger and healthier. Before I was able to leave with my water he thanked me five times. I counted each and every one of them.
This morning as I sat on our porch in silence, staring out at the sea I heard the words, “I know what you're thinking. We're not getting a dog when we get home.” It was Elenka. The Mother was gone. I'd been wondering what it would be like trying to bring a stray Indian dog through Canada Customs. Both of us would wind up in detention.

 “I don't even like dogs,” I said.
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Mary Patterson on

Good article Jack. There is definitely something wrong with people who do not like animals. How can you resist puppies?

Mary P.

Dianne on

As a dog person, i'm proud of y'all.

Val on

You know what Gandhi said : “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" I think that the same can be about people who try to help them. what a great story. Enjoyed the pictures too!



Renate on

I`m a animallover, especially dogs. You are great, Jack. But I know, to held someone is a big challenge. Not so easy lika cats.

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