Rani: The Princess that Always Knew She was Going Places
We were in India for 3 months in early 2019 for some #indianwedding celebrations and took advantage of staying for a while as we are location independent (translation, we live in our RV and travel full time).
Our time in India was spent mostly with our family and the community dogs near our house. Before we went to India, we knew we had to make an impact and do as much as we can before leaving.
Before the visit, we started a GoFundMe campaign and raised funds to buy 1500 reflective collars to distribute to organizations doing great work with the Indian dogs. After looking up organizations in Chandigarh and other places we were traveling to during our trips like Assam and Jaipur, we met with lots of organizations that we vetted and handed out the reflective collars to them.
More to come on helping the community dogs in a separate post, short story, we took care of all the local dogs, which was a family of 4 (grandma, mom, 2 daughters) and knew every one of them by heart and they loved us back. We spayed 2 of the daughters and kept them at our house (bed) and spoiled the crap out of them as we totally fell in love with Snowflake and Hunter.
It was now March, we were planning our return back to the US as miss Rani showed up in the neighborhood, out of nowhere. She was around 3 months old and was obviously lost and going home to home begging different homes to help her. Since we already knew every dog in a half a square mile, we knew that she had no home or mommy close by and wasn't going to make it on the streets, heck our own community dogs would have probably run her off or worse.
We first found out about her as I heard her crying out in the middle of the night and the next morning, there she was across the street begging our neighbors to help. I (Reet) immediately picked her up in my arms and she just hung on for dear life. It is as if she knew she was going to be fine at that exact moment.
She earned the name Rani as she was the biggest drama queen we have ever met and soooo needy. She couldn't stay away from us, even for a few minutes, rightfully so, as she probably thought she was going to be abandoned again. She would wrap her tail around our backs and sleep right next to our head, just to make sure she was always touching us, at all times!
Our goal was simple, we would get her vaccinated and healthy (she couldn't walk properly and seemed to have had a hind leg injury) and get her adopted. Surely, within 3 weeks, lots of contacts in the city with friends and family and given how adorable she was, this wasn't going to be hard at all (so we thought).
Well, we tried and tried and tried for 3 weeks
- Asking friends and family to adopt, but no response, she wasn't a ''purebred'' or ''sure, we'll take her to the farm (aka...we'll sort of care for her outside but with limited responsibility''
- Printing out flyers and posting them in vet offices and pet shops (not a single call)
- Taking her to an Organic farmers market, the best version of the "Indian hippies" hang out here, we got some good contacts on organizations to reach out to and heard again "I wish I could, but my parents won't let me".
- Took her to potential adoption leads, spend time in their house and get turned down by their mom on not wanting another dog. This was justified actually because the kids would simply leave all day to work or school and make it all the mom's responsibility.
It was now T-3 days to our flight and we fell more and more in love with Rani. We simply knew that if we left her behind, she would not be in good hands or would not survive. We turned on our critical path mode and figured out that there was a chance that she could make it with us!
- Get paperwork ready
- Call the airline and beg them for hours to make an exception of their 48-hour rule to allow us to bring her on.
- Change train plans and drive 6 hours to the airport instead
- Get paperwork inspected in New Delhi
- Take the first 9-hour flight
- Have a 10-hour layover in Seoul, keep a puppy entertained and get her tired while you're still tired.
- Take another 9-hour flight to SFO
- Take the deepest breath ever, she made it!
Although Rani's journey wasn't quite over, she found a short term foster in San Francisco but she was simply too loud and proud to be living in a place with neighbors and really wanted to explore RV life with us and see more of America. She didn't make this long damn trip to just live in one city!
Man those 2 weeks were fun! We trail ran, hung out in hammocks, played in the snow AND the sand. She got to see Big Sur with my new daddy and I was exhausted. She was ready to be in a home full time with other dogs and Juke (our OG kittie) was terrified of Rani and hid for 2 weeks.
Our friends Tyler and Jen saw our story of Rani and couldn't wait to have her, she took a flight to Atlanta at the end of April and has been living there since.
It took a lot of work for just one dog, but that's what this is all about, just helping one dog, whenever you can. Then it turns in to 2, 3, 4.... and before you know it, you start a company with a goal of helping thousands of dogs.