faithful, devoted, gentle. salma is all of these, and more. chews up everything in sight, drags me on the leash morning and evening while i attempt to walk with some dignity instead of rushing along in the neighbourhood, cries like her heart is breaking when we leave her behind and go anywhere.
a timid puppy who was bullied by other dogs in the street, she took a while to come inside our garden gate to eat. then more regularly when she was pregnant, till she had her litter. wet weather and no shelter gave her pneumonia and she almost died. we moved her and the puppies to our verandah and looked after her. that was in january this year, and she has lived with us ever since. when we moved from bilaspur to bhopal in may, no one in the street was keen to keep her. if she was a pedigreed dog we would have, but why care for a street dog? they said. so along she came with us.
though she looks forward to her daily walks on a leash, hers is a free soul, and she loves nothing better than to walk free when she can race ahead, come back to meet us, then dash away again.