Finding a place with no address is every bit as tricky as it sounds. Dharamsala Animal Rescue (DAR), where I planned to volunteer, was simply in ‘Rakkar Village’. I had no idea what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t this – I could have been in a remote valley in the Swiss Alps – surrounded by lush green mountains, that were dissected by thin streams, strewn with boulders of all shapes and sizes. The water from the mountain ice melts, rushing over one stone in its haste to get to the other, making the only sound, other than the occasional cry of a circling kite. For the first time in India, I experienced silence. It really was a truly magical place that I never knew could have existed in this populous land.
And suddenly it was over. I looked down to see the offender – a white dog sat in the window of the lonesome building, one paw on top of the other, in a very human-esque fashion, who I would later come to know as Froggie (more on Froggie’s story later). On her cue, the symphony kicked off; some 5-10 different pitches and tempos of barking joined in – what a reception!
Deb, the founder of the shelter, and a couple of staff members came rushing out to meet me, followed by a few more dogs, limping, bounding, tails wagging, they all looked so happy, and I knew at once that this was the best decision I had made in a while – It was going to incredibly rewarding working with these dogs, and these wonderful human beings who clearly loved them dearly . “Why don’t you head out with the guys on the mobile clinic and see what you think?”. And so begins my contribution, whatever it may be, to this charity, that inspired me. Deb’s courage, determination, and huge heart led me here, let’s see where the road goes..