“If I can get you licking and loving, I have my purpose,” – Bailey, A Dog’s Purpose (2017). The book and the movie explore a dog’s purpose, and Bailey’s words say it all. This is a world where animals are more humane than people, and there are a few incredible people like Anjali Sharma whose purpose is all about loving dogs.
Anjali felt an unequivocal and unconditional love for the fuzzy creatures that she didn’t return to Delhi after she encountered a pack of them making puppy-dog eyes at her on a career-hunt to Chennai 23 years ago. Strays are everywhere, on street corners, at garbage dumps, under cars and pavements. Anjali finds them all, brings them home, feeds them well, cares for the injured, and gives them a whole lot of love.
Anjali notes that the doctors from People for Animals (PFA) and private vets help to neuter and medicate her dogs, and always stresses on the importance of controlling the stray population. As a registered member of The Animal Society of Chennai, Anjali’s efforts towards sterilizing stray dogs are commendable. When she spots a strays not neutered, she drives them in her Maruti Omni rescue van for the procedure.
The van is also her trusted partner to deliver gourmet food to her 100 canine pals at The Animal Society. Menu holds rice, soup, idli-rasam, tandoori chicken, fish bones, gravy, fruits and vegetables, leftovers from homes and restaurants that include BBQ Nation and The Park. Word is that her little friends wait eagerly for their turn as she patiently portions out their food at mealtime everyday.
With 365 days dedicated to her purpose, she has not taken a single day off in the past two days despite health issues, lack of funds and resources. Needless to say, her trusted partner, the van itself has weathered and outlived its utility. “It gets very difficult to control the dogs in this van; they are agitated, there’s little room and I’m just a single person who has to control them and keep my eye on the road,” says Anjali while referred to the neuter rescue runs. She is looking to exchange the Maruti Omni for a new Maruti Eeco to make her missions easier.