Udaipur – day 38

Our last day volunteering at Animal Aid. We were both kind of glad that it was over as we felt that the long-term volunteers could be used in a more effective and productive manner. We did the same things each day and when we asked to help the staff (who looked run off their feet) in other areas, we were told ‘no’. Jayne had spoken to one of the vets yesterday who had offered to let Jayne shadow her for the day. So whilst I was with the paralysed dogs, giving them love and affection, Jayne was helping out in the puppy section, taking temperatures and helping to re-insert a prolapsed rectum. Around mid morning tea break, one of the charity founders told Jayne that she wasn’t allowed to shadow the vet anymore – it wasn’t what volunteers did! Despite protests from the vet, Jayne was told to go back to giving love and affection to the paralysed dogs as “they don’t have much going on in their lives!” Whilst I went to feed the baby calves, Jayne was asked to paint the kennels – which she did for the rest of the day. I went and helped her after lunch as her back had started hurting. As we had our rabies injections, we were allowed in kennel B (for dogs with skin conditions such as mange). It was so nice to be with dogs who clearly didn’t get much human contact but really craved it!!        Headed home at the end of the day, both feeling a bit grumpy and frustrated, but the sight of the local bus made us giggle again! Got back to the hotel for a scolding hot shower and a nice dinner – obviously our eyes were bigger than our bellies… I could barely move afterwards!!!   

Udaipur – day 37

Another early start as we headed back to Animal Aid for more volunteering. After stopping at cafe Namaste for our ‘usual’ take away breakfast of a chocolate croissant and a cinnamon roll, we found a TukTuk (much better than yesterday’s!) and headed out of the city. Arrived at the rescue centre as 2 locals were bringing in a one week-old calf that had been attacked by dogs. Helped them get through the gate before the calf was whisked off to receive medical attention. Spent the morning in ‘Handicap Heaven’ with the semi-paralysed dogs, brushing their coats, feeding them breakfast and massaging their limbs. 

After that, we got to feed the orphaned calves. First you have to get the surrogate mum to leave the enclosure… Getting a 3 legged cow to move when she doesn’t want to isn’t easy! Feeding the calves requires several arms to block and move greedy calves out of the way so you can ensure the smaller ones get more milk! It’s good fun but I’m glad they make the volunteers wear shoes!   Next we headed to the other calf enclosure with the more injured cow. Managed to get ‘Jean’ to drink nearly 2 bottles of milk (yesterday he drank nothing). The baby calf from this morning died as they were trying to feed him – his injuries were too bad. It was good to see how much effort had been put in. He had stitches and iodine on his wounds – they had tried really hard to save him. Went and saw another calf who has a broken leg. He was beautiful and loved having his head rubbed.  Just before lunch, we headed over to the blind dog section to give them some love and a coat brush. Jayne managed to sit next to the most playful dog and the most lazy dog in the whole place! After lunch, we used special anti bacterial and anti fungal shampoo on some of the dogs. They were left to dry in the sun but more often than not, they would roll around in the sand so would look worse than when we started!! Fortunately, a quick brush sorted them out!    

 Back at the hotel, we had a steaming hot shower to get the days grime off us. Walked round the corner to an amazing roof top restaurant followed by some more Indian sweets and a (what should have been but wasn’t) early night!!

Udaipur – day 36

Set our alarms early as we were off to volunteer at Animal Aid Unlimited. Started off by trying to negotiate a TukTuk to take us the 15km to the rescue centre. Jayne put me in charge of this task… Fool!!! After several attempts, I found a man who would take us for 150 INR (about £1.50). First stop? The petrol station where he requested his money. Gave him 50 INR and told him we’d give him the rest when we were AT Animal Aid. Good thing we did too because about 3km up the road, the TukTuk died a spectacular death!! He then found us another TukTuk to take us the rest of the way for the remaining 100 INR. As we got closer, it became clear that our new driver had no idea where he was going. As he stopped and jumped out of the TukTuk to knock on a house to ask for directions, the TukTuk slowly began to roll back down the hill with us inside. Seeing no handbrake, Jayne jumped out and used her brute strength to stop it rolling back. 

Arrived at Animal Aid and were given a welcome talk by one of the founders, Jim. We then went on a tour of the rescue centre, seeing all the different areas that are used to treat and rehabilitate the dogs, cats, cows and donkeys. There are also goats, 3 tortoises, 2 pigs, 1 (blind) monkey and some pigeons and parakeets that are used to teach Indians about animal care and cruelty. Our jobs as volunteers were very different. Jayne, being forthright, was helping the vets change bandages and administer medication. I was working mainly with the dogs that are paralysed, helping them to move and massaging muscles and basically given them loads of love and affection. We both got to feed the calves which was adorable until one of them stepped on my foot and another nutted Jayne in the arse!!! Think the hardest part for both of us was the dying cow section. Euthanasia of cows is illegal in Rajasthan so they have to leave them to die naturally. The cows get comfy mattresses to lie on and stay in the shade whilst volunteers sit with them. 2 cows passed away today whilst we were there. Was very hard to see them lying there looking emancipated from eating plastic bags but probably not as difficult as watching the donkey that passed away in Jayne’s arms. 

Came home feeling in need for a good, hot shower and a hearty meal with some sugar!! Got another recommendation for dinner from our guest house owner which was, as usual, spot on! Less fireworks and bangers tonight but they are still going off regularly enough to make my ears sore. Stopped by an Indian sweet shop on the way home to get dessert. I was too stuffed from dinner to eat anything but Jayne ‘sample controlled’ one of everything for me! She is going to be so hyper soon from all that sugar…