There is light at the end of every dark tunnel: the tale of Sasha

10 Jun 2013 | by | Posted in: Story from Pet Lover

This is a tale of human affection, the need to do something for those who cannot defend themselves. This is the story of Chinthana Gopinath, the women who wanted to help not one but all of the 102 beagles that were released by CUPA from a laboratory in Bangalore, where they were subjected to pre-clinical trials. These pups were all born in a dog cage and had spent all their lives in the sterile environment of a laboratory.

“I was very keen to adopt one for my family did not support this decision.” says Chinthana, who at that time already had male beagle, Calvin. The next best alternative was to spread the word among people so more of these humble and energetic dogs could get a home. She started spreading messages on her Facebook page ‘pupcakes’. This helped in the adoption of most of the pups. “I heard that a couple of them were returned to the shelter. The people wanted a happy and toilet train dog.” says Chinthana.

She was determined to rehabilitate all the beagles. One day she decided to go to the office of CUPA and take pictures to be posted online to ensure a loving home for the pups. She found that two pups one girl and one boy was going around in circles in backyard. “I saw that they were intimated by us, I sat on the ground and this small girl came and kissed my toes, then it was mother’s turn who was standing at a distance, after kissing our toes she came and settled on my lap. Then she kissed my chin and hand. I said to ma that she has chosen us. The next thing day I brought her my Sasha home.

Chinthana advocates pet adoption. She says that any dog lover should go for adoption only. There are times when some humans can do the most inhumane thing of abandoning their pet. How can someone do such a thing? How does your conscious allow you to abandon your dog into the streets and shelters? She says that at times the reasons are really frivolous, “pets are abandoned because owners when they get a new job, a new house or you get a baby at home.”


She feels that when there are some many dogs in need of a home why do we feel the urge to go a buy and further provide an impetus to the business. The business facilitates the sale of pups that are in the longer run returned to the shelter only.

Chinthana feels that whether you adopt a pet or buy one there are challenges to it. If you get a new born pup home you have to toilet train him and bring him up like a child. In case you adopt a pet then you need a lot of patience, she says, “these animals have gone through an emotional turmoil in their lives, they need time to open to you. Give them that space.” If you give these animal a little love then you are assured a lifetime of unconditional love and affection in return. Celebrate their spirit. “my three year old beagle Calvin came to me when he was a pup it took me several months to toilet train him, whereas Sasha got it in a week” says Chinthana.

Every dog will take his or her time. You have to be patient enough around them. Screaming and losing your temper might send in a wrong message. It is a little work but the reward of the wags and licks is much more than that.

Chinthana says that adopting a pet is not always easy. There has to be tremendous amount of patience. They need time to soak into their new environment. There are times when they come from bad treatment meted by humans. Remember they are scared, “they will come for you when they are ready. You cannot push that process.” says Chinthana.  When she adopted Sasha she could not climb stairs. She did not eat anything else other than pedigree. “We introduced her to homemade food. My only advice is to all adoptive parents is that do not rush them into anything, just treat them with joy and they will come out of their shells faster.”


The easiest way she feels to encourage adoption is to spread stories of individual experience. People have to know that adopted pets are happy and well-adjusted into families as contrary to the belief that they are emotionally battered.

It took time for Chinthana to develop a communication medium with Sasha, her vocal chords had been cut to ensure she stays quiet in the laboratory. She says, “it took me some time but I now what she wants. If she nudges me with her nose it is to pick her up and cuddle me. If she tugs on my clothes then it is an indication for me to play with her.” Shasha’s ways are unique if she wants a nap she stands with her front paws on the lap and if she has to go out then it is small circles near the doors.

Sasha has learnt to trust humans again. She has come from a dark and lonely place. She was never given treats and toys to play with. There was no one to call her by her name. She was just a number 8699640. A number that will remain with her all her life in the shape of a tattoo inside her ear. Humans have only caused her pain and what she give us is unconditional love and affection. “She enjoys sun and loves to play outside. I feel blessed that she choose us to be her proud parents.” Says Chinthana

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