I first saw Kalu (he had all 4 legs at that time) curled up on the pavement outside St. Andrews Scots Kirk about four years ago.
As I was on my feeding round there was plenty of food in the vehicle and I promptly hopped off and gave Kalu a parcel which he wolfed down. As he seemed ravenous I gave him another and thus started my association with Kalu.
As we progressively became friends ( Kalu was not one of those ‘I love all humans on sight’ dogs – can’t blame him as I don’t ), I realized that after food, Kalu’s next love was the girls!!
He would do a daily trek from the Galle Face Courts where my friend Debra Macan Markar would feed him, to opposite the Cinnamon Grand for the next round from me and then on to 19th Lane, Colpetty where a veritable harem awaited him, plus food once again courtesy me. Along the way Kalu would cadge food off the many policemen and women stationed along the way while making his way to the Police Barracks down 19th Lane, where he had to be given the first parcel of food which needless to say had to be an extra large one!
Kalu was a fixture in this area. I could literally stop the vehicle on the middle of Galle Road in the midst of all the traffic and security to feed Kalu and nary a policeman would utter a word of admonition; such was the power Kalu wielded over everyone – even opposite Temple Trees!!
About two years ago Kalu disappeared much to Debra’s and my horror. We later discovered that he had been hit by a train and subsequently taken to Pets V Care by an unknown ( to this date) animal lover where his leg was amputated. However Kalu was soon back on his beat, charming his way back into the hearts of the forces, as well as his old as well as new lady friends, his appetite undiminished.
Latterly his appetite lessened and Debra discovered that he had a lump. He was picked up courtesy Embark and Sharmini Ratnayake and taken to Pet Vet where it was discovered that poor Kalu had a hernia along with which his kidneys decided to pack up.
Unfortunately this feisty, ‘characterful’ Romeo spent the last couple of days of his eventful life in pain, despite being sedated and we finally had to euthanize him on Sunday the 9th.
A friend of mine, Diraj, happened to be at Pet Vet at that time and despite living down Longden Place, he too knew Kalu!!
I really don’t know whether Kalu knew that I was with him during his last moments; I hope he did. Nobody should have to die alone, least of all a dog as marvellous as Kalu.
He lived life to the full – an example on how to live life on the basis that the ‘glass was always half full rather than half empty’. I have no doubt that Kalu is charming his way even now as I write this memorial to him in Doggy Heaven, where undoubtedly he has taken up residence amongst the prettiest dogs and the choicest of tid bits !
A special word of thanks to Policeman Dhanasiri and all the others at the Police Barracks down 19th Lane who kept a watchful eye on Kalu and continue to help us all with our animal welfare activities.