„I wanna make dogcatching sexy!“ Rani & I Love Goa Dogs

Ich bin nach Goa gekommen, um das zu tun, was Hippies tun. Tanzen, Singen, Yoga. Hier sitzen sie am Strand in Brezelstellung, singen Hare Krishna, spielen Flöte, streicheln sich die Haare und tanzen bis die Wolken lila sind. Nix dagegen, aber ich mache jetzt Urlaub vom Selbstfindungstrip und widme mich den Menschen, die ihr Leben anderen widmen. Diese Reihe beginnt mit Rani: Sie kümmert sich seit neun Jahren rund um die Uhr um Strassenhunde in Goa. Einer davon ist, Nina, eine weisse Hündin mit nur drei Beinen. Sie war jeden Tag beim Ecstatic Dance Festival dabei, an dem ich teilnahm. Dort hüpfte sie vergnügt umher und so erfuhr ich von Rani, dass sie sie damals rettete. Nina geht es gut, sowohl bei Rani als auch am Strand, denn während der Saison kümmern sich auch Touristen um die Fellnasen – bis Mai, dann kommt der Monsun, die Touristen verlassen Goa, die Hunde bleiben zurück und verhungern. Rani war vor 15 Jahren auch so eine Touristin, die vor dem Monsun flüchtete, als sie nach Goa zurückkam, erlebte sie einen Moment, der alles änderte. Seitdem hält sie die Stellung, auch in der Monsunzeit. Mit ihrer gemeinnützigen Organisation: I LOVE GOA DOGS.

Rani am Schreibtisch

Nina ist immer gut drauf auch ohne viertes Bein.

Bevor Rani nach Goa kam, arbeitete sie mit ihrem Exmann als Safariguide für reiche Menschen in Tansania. Jetzt lebt sie ein simple life. Ihr Reich liegt an einem Fluss. Unter einem riesigen Dach hat sie Schlafzimmer, Wohnzimmer, Küche – keine Wände.  Sie sagt: „Keine Wände, keine Schuhe, das ist Freiheit!“ Um sie herum hat sie ihre kleine Community bestehend aus Volunteers, die über Mundpropaganda und auch über Workaway den Weg zu ihr finden. Sie leben in Bambushütten und Tipis.

Arambol kann sehr laut sein, ein Partymonster, Ranis Ort dagegen ist eine Oase. Als ich ankomme, schwappt mir eine einzigartige Ruhe entgegen, trotz der ca. 20 Hunde und Katzen und den Volunteers, die aus den unterschiedlichsten Ländern kommen. Finnland, Deutschland, Kanada, Schweden, England, Portugal, Grönland, Brasilien usw.

Alleine in den letzten zwei Wochen hat Rani mit ihren Volunteers 14 Welpen gerettet. Gerade ist Honeybee dazugekommen. Ein kleiner Welpe, der verlassen am Strand lag neben seiner toten Schwester. Ein Musiker fand ihn und brachte ihn zu I Love Goa Dogs. Honeybee hat sich schon nach ein paar Stunden eingelebt und bekommt von allen viel Liebe. Rani versucht eine neue Heimat für die Tiere zu finden, gibt sie aber nur fort, wenn sie nicht als Wachhunde oder für ähnliche Aufgaben missbraucht werden. Sie sieht ihren Ort als Busstation: Hier peppelt sie die Hunde auf, gibt ihnen Essen und Medizin, bringt sie zum Tierarzt und zur Klinik zum Sterilisieren.  Am liebsten hätte sie eine Klinik und eine Dogcatching-Ninjaschool. Sie möchte am liebsten den tätowierten jungen Typen, die nur am Strand von Goa rumhocken und Mädels hinterherschauen, entgegen rufen: „Hey mach dich mal nützlich und fang mal einen Strassenhund ein, das ist sexy!“ Sie finanziert ihre Arbeit durch Spenden – am liebsten wenn man sie persönlich vorbeibringt und eine Weile bleibt. Wie eine Russin, die jeden Tag kommt und den Hunden das Fell kämmt oder wie Tobi aus Süddeutschland, er macht eine halbe Monatsmiete locker für I Love Goa Dogs. Rani ist überglücklich und macht ihm einen Tee. Zum Trinken kommt er nicht: Ranis Telefon klingelt unentwegt, wieder ein Notfall: Jemand sagt ihr, dass ein Welpe gerettet werden muss. Weil sie mit mir sprechen will, und Igor, der Haupt-Dogcatcher aus Brasilien gerade nicht da ist, springt Toby ein und fährt los, um den Welpen zu retten.

English version:

I came to Goa to do what hippies do. Dancing, Singing, Yoga. I took part in Ecstatic Dance Festival and there down by the beach I met a lovely three-legged dog. Nina. People told me that Nina was rescued by Rani, a woman who is taking care of street dogs in Goa/ Arambol since 9 years. Rani dedicates her life to the animals. 15 years ago she came as a tourist to India, made dog friends and left like all tourists do in may when the monsoon comes. When she returned she experienced a moment that changed her life.

Before she founded I Love Goa Dogs, she worked with her exhusband as a safariguide for rich people in Tansania. Now she lives a simple life. Bedroom, living room, kitchen all under 1 roof, no walls. Rani says: „No walls, no shoes, that is freedom“. Her space down by the river is beautiful with very soft and gentle energy, although there live about 20 dogs and 10 cats. She is sourrounded by her community. People from all over the world find their way either via workaway or  just hear about her and wanna learn more. Like a russian lady, she comes everyday to comb the dogs. Or Toby from Germany. He took part in the Dance Festival next to Ranis place and donated half of his monthly rent to her and her work.  In the last two weeks she and her volunteers rescued 14 puppies. She sees herself as an animal bus station and wants to find loving homes for the animals. Ranis dream is to have a clinic and a Dogcatching-Ninjaschool. „I am trying to make dogcatching sexy. Cause there is lot’s of guys around here who just sit on the beach with a lot of tattoos, I wish they would come and catch some dogs. That is real ninja work.“  Toby has tattoos and he will rescue his first puppy now. When he arrives to drink a tea, Rani gets an emergency call: a puppy to be rescued. As Igor, her main dogcatcher from Brasil, is not there at the moment, Toby gets on his bike to bring it to I Love Goa Dogs. Rani is happy and has time to talk to me.

Rani im Gespräch // Interview with Rani

Yvi: Rani when I was at the beach at my Dance Festival there was a white dog with three legs, Nina, and people told me about you, that you took care of her and also of many other dogs, that are in need here in Goa-Arambol. How come?

Rani: Well. I came here 15 years ago as a tourist and made some dog friends, but I didn’t help them much. I didn’t feed them but I had some friends who looked after me, dogs that came and visited me. And then I walked away in the monsoon like all the tourist do, left the dogs and really didn’t think about them. It was actually two I made friends with: it was a mum and a baby, a big puppy, and when I came back, the big puppy was starving, Mama was gone and probably dead, the puppy still didn’t want any food, she just wanted love and I promised her that I will not ever let it happen again (tells it with tears)….. yeah I am still quite emotional about it.

Yvi: You are 15 years later still touched by it.

Rani: Yes, there is her picture.. there she is. (Rani points at a closet with a painting of a dog). That is her in heaven, she stayed with me for 14 years. Her name is Muty (means mother).

Yvi: So it started with her.

Rani: Yes then I helped her and made sure she was okay and I got her really strong, she became the alpha female of my little orphanage, she was the queen of my place and since she died two years ago it is different. When I met her and helped her I just realized that the animals need help. So I started to help them and the more I helped them the more I realized they need help, so it just keeps on going. I started feeding them also in the monsuun. And then I met quite a few people that also got activated and there is quite a few more people helping now which is great, it is still not enough, but there is more people over the time.

Yvi: You are always very busy.

Rani: I am highly activated. I can smell when there is a dog, I might see a shadow and I know there is something going on. People come and see me. And then they get activated.

A low level of activation is watch, calling me. But you can actually do more, pick it up. And look after it, take it to the vet yourself and take it home… So there is all different levels of activation and it is always nice when people get inspired and do more. You know 5 minutes ago a man,  Toby, he has come for donating money and a cup of tea and he has just gone to help us to rescue a puppy, because I am talking to you. Good for him, He is helping a wounded puppy. He is doing something real.

Yvi: And you are living here in this beautiful place at the lake, your „house“ is like a shala, it is open..

Rani: with no walls.

Yvi: Living without walls, what does that mean about your life?

Rani: Oh. It is beautiful it is luxury  – no walls and no shoes. That is nice. It is freedom.“

Yvi: A lot of people are here with you, seems a chilled place with very nice vibe and good simple life:  What was your last happy moment?

Just recently seeing my friends. It is always about friends. I live in a community I got volunteers helping and they do fantastic. And having old friends come back is amazing, I just had a friend, I call her pussycat, and I have got Maria over there in the hammock. So having old friends is always fine.

Yvi: You meet people here through the dogs and they come back?

Rani: A lot now, that is what happens nowadays. I think most of my social life has to do with animals now.

Yvi: What does happiness mean to you?

I am happy when I rescue animals that are in stress, I am happy when I find them a home. I am happy when I meet kind people, cause there is a lot of bad people out there, that are cruel. And then just living in Goa, it is a beautiful place to live and even if it is changing which it is quite fast, there is still quite a beautiful spirit and freedom here.

Yvi: Rani: Where do you come from and where is home for you?

Rani: I was born in Africa. We lived in quite a lot countries before I was about 20, I think maybe 11 or 13 countries. My father is from South Africa my mother from England. I am a little bit african, a little bit english, a little bit autralian and a little bit oriental, because I was a teenager in south east asia so I have some oriental sensitivity sometimes. And then I have 15 years in Goa. It is an own planet. Very international place.

If someone asks my address it is quite funny anyway, because I don’t think there is a address here, I live by the river, you have to put my landlords name and the village.

Yvi: And you stay here even at monsoon time that must be very hard all the rain coming down all the tourists go away and the dogs are still here, they need someone to help them to survive?

Rani: I mean it is a great honor to help them. And also the thing is I open my eyes so I can’t close my eyes. You know I could go, but there is not really anyone else helping them which is shameful. So I can make a difference, I can reduce some suffering, that makes me happy. It is a beautiful thing to be in service.

 Yvi: Do you know how many cats and dogs are living with you right now?

Rani: No I don’t count, it is better for me.  But two weeks ago I decided to count how many puppies are rescued in 2 weeks. 14 and 2 died. But if I think about it that I just rescued 14 puppies, it is quite worrying. Cause when I haven’t got home for them it is another 14 dogs and so so and so on. So it is better just to do it and not count.

Yvi: You rescue the dogs, you give the first treatment, you give them food and then you try to find people that adopt  them?

Rani: I am just a puppy busstation. I want them to go and want them to find homes. And even though they are really happy and fat and relaxed lying on our couches and eating our couches (laughs), they are still better to be in their own home, you know, be king of their own castle.

Yvi: How are you working, you have many volunteers here also via workaway, they come here spent some weeks?

Rani: It is changing all the time. Sometimes people just come anyway. There is a russian lady she speaks no english, she comes everyday and combs the dogs. Now it is abundant-time, there is people around, people want to ƒa a

help, but it is not easy all the time, because if they are not trained they can’t go and catch a dog. Or they don’t know how to drive in India, so they can’t drive a car, so it is quite limited also in what they can do. If we had experienced animal carers or a vet or a vetnurse… I am obviously very greedy, I would like to expand, we should have a clinic. We drive 34 kilometers to the clinic, that is terrible.

Yvi: You want to have a clinic here in Arambol?

Rani: I do! I would love to have a clinic!

Yvi: What are your skills?

Rani: I am only skilled at basic stuff, I am a god dogcatcher. I am trying to make dogcatching sexy. Cause there is lot’s of guys around here who just sit around on the beach with a lot of tattoos, I wish they would come and catch some dogs. That is real ninja work. I wanna make a dog catching ninja school, that is my dream. Cause I am 56 I am quite slowly now. When I was 20 I was twice as fast. You need to be fast when you catch dogs. It is a wonderful ninja school. It is quite exciting, when you get them it is like „wow, fantastic“ and then you saved their lives. We catch a lot of dogs to sterilize them, because there are so many puppies around so we try to sterilize all the animals, and even though it does feel like we are not getting anywhere, ƒbecause there is more and more and more, there is also less and less, and also you have to do what you can do. Right? Don’t think about it, just do what you can do. And hope that other people come and do what you do, and hopefully we change the world, and change the way people think and make it sweeter for animals!

Yvi: Are you going to stay here forever?

Rani: Well I don’t know, I thought I would give five years, I mean I have already given quite a few years, i thought I would give five years with the dream that at the end there is a clinic. And that was a year ago, and I haven’t gone any closer, I have gone backwards, so I think I need a team that manages and business people, we need money sure, then we need people to help organize it. But if you look around the world there is lot’ s of people like me that start just one person. And these organisations grow bigger and bigger and bigger. And become really affective and powerful. Come on guys come and help us!

Der Kontakt zu Rani und I Love Goa Dogs:

https://www.facebook.com/ILoveGoaDogs/

I Love Goa Dogs  ist auch sehr beliebt bei workaway:

https://www.workaway.info/368143938752-de.html

Ranis has a beautiful voice, listen to the interview here:

https://soundcloud.com/yvonne-struewing/i-love-goa-dogs

 



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