If you haven’t had a pet dog, you have missed a lot in life.
It was just last day when I was watching a movie named “Marley and Me’, typically a story about a dog and its owner and their own little (mis)adventures. This movie always leaves me sobbing at the end, when the family parts with Marley. Only a person who has/ had pets, especially a dog, would understand the sentiment.
A dog is in fact in every sense man’s best friend. The most affectionate creature one would ever find. I am fortunate to have grown up around dogs at home.
The first dog I remember was a German Shepard, we called him Rocky. We adopted him when he was hardly a few weeks old. I remember him as a round fluffy ball of brown fur, stumbling across, as he tried to walk around the house. I used to love his warm touch, and when he licked my face while playing. Oh, how I miss him. I was in third standard at that time, me and my two sisters found a new playmate in Rocky. He used to chew up our shoes, our toys, and any other thing he could find. We have often woken up to slobbered foot ware. Winters in our city used to be brutal, with the temperature dropping to/below 3 degrees. Rocky used to climb on our beds under our quilts, and we would only notice him there by his squeals when we would turn on our beds. We practically grew up together.
And then, when I was in secondary school ( junior high), we had to put him down. Unfortunately, he grew too big for any of us to handle and started hurting people around. The only person who was able to handle him was my Dad and he was very close to Rocky. He was an civil engineer, and had to be on-site for weeks at a time. And if he ever left without saying a proper goodbye to Rocky, Rocky would create havoc after he left. He wont eat, he would keep crying and would destroy anything in his reach. And whenever my dad used to come back, he used to sense it, before he appeared in front of the house. My dad had to meet him first after coming back, as a rule. Rocky would, lick him, jump on him, crying for at least a good half to one hour, before we had a chance to meet dad. I guess it was because of him that we grew so close to each other, that we were and still are able to understand each other so well.
The day we had to put him down was during Navaratri, Dad was on-site as usual and wasn’t supposed to be back until a few more days. But the he suddenly came back the very next morning after Rocky passed on. He said he wasn’t feeling good at work and had this overwhelming feeling to get back home. He was looking for Rocky when Mom told him that Rocky passed on. That was the first time I ever saw him cry, literally sobbing. Rocky was like a son to him. We all missed him so terribly. Dad fell sick for sometime after Rocky passed on, which we believe was because of the grief. Every one was sad and no body talked much around. This whole event left a void in our family. Those were few very hard weeks for us. We used to miss having him around messing with everything.
Mom used to make Tomato sauce every winter to be used for the next year. She would buy kilos of huge ripe red tomatoes, and Rocky just loved them. He would quietly sneak in and get a mouthful every time mom was out of the room. It was another ritual of our home. Mom knew he would do that and she would intentionally leave a basket for him, as he wont be satisfied till he steals some. After Rocky passed on, even tomato sauce and ketchup were no fun. 😦
It was after a while that we found a new pet. This puppy was a mix of a Pomeranian and a Doberman (weird right). But was the sweetest thing ever. We adopted her when she was around 3 weeks old. I brought her home in my school bag! She was so tiny and was trembling through out. Poor thing. She would take a few steps around the hall and then pee a drop, then a few more steps and another drop. This continued for two days, till she familiarized with the house. We set up a small bed for her in the living room, where we spent most of our time. She would hardly sleep on the mat, and rather on my Mom’s lap. My mom used to stitch at that time, and Tutul (thats what we called the puppy) would just sit in my mother’s lap all the while. We used to set our beds down in the hall during that time, and obviously Tutul would always sleep with us.
One day we were all trying to wake my baby sister up, and she would just toss and turn and to go back to sleep. When we all gave up, Tutul went ahead and started to lick my sister all over her face. She wouldn’t give up until my sister woke up. It was the cutest thing ever. It was as if Tutul understood just everything we did or said.
It was I who named her Tutul, after one of my sisters friends. I wasn’t a big fan of that person, so just for fun I started calling my puppy Tutul. And strangely she responded to that name. So from that day we had Tutul for ourselves. Although we had to make sure that friend of my sister never visited us home. Tutul loved eating cauliflower, carrots, green peas and of course tomatoes. After a few years of being together we had to giver her up, when we moved to a flat, as there was not enough room for a dog there. We made sure Tutul was taken in a by a family we knew and was comfortable there. We used to visit her very often.
The third dog we had was after a long long (almost 10 years) while. It was my mom who along with my step dad adopted the puppy and named her Ruby. Ruby was a mix of German Shepard and Pariah. She was very loving and caring. She loved to have Marie biscuits and we used to buy that specifically for her. She wouldn’t let any stranger in, and would not let anyone carry anything out of the house without her inspecting it. The only person allowed in the house easily was our milkman, well because he would always give her some milk on his way out.
Once my Mom was home alone with Ruby, and wasn’t feeling very well. She was having high fever and that day her blood pressure level went way down than normal. She was almost unconscious. Ruby was by her side the entire day, and when she felt that Mom wasn’t responding to her and wasn’t moving at all she tried to pull her hands and her blanket. When there was still no response she started running around the house and then in a flash she went outside. Just opposite to us was an office where my step dad had an acquaintance. She would bark looking at the office and the dart back in the house, this continued till one guy we knew noticed Ruby and came home with her. This person took my mother to the hospital, and she was given timely treatment. Had it not been for Ruby, we don’t know what would have happened that day.
We grew up and moved out of the house to different parts. I do not have a pet right now, but am eagerly waiting for the day when I would get a kennel home.
I think its a must for people to have at least one pet at their homes, specially if you have kids. Having and taking care of the pet can be the best social learning any one can have. By pet I really mean a dog, I am biased to dogs. I find them the most loving being ever.
Cheers to all dog lovers.