“Paw-Tails” l May-June-2005

Our family pack
2001 saw me being a mom again – this time to an 8-week-old black lab, Rex. But tragedy struck when Rex passed away at 7 months age – leaving me a tearful mess.
My dreams for yet another 4-legged baby led me to place an advertisement for adoption of any breed at dogsindia.com. An email response arrived, with pictures of 4 cute mixed breed puppies looking for happy homes. I convinced my husband and 12-year-old son that this time we should adopt a mixed breed. So on June 5, 2002 we brought Sparky, a 3-month-old mixed breed puppy, into our lives.
From a scared chap who chewed anything under the sun, Sparky has now grown up to be a handsome young dog. He thrilled me from day one when he silently walked into the toilet to relieve himself!! And since then we have a toilet marked Sparky’s loo in our apartment!
With passing months, Sparky started showing traits of an excellent watchdog with great intelligence. All basic training commands came to him easy – and now his behaviour changes with our family dress code. Casual dress with the word chain means its walk-time, whereas my wearing a sari means its home-alone time!
However, I must admit that my overindulgence did bring out a streak of jealousy in him – towards my son. With proper training Sparky appears to be accepting his hierarchy in our family pack but still tries to blackmail me emotionally with his how-can-you-be-strict expressions! So one word of caution to all dog-lovers – being a mom means being strict too!
Sparky’s intelligence amazed me when I was deeply depressed with my dad in the ICU – he somehow sensed I needed comfort. So he poked me with his wet nose and heaved a deep sigh as if telling me I can unburden my sorrows on him. I was speechless!
I really don’t know what life would be without this naughty fellow who has a fascination for stealing socks (SOCKMAN my son calls him) and having’puja prasad… A wonderful companion who despite being a non-pedigree has all it takes to be a perfect mix of loyalty, intelligence and unconditional love.
I want to thank Lokesh and Guddu for replying to my advertisement and also request every dog-lover to adopt a mixed breed -I can assure you – you will never regret it!

– Shampa, Noida