Missing you, Harry!

My first pet Harry left for his heavenly abode when he was just eight and a half years old and we still cannotRemembrance believe that he is no longer with us. He was my little baby who would always accompany me wherever I went. All through his life, he never troubled me in any way. He was toilet-trained and had no health issues. He would wait for my sons to come back from school and have his lunch with them. He was so protective about all of us that he would not allow strangers to come near us or our house. He was much disciplined and would sleep by 9 pm and get up by 5 am. Whenever we returned from a trip he would be waiting for us and his gift.

The only thing which was disturbing was that when he was left alone in the house with the house help, even when we went out for few hours only, he would sulk and not eat till we came back and took him out for a car ride. And that perhaps took him away from us!

It was this last December when I had to travel. I left my teenage sons and Harry with the help. Harry did not eat his food for two days but otherwise he was very playful, so no one thought there’s anything serious. Next morning, he was found stiff on the floor which left us all shell shocked.

Harry was my first pet and he soon became the most loved and pampered baby of the house. He showed us what we do for pets is nothing in comparison to the love which they shower us with. My only advice to readers is that never keep a dog for status symbol, showpiece or security reasons only. Treat them like your baby because they just need love and care.

–Diksha Bhatia, Kolkata

Jadu: Your magic is missing!

I go to gym every evening at 6 pm. One day I noticed a black-coloured stray dog sitting outside the door of theRemembrance gym. I named him Jadu. One evening I found him surprisingly missing from where he used to sit regularly. I asked the gym receptionist about the dog’s whereabouts. He said that a car hit him. I searched around and finally found him crying in pain at a corner of the road. With the help of the receptionist, I took him in my car to a vet who examined and told that the dog has fractured his hip bone. The vet gave him some tablets and advised me to feed the dog mutton soup. That’s how my friendship with Jadu strengthened. Since then, I brought mutton soup and dog biscuits everyday for him and his injury improved. He resumed his normal way of running and jumping. He started recognising my car’s horn and came to greet me every evening. He sat at the gym’s doorway, waiting for my workout to get over. He understood the word ‘race’ and used to run along with me upto my car. But today, Jadu is no longer sitting at the door of the gym. He got hit by a car again and I have lost Jadu forever. I miss you a lot Jadu!

–Kriti Kapur, Delhi

Eternal love…

It was a heavenly sight; six adorable, puffy balls were rolling on each other. The proud mother was licking them,Remembrance turn by turn. Amongst these cute creatures was lying our bundle of joy – Rossie! My uncle instantly picked her up and asked his friend, if he could give this female Pomeranian to him, forever. Willingly, he agreed.

Rossie had a lusturous black coat, sprawling big eyes, button-like nose and a charming attitude. My grandmother welcomed this newcomer as all her children had grown up and she had nobody to get involved in.

With the time, Rossie became her shadow; to such an extent that grandma had to take her to her relatives’ house to Moradabad, whenever she visited them. As time passed, my grandmother’s hair turned grey and Rossie’s coat turned dull. What remained constant was their unconditional love.

Finally, the black day arrived. Rossie breathed her last in my grandmother’s lap. My grief-stricken grandmother did not cook or eat for days. Her death had created a void in every family member’s life that was hard to fill.

Since my early childhood, I had been hearing about Rossie through my grandmother. Being an adamant animal lover, somewhere inside my heart, I felt connected to Rossie deeply. I was moved by the touching demise of this pet and was determined to bring a new companion for myself and my grandmother and today we are blessed with Mischief. Though he cannot fill the void created by Rossie, he has become an inseparable part of our life.

–Kanupriya Agarwal, New Delhi

In memory of Richie

Richie… When I say Richie today there is an absolute feeling of numbness within me. I’m completely speechless and cold feet. Richie, smart and very handsome! He was my three years old black Labrador.

I got married in 2009, but I came into Richie’s life a few months earlier to my marriage. Richie was brought

Remembrance

Richie taking a leisurely walk

up on vegetarian food and I still remember smuggling non-vegetarian delights to him. I soon realised I too would be a vegetarian Gujarati Jain from a fish loving Bengali.

First sight…

Initially I didn’t like Richie, he wasn’t kept upto the standard how I visualised a pet should be kept. But once I got married, Richie grew on me – we just became friends and then he became my baby.

Naughty boy…

Richie was vocal and a complete brat, he would love to bark the whole day at strays, people entering, etc making his presence felt. I was worried that the neighbours would object to the noise but he had little care. He would hate the driver, he would hate the domestic help, he would hate anyone who would come close to his food, even though he didn’t eat his plain roti for hours. In due course he saw me around and realised I was here to stay. We started to look at each other.

We became friends…

Richie knew I cared for him. I started bathing him. We became so close that even if I put soap on his face, neck, tail and splashed water on him, he accepted it. When I looked at him and nodded my head, he knew I was calling him. He came, kept his head on my lap and slept for a bit. I began to become a part of his life, he felt secure and forgot barking. I used to ensure he was clean even after his walks. He would get restless whenever I was absent. He was a watchdog but after I came into his life, he became a pet dog. He had a bed to sleep and a fan on for him. He was my handsome hunk.

My little baby…

Due to neglect his ear underwent an operation and after his operation for a week he slept with me in my room. I used to make him sleep on my lap like a small baby and he felt comfortable. Taking care of Richie had completely become my job. His food, drinking water, taking him for walks, everything was my job and I loved doing it. He listened to whatever I said. When I was eight months pregnant, I used to tell, “Richie, I’m pregnant please don’t pull me.” Trust me, he listened to me. Then when my daughter Zia was born, I was away to my mom’s place and always enquired about my older baby- Richie. Each time I travelled, Richie used to miss me and stop eating. I had to come back and hand-feed him.

Richie’s sister Zia…

When I gave my time to Zia, Richie didn’t like it initially but he realised the baby is a part of the family and he accepted and greeted her with joy. Time passed by and I got busy with Zia and her upbringing, he even realised and understood that. He missed the time we used to spend. He loved boiled pasta, fried rice, Marie Gold biscuits beside his plain roti or paav. He would get the smell of pasta boiling and start sniffing and enter the kitchen to ask me to give him some right away.

Untimely adieu…

I was away for 10 days, he was suffering from tick fever. When I came back, I did what I could, but it was too late. In the end, things went out of hand and he passed away on 4th July 2012. I cried a lot and begged him for forgiveness keeping my head on him. But he was gone. Gone away to God! Richie I miss you a lot. You were my angel. Sorry once again and always. Forgive me -Yours Tuli.

Bambie teaches us how to keep faith

“Hmm… It’s 4:30 pm already. Does anyone realise it’s my tea and biscuit time? Woof! Woof! Where is everybody?” In walked Asha with a small cup of tea and four Marie biscuits and promptly came Bambie’s bright pink tongue out, licking her own nose and mouth.

My 11 years old German Shepherd, Bambie, suffered from hip dysplasia, a physical ailment which affects most shepherds in their old age. She was rendered immobile to the extent that she couldn’t walk, stand or change positions without her pet parent’s intervention. In the two and half years that she suffered this condition, Bambie, through her behaviour and spirit, taught me many lessons about life. The strongest and most powerful one was ‘faith’. Would any human being be able to exercise faith unconditionally in such a situation? Well, my guess is as good as yours!

Never-say-die spirit…

For a dog who couldn’t speak, couldn’t walk, couldn’t play, Bambie not only displayed a ‘never-say-die’ spirit but also she was an epitome of faith. Having to live under a condition in which we completely depend on others for our survival, can break the will and resolve of even the strongest among humans. Imagine then, what it can do to an animal? Of course, an animal would become angry, snappy, unhappy, hopeless and frustrated. Did Bambie become any of those? Never! Not for a single day or a minute or a second.

The same old ways…

An Ode to Brownie
(14th February 2006 – 1st April 2012)

We have got you home when you were few days old, We remember vividly that you could not walk or hold. Your stories of victory were always narrated, said and told. You were featured in a magazine with your picture so bold. I can’t just get over the fun we had with you as I unfold. You gave great company to Amyra without a wink, Trust me little Brownie you will be missed and was never a weak link. Loads of cuddles, hugs and kisses… R.I.P

Sunanda Gulati, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad

Bambie’s faith in herself, in us, in God was so resolute that it shone from her eyes. Her level of patience reached unimaginable heights. Her ability to surrender completely to us, to God and to nature came only from the fact that her faith was undying. There was never a flicker of doubt, anger, frustration or hopelessness in her demeanor. She continued to behave and live the way she always had when she was healthy, continued to be feisty, loving, funny and above all peaceful.

She knew that she will receive her share of tid-bits from our plates, knew that her schedule will be kept and followed. Knew that she will receive her share of love from everyone she came in contact with and she knew that her illnesses will be treated immediately.

Nothing got changed…

She had the knack of waiting patiently in complete faith without any behavioural changes. Never one to cringe from expressing and showering her love, she was equally demanding of ours. Such was her persona and charisma that everyone at home would almost always be in the same room as her. While we thought that we were reworking our schedules in a way that she was never alone at home, or that her routine was not disturbed, it was in fact her faith that caused the sequence of events to happen according to her needs and requirements.

Lessons about life…

Bambie taught me the beauty of living a life full of faith! She taught me that, while it was important to fight out unwanted situations, it was equally important to surrender in complete faith. To let go of situations that were beyond our control, and to try and see the positives instead. She taught me to believe in myself and the people who loved me, and above all, to have and practice unquestionable faith in God and in nature. I was lucky and blessed to share my life with Bambie, to share the good and, not so good phases with her, to love her and receive her love in return and, to learn from her some very valuable lessons about life.

Openly communicate…

If we look around us and observe our animal friends, we will realise that they communicate with us at all levels, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We only need to be open to receive their communication and learn from them. They are most in synch with nature and, it’s true, there can be no better teacher than nature itself!

The magical power of my dog

My pet dog was the secret behind my education strange but true. We attribute our education to our teachers and institutions so do I; besides them I attribute it to Sultan my dog, who was the reason behind my getting the most prestigious award for Spanish Language, The Rafal Izubita, my Scholarship and my job in IIT New Delhi.

Sultan had come in my life after an incidence in my college days of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). When I had missed a Sunday afternoon weekly exam, due to cynophobia, a fear of dogs which was embedded in me since my childhood, for me they were humongous, blood drinking, flesh eating monsters of the Mesozoic Era of the dinosaurs and I felt time had dwindled them into dogs. All prepared I was, to give the exam, as I pulled the lever to open the car door, in the deserted parking of JNU. Three dogs who sat at a little distance caught my eye. Hoping that they would go away, with no movement from their side, I called up all my class mates but as it was destined for me, I could not reach anyone, with all mobiles switched off due to the exam; like a prisoner I sat, waiting for some divine help but nothing happened and already half an hour into the exam, feeling helpless I decided to drive back home.

First meeting…

My parents were surprised, when I returned home early, I narrated to them, that as usual my fear of dogs

remembrance

Natalia and Sultan

had triumphed over me, so to find a solution to it, the next day I saw my mother carrying my biggest enemy a puppy in her arms, before I could realise, he was on the floor, running all over making me shout and cry. My reflexes had already started the rescue operation for myself, by making me climb on the study table and screaming my lungs out, but unperturbed by the frenzy which was griping me, my rival the black Labrador puppy stood there on the floor with his eyes staring at me, till the maid my rescuer carried him away to the study room. When he left the room, I could feel my nerves calming down. I pleaded my mother to leave him back, but on the contrary she insisted that I should give him two biscuits, my spontaneous reaction was never. My mother’s coaxing forced me, to be on the mission which was no less than a war for me, only with my head peeping inside the study room and my army of two maids standing besides me to shield me, in a fraction of a second I threw the biscuits towards him, while he was tightly leashed to the window knob.

The persuaded regularity of throwing biscuits towards him, by my mother, had narrowed the gap between us and time had made the loathing enemy, whom I had named Sultan, my best friend, switching off all the buzzing panic alarms in my brain and wiping out all fears.

Inspiring friend…

Little did I know when I had seen him for the first time, that he would be my best friend and companion in my JNU days, where every day was a battle against the unending exams, and term papers, he would sit for hours underneath my chair in my room, giving me company, at times we both enjoyed our late night drinks, a hot cup of coffee for me and some milk for him, while I was awake all alone late at night, busy burning my brain cells, he would wake up with me when the early morning alarm rang and snuggle in my blanket, while I had to mug up the answers of Latin American history in Spanish Language.

The pressure of reading unending Spanish novels, which he always motivated me to read them aloud, making me feel that he was the most interested audience to them, while he sat next to me completely motionless, with a deep engrossed look on his face as though he was enacting a role from those novels, my grammar was practiced by giving him orders, before the oral exam I would exercise Spanish with him, as he was the mute listener who always gave me the confidence that whatever I said was right. May be without his company I would have never studied hard enough to get the scholarships and the awards.

Final adieu…

The day after my Masters exam, Sultan had passed away in my room, where my beautiful journey with him had begun, where I was introduced to his world of canines. He was destined to go away from my life, my heart felt his absence and the vacuum he had left when I held the scholarship and the award in my hand, in reality it was because of him I had received those awards. He is no longer there but the imprints he has left in my life have taught me that dogs are as human as we are, they experience the same pain and emotions with the only difference they don’t have words in their mouth to express them, the magical power of my dog who had walked into my life as an enemy had changed my heart from it being a dog hater to a dog lover. Today, I can proudly say dogs truly define their breed which spelt backwards means “God”. I wish to open a hospital for dogs and work for them; I owe it to my best friend Sultan.

Home is not the same without you Toffee!

It seems so empty and lifeless after the moment you left me too soon! I remember the day you came into my life in 2002. I remember how much we all troubled you when you were a puppy, patting you, hugging you, picking you, playing with you when the only thing you wanted to do was sleep. You probably don’t know but you touched my life in ways nobody else could. You are too special for me. You opened my eyes to the world of animals, the creatures of God who have a special place in this universe and are often cruelly treated by us humans. You melted my heart, provided me insight to the lives of dogs and other animals. You were not a dog, you were like my sister; we both grew up together. I wouldn’t have been the same without you. You were an extraordinary soul. Your space can never be filled by anyone else.

I wish I could hug you once more, I visualise myself hugging you, I wish it was real. I wish you were with me till the end of my time. I wish you never left me. I wish you were there in my life, I feel I can’t be happy because you are not there to see me; you are not there to share my world. I can’t forget you Toffee. I can’t forget your beautiful, brown eyes and your beautiful soul. You will be alive in my memories. If you are watching over me, you will know you will never be forgotten.

I miss you so much, Toffee. I miss your soft brown eyes staring at me trying to understand what I am saying. I miss you looking at me in the mornings, waiting for me to wake up. I miss you wagging your tail and jumping around when I come home. I miss you sleeping with me with your head on the pillow. I miss you frolicking around the house. I miss your presence and I will miss you till my end, when I hope to join you so that we can be together forever.

I love you, Toffee!

My friend, my mentor… I will always love you!

We met each other as kids and grew up together. When I first lay eyes on him, he was very tiny, but full of vigour and enthusiasm. He believed he could take on anyone, never mind their size. He knew he was capable of anything. This was the reason he would often get into scrapes with the other big fellows. My mother very aptly named him Alexander.

For his name, though, he was a fairly small dog; a Pomeranian – the kind with long scruffy hair and a small remembranceface. To me, though, he was the most handsome dog I had ever seen. We had an understanding. Whatever I felt, he would express. I’d feel happy seeing my father when he came home from work, and Alexander would wag his furry little curly tail gleefully. If I felt distrust for a stranger, he growled his low car-engine-like growl.

I was 17 when I lost my father. He was in the hospital for only a week before he died. It happened all too soon for me to absorb anything. I was in a state of shock.

Alexander had gone into hiding that day. All that day and for the next two days we both whimpered and refused food. He missed my father as much as I did. He was his father too. On the third day, I still hadn’t eaten anything and nobody could coax me into having even a morsel. Alexander came out of his hiding that day. He came and sat down beside me, and laid his head in my lap. Then he got up, licked my face and went on to eat his own food. I guess it was his way of telling me that it was time for me too to accept what had happened and move on.

Alexander became closer to me after my father passed away. We would wake up together, eat together and go out for long walks together. It was on these outings that I would have heart-to-heart talks with him. There were more than a handful of people living in the neighbourhood who thought that I had lost my mind. Not Alexander though. I know it must sound crazy, but it was as if he understood everything I was telling him. He was like the close confidante who silently listens as you pour your heart out and never breathes a word of it to anyone else.

I had a number of crying spells for days. All of a sudden my mood would switch and I’d be melancholy and depressed. Alexander would always be by my side, even though I’d sometimes yell at him out of sheer frustration. Not once did he turn his back on me.

He may have done it unintentionally, but he would perform funny little antics which would have me laughing till I thought my ribs would break. He helped me to overcome the grief and accept life for what it was.

Eventually, I got admission into a dental college and I had to move away and live in a hostel. He would patiently wait for me on weekends. It was as if he knew, my mother told me, that I was to come on that day. He would sit with his nose pinned to the door till I was home and once he saw me he would wag his tail as hard as he could.

I was in the second year when his attacks began. At first, they were only isolated occurrences happening once in three months. But soon they began recurring almost every day. He would let out a shrill yelp and then his body would go stiff, his eyes would roll and his back would arch ominously till I felt he was going to break it. Once the rigour had passed, he would urinate involuntarily and lie down for hours without doing anything. It was as if his energy was slowly slipping away. It was hard to see this once lively dog reduced to such a heartrending state.

Yet, you could say that he gave me time to prepare myself for his going. No rude shocks for me this time. I knew that his time was drawing close. One day when I came back from the hostel he came, a little unsteady on his feet, and sat beside me. I knew that this was it. I took him, his body frail and light now from the tumour in his brain, and lay him in my lap. He had one last attack, and then he was gone… forever.

I learned a lot from his life. He only knew one thing, and that was to love unconditionally. This April, it was his eighth death anniversary. I will miss him forever.

Memoirs of K9 delights!

Memoirs of K9 delights!Moments of love, laughter and lament– that’s what Mr. and Mrs. Kumar experienced, alike all pet parents. The couple has been blessed with the company of K9 for the last four and a half decades. The couple bring alive some memories…

Life without doggies would have been incomplete for Vinod and his wife Anjali. The couple, now settled in Faridabad, have travelled extensively. Wherever they went, they were followed by a furry friend. “Our first pet dog was Polo, an Alsatian who came into our family more than four decades back,” remembered Vinod fondly.

The second member after Polo in the family was Tulu, a male Pomeranian, who was a cuddly lapdog. “I shower my love equally to all but my affection for little Tulu was exceptional,” told Anjali, expressing her extra fondness of small breeds. When the family moved to Nigeria in 1982-83, a furry female passenger on board flying to the African country with them was Roshni. “I gave her the name after actor Neetu (Singh) Kapoor’s bungalow with the same name located near our residence during our stay in Mumbai,” she added.

Arrival of F-members…

Polo, Tulu and Roshni were followed by new members in the family whose names are all commonly initiated with the letter ‘F’— Fry, Frosty and Frick—all have shared memorable times with the family. Each being very unique! “Fry was a watchful girl who had the habit of pushing our watchman to the gate,” told Vinod. He added, “Frick doesn’t want anybody around us. He particularly did not let Fry come near us.”

“Frosty was a gentleman who disliked bad manners,” told Vinod mentioning an incident when Frosty got angry with him. That day he and Frosty were on a stroll where they met some stray dogs rushing in to greet the latter. Fearing a brawl among them, Vinod attempted to shoo away the stray buddies by throwing roadside pebbles. His action made Frosty angry, since then, that stray pack became Frosty’s close friends, and among them was Tom, who became his companion.

Moments to cherish…

“Frick loved to dip his mouth into food in search of meat chunks, resulting in a lovely but funny face,” remembered Vinod. Frosty loved to roll on bed, which was not allowed by Anjali at all. So it was Vinod who used to pamper him up, whenever the door creaked downstairs, Frosty would easily sense Anjali’s arrival and jumped out to lie down on the floor as though he had been there all the time.

Frick was also very naughty and was an expert in hiding the maid’s slippers in the garden. “He would bury the footwear and then sits silently as if nothing has happened,” told Vinod laughingly. Vinod appreciates how Frick helped him to maintain his fitness. “As a routine, we two used to walk around 7-8 km everyday,” he mentioned.

Memories…

They are gone and the pain of losing each member has been immense. Frosty died recently due to electric shock by a live wire which fell in their garden one rainy day. Frick was really saddened and hid in an isolated place for a long time after Frosty’s death,” told Anjali sadly.

Frosty’s death was shocking not only to his family but also to everyone around including Tom. “Tom refused to come to our place after the untimely demise of Frosty,” told Vinod. Keeping a pet is a great matter of responsibility. Recalling the past, Vinod wishes they had more knowledge on canine health care – some sad situations could have been prevented.

Message of love…

As pawssionate pet parents, Vinod and Anjali wish to deliver a message of love to everyone. “Dogs want to give love to us. So, we should return love to them too,” said Vinod. In the same tune, Anjali agrees that dogs are not opportunists. “They are devoted to help others and are ready to sacrifice for them,” she mentioned. “Beyond all that hugging and kissing, we should develop an inner feeling of relationship with them,” said Anjali.

Sweet memories of our beloved Renee!

(31st Oct 2006 – 23rd Dec 2010)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘love’ everyone and ‘be loved’!!!
You will always be in my
‘heart” and ‘all our prayers’!!!