Love lost…time and again

Dogs are emotional beings and they crave for love and attention from their human parents. Like children, dogs should not be handed over to anybody. It is highly stressful for them if they are deprived of the company of the person they bond with. Adopting a dog is a commitment for his life. They can wilt away if they feel unloved and unwanted, just as Polo, a Pomeranian, was heartbroken when his first love, left him totally sad and heartbroken. Here Polo shares the agony he felt when his responsibility was handed over from one person to the next, again and again…

 

Born to a beautiful mother in a reputed kennel in Delhi, among a litter of four, I had all the chances needed for a lovely beginning to life. My world of bliss was first shattered when one fine day I and my siblings were weaned away. This was just the beginning and a few days later, I and one of my brothers were put in a basket and taken to a clinic far away. It took us a while to understand that we had been put on display for adoption. An old couple was waiting for us and after weighing all pros and cons, they opted for my brother. For two days, I stayed there, waiting alone, missing the wonderful warmth of my mother and feeling lonely and scared. After spending the nights in darkness, my only solace was the kind-hearted assistant at the clinic who used to come at 8 in the morning.

Two days later, a ray of hope came in the form of two young men – Dinesh and Deepak, who walked into the clinic. Dinesh was an animal lover and looked like he had experience in keeping dogs. The gentle and affectionate way, in which he looked me over, made me fall for him. He also seemed to have appreciated the manner in which I demonstrated my liking for him. We clicked and after consulting his friend Deepak and the vet, he chose me. I was happy that finally I would go to a home with the person I love. But alas, my happiness was very short-lived, because to my utter disappointment, Dinesh had picked me up – not for himself, but for his fiancé Sonali, who had recently lost her pet and was very upset.

Luckily, Sonali was pleased to see me and amidst the squeals of laughter, I got a little excited and eased myself. Sonali was mad at me and I got my first lesson in toilet training, the hard way. The Varshney family was very strict. Toilet training period as well as my adolescent days, were spent almost in dire misery. I did become a well-disciplined dog but it was discipline based on fear and not on love and understanding. I even barked at their will – infact I was reduced to a robot. My fur lost its charm as I was not regularly groomed. Otherwise, all my basic needs were well taken care of.

I missed Dinesh terribly and often pined for him. Whenever Dinesh visited Sonali, he spent some quality time with me. I would simply freak out with gay abandon around him as his mere presence transformed me into the sprightly pup I used to be. And so, my joy knew no bounds when Sonali and Dinesh tied the knot two-and-a-half years later. Since their house was being renovated, I got to shift with them only after five months. I was on cloud nine since I could meet and play with Dinesh at least once a day. But, since both Sonali and Dinesh were working, I was left alone for long hours, the thing I was not used to at Varshney’s house. Things improved further when the couple shifted to their family house and I got company of Dinesh’s parents.

Somehow, things did not work out well between Dinesh and Sonali and they separated after five years of marriage. I was lucky to be left behind with Dinesh. We developed a deep bond and drew certain strength from each other’s company. Gradually, Dinesh moved on with life and married his junior colleague Neena two years later. I was little apprehensive about how Neena would receive me, but all my doubts were laid to rest when to my pleasant surprise I saw that Neena was an ardent animal lover.

I was being passed along and finally was made to stay with Dinesh’s father Gopal, who kindly took me in his study. Even though the room was cluttered with little space for me, but it could have been the best arrangement in those circumstances. Dinesh continued to spend some time everyday with me. Life became even more interesting and beautiful with the birth of Dinesh’s daughter – Ishwari. How I wished I could also father a kid but my natural urges were not treated vital. Life moved on and Dinesh’s parents were considerate and even affectionate at times, but we were not very close.

I had submitted myself to the fate, the final blow came when Dinesh and Neena shifted abroad for better future prospects. There was considerable excitement all around but nobody spared a thought of the emotional bankruptcy this would cause to a poor canine. Though I was definitely looked upon as a part and parcel of the Dinesh family, nobody even in their dreams raised the issue of their taking me along with them. I felt hurt and abandoned. How could Dinesh leave me like this, I was his responsibility after all? I could not come to terms with the fact that I would never ever see Dinesh’s lovely adorable face again in my life.

I lost all interest in life and stopped eating. At first, Dinesh’s parents thought it was a temporary phase. Perhaps they did not realize the depth of canine love! I was heartbroken and wanted to end my life. All these years I lived for Dinesh, who had now abandoned me. Finally, my soul departed from my body. Strange but true, I felt happy.

While my soul still lingered around, I saw Dinesh’s parents come in and find me gone. I was surprised to see that they were grieving for me. I must admit that it brought some peace to my soul. They gave me a decent burial and bade me farewell with a heavy heart and tearful eyes. I let out a soft “woof” of thanks to them, which I am sure in their heart of hearts they must have heard. I also let out a sigh in the air for Dinesh, whose life I so much wanted to be a part of. I took a last look at the human world – which was not very kind to me – and left for my heavenly abode, with the hope that no canine in this world would go through this kind of agony again. If you love us, love us for our lifetime…and we’ll love you all the more.

– by KRG Nair

Sammy….an angel, a compassionate pal and our Love

We all have one life, and its up to us to live it to the fullest, and those who are able to do that will always leave loving memories. Sammy, our loving pooch is someone we can never forget. Sammy, a German Shepherd, was the brightest amongst his siblings and at a tender age of three months, he was adopted by a family. But as the initial euphoria of bringing home a new puppy wore off, Sam became sad and lonely. He developed a small rash on his back. Soon Sammy’s inactiveness and the growing rash, made the owners abandon him into a shelter…all at the tender age of 4 months.

His first night at the shelter was lonely…Sam was tearful. He had to adapt to this new way of life and Sammy did it with courage and determination. It was then, that Sammy came into our lives when he was almost 5 months old…during a visit to the shelter; I spotted him like a lion amongst the rest of the flock, majestic, head high and shining eyes, the look of the future.

Sammy became a part of our household and a brother of other 3 boys (dogs), Nicky, Benji and Dumpy. Having been vulnerable as a young puppy, he really wanted to become part of the “boys” group and get their love and protection. He therefore began by sharing his dog bones and this act of compassion brought him not only the joy of sharing but motherly love from “Dumpy”, a truly, magnificent, loving and compassionate Labrador.

Sammy was the love of our life… just his presence allowed us to explore different lonely paths, which would have otherwise been unsafe. We walked together each day for the next 9 years. Sammy gave us a direction, a purpose, a reason for being. His love was so overwhelming; an unconditional love nowhere to be found.

Once during his daily walk, Sammy came across the family, which had adopted him as a puppy and abandoned him in a shelter. But, he was calm and composed…showing no signs of grudges, and we were moved.

Sammy died at the age of 9; due to a cancerous growth in his body…even the best of human and veterinary help could not save him. Even in the last stages, though his legs were gone, he held his head high, his face still looked like a lion yet his tired eyes would still talk to us, it was only his heart that was willing to play ball, to chase a cat, to jump on our bed… We loved him, cuddled him and could not let him go. But, it’s the biggest truth of life and we have no other option, but to accept it. So, we bid a tearful adieu to him, and wished peace to his departed soul.

Bhagyashree Ranade

Loving Ladli

‘Death is sure to every born’, but the pain of losing one’s dearest is immense, for me losing Ladli – an English Mastiff was the same. It was 18th January 2006, Wednesday, when my one-and-a-half-year old angel – Ladli departed, to an unknown abode forever.
Ladli, a fun loving kid, came to us in May 2004, just 68-days-old; she filled our lives with laughter and joy, within a few moments of her arrival at Chatterjee Villa.
Since childhood I was charmed by English Mastiff’s demenour, gait, and sound physical fitness. And the long yearning to pet EM finally got over with the arrival of my angel – Ladli. Love, ineffable affinity and proper care helped her grow mentally and physically, and in about 7-months’ time, she gained 60 kgs weight. As one of the contenders in dog show, organised by North Calcutta Kennel Club and Burnpur Kennel Club, my beloved Ladli won several prizes.
We all were one happy family, playing together, going out for morning walks and having loads of fun, until one dreadful day – 15th Jan, when she came limping to me.  All the medications and treatments failed to save her and three days later, she bade final goodbye to all of us while resting on my lap.
Her arrival to this harsh and relative world of stark realities and departure to eternity in such a short span will remain a living memory for all of us. Let LADLI’s soul remain in peace. In the remembrance of Ladli I would like to reiterate a saying…
“The old man’s guardian and the young man’s friend;
Dog is the only creature faithful to the end.”
– Prasanjit Chatterjee

Doggie Bhayya,I miss you!

When I was born, my dog was 4 years and 3 months elder to me, so I called him Doggie Bhayya. He used to bark at all those who used to touch me. My mother was very proud of him. Today, I am 13 years old and I recently lost my Doggie Bhayya. He was suffering from cataract and lately was not eating his food properly. We all knew he was going to die and it was very painful to watch him suffer.
We have buried him in the shade of the bamboo groves in the corner of our garden. Now, that place is so tranquil, yet full of life. When I feel the stones covering his grave, they feel hard, yet there is a sort of tenderness inside them, which reminds me of my brother. At times, when all is quiet, I can feel his sharp nails on the floor or hear his soft knock at the door. No, he hasn’t left us, he is still there in our hearts and will remain there forever. We love you Doggie Bhayya! May your soul rest in peace.
– Tanya Singh

A tribute to Bonzo

Thank you Bonzo for being part of our lives for 15 years
(June 28, 1990 – May 22, 2005).
No words can express our gratitude for the unconditional love and joy that you gave us and to our friends.
We will always remember your innocence, your ability to express yourself and to communicate with us with your expressive beautiful eyes, voice and gestures.
You understood our feelings and responded
with your caring and protective nature.

You were our friend, companion and family member.
You were the only pet to have shared our moments
of grief when Daddy and Mummy passed
away in 2003.

What makes you even more special is that you bravely endured eight major operations of cancer only to be with us and fill our lonely lives with your
love and care.

Please forgive us for having caused you so much pain in final days of your treatment.
We will always miss you!!

God bless you and may your soul rest in peace.
–Neena, Gogi and Romey Singh, Delhi

Goodbye, Max!

Max was 12 years old. But like a child, he always wanted attention. Every time he felt hungry or thirsty, a growl was enough, and our attendants would rush to his aid and feed him. Good old Max, a majestic St. Bernard, one of our permanent boarders. He must have been his owner’s love and pride, such was his majestic appearance! But with the passage of time, he became just another old and ailing dog – needing help to pull on with life. Due to his age, Max slowly became paralysed from the right side. He could no longer go out for walks, could not sit up and relax. He had to be physically carried out to the terrace whenever he needed some fresh air. Our lobby where Max slept, looked smaller than its real size, because Max used to lie there, occupying almost the entire space. A harmless, friendly dog, he would never bark at any intruder, but only when he wanted something or was uncomfortable. In our adjacent office, we were so used to hearing his occasional barks. In July last year, a television crew came to our office to do a story on benevolence towards helpless animals. Max was featured in this news story. Around this time, Max gave us reasons to be seriously concerned. Our vets, who were regularly supervising his state of health, informed us about his renal failure and general deterioration. Max died and left us forever. Three days after his death a TV programme featuring Max was aired. Seeing him alive on the TV screen was sad. It was difficult to believe that we will not see him again or hear his bark. Now when we come to work, the otherwise clumsy lobby where Max used to sit looks so spacious and clean, but its emptiness claws our hearts. Work goes on as usual, crisis calls for helpless animals pour in from different corners of the city… ambulances get lined up for the day’s rescue work… new challenges… and new member pets coming in to stay… Well, we remember the poem: “Life marches on but memories stay… torturing silently the rest

Pia: my golden lady

had grown up with dogs all around and Pia was one of my favourites. She was a beautiful golden lab. Her walk was like a little lady, she was very fond of the gardener and would carry his tools in a sack to help him do his work. They made quite a pair in the morning at 6 o’ clock, right till it was time for him to go home! Every evening she would take a regular splash in the pond and settle herself in our drawing room, waiting for visitors. She loved people and would listen to our conversation by turning her head from side to side, acknowledging whatever was being said and by whom.
The happy and affectionate Lab wormed her way into everybody’s heart. Soon as dad’s staff car used to arrive, she would run out and take his stick. She was trained by an army dog trainer and knew all the commands.
Moreover, she was sensitive to everybody’s feelings too. I remember one time I was being yelled at for my Hindi marks which had plummeted rock bottom, so I ran to my bedroom and burst into tears. Pia ran after me, jumped on the bed and licked my tears away.
Pia is no more now. Many years later, I went to Lucknow Cantt, visited our old bungalow and saw her grave near the boundary wall. I said a little prayer for my golden lady, Pia!!

Teddy touched our hearts deep

The phrase “every dog has his dog” always crossed my mind when I used to see my dog lying flat on his back with his four paws dangling in air. Teddy was gifted by my mother on my birthday, making our family members five. He was a white spitz, similar to a snow ball, but we fondly named him teddy bear. He was just opposite to his name as teddy bear means cuddles and teddy would just let us pet him and that too only when he wanted to. Cuddle was a distant dream! Perhaps we should have called him Grizzly bear – cause he was all teeth.
What I loved most about my dog was his attitude. He was the most pampered one in the family and no matter where we were, his thoughts were never out of our minds. He loved to get attention and hated to be ignored. Throwing attitude to his family members was very common. Even if we were 10 minutes late in attending to him, Teddy would simply growl and walk off in the other direction, making you feel like a complete fool. Even though my father was not happy to keep a dog, Teddy managed to melt his heart to the extent that both the males had a mutual and implicit understanding between them.
Every morning when mom used to do pooja in the house and take rounds with the agarbatti, his nostrils and taste buds used to be proactive in the anticipation of the tantalizing ladoos. He was crazy about hot chappatis, which he shared with my parents, each afternoon. Watching him eating a chappati was cute. He used to put the chapatti in his paws and tear it into small pieces.
He never used to like loud noise in the house except for his own bark. Whenever my sister & I used to fight, he used to come in the middle & bark as if telling us to stop. Talk about not liking noise and he simply ignored his natural orchestra. He would snore at different pitches every second.
Also he would step on our bed and God save us if we moved. We would get a sharp snap telling us ‘enough- don’t disturb’. But he was smart enough to jump back on the floor, the moment he heard my father heading towards our room.

But having a pet is not always a fairy tale. Let me share an unusual and embarrassing incident with my dear dog. One day, it was time for his evening walk and he was getting very restless. I tried to pacify him in all possible ways as I was waiting for our house help to take him for a walk. Meanwhile, I was also searching for a book to read. I was sitting on the floor as the bookshelf was low. Just for a fraction of a second, I turned around to see where my doggy was. To my greatest surprise, I saw his bum angled towards my face & saw him fart at that very moment. Oops! That was the major lesson of that day …… Understand the call of nature of your dog! Well, the sad part is, I had to learn it the stinky way!  It was a nightmare for me for several days.
Teddy was the heart of the family. He passed away two years back but his memories are still fresh in our minds. Animals have an uncanny way to teach you love and their faithfulness, love and care touches your heart deep. I know, he will live in our hearts, all our lives …
– Karishma Dewan