My life has always been surrounded by dogs. My first partner in crime was a beautiful Cocker Spaniel named Tipsy, who entered my life when I was four years old. It was always comforting to know that after a long and tiring day at school, someone would be waiting for me at home. Even though I was too young to realize it, but in retrospect, I have realized that dogs are the most beautiful friends to have; their unconditional love is not bound with expectations in return. There are numerous memories of my childhood spent with her, playing football with her on the terrace, taking her for long walks and the car rides that she always looked forward to. I cannot forget the look in her eyes when I was angry with her. It made me revoke all the feelings of anger, and within moments, we would be playing once again.
We all know that everyone ages with time, so did Tipsy. Her youthful charm got snatched away when the doctors detected that she had a kidney failure. Those last few trips to the veterinary surgeon’s, the painful blur of syringes and the desperate measures taken to hold on to Tipsy, indeed taught me a lot about life. There I saw, the limp and almost lifeless body of my dear friend, who I could not help anymore.The ten years of her companionship came to an end with one life-changing decision. It was too hard to watch her suffer. She slipped into coma a day before she died. As I called out her name, she just stared into vain, unaware of everything happening around her. It was hard thereafter, to come back home and not find her waiting for me. Sometimes I’d enter the house calling out her name, forgetting that she’s not going to respond to all my calls.
This experience taught me something that human beings never could. The end always comes, but life has to move on. The only way to deal with losses is to remember the good times. There are countless memories of her that will keep me smiling for a lifetime. It has been five years since she passed away. My family has increased three-fold, with the inclusion of another Cocker Spaniel, also named Tipsy, and her kids, Kajol and Nepu. My life is complete once again, and I have learned the virtue of loving unconditionally from my experiences with them.
Sometimes people ask me how I managed to move on. It’s simple, those cherished memories of Tipsy are relived every time I enter my room, greeted by my dogs, the background provided by my room’s wall, with Tipsy’s portrait and her last collar.