Over six years back, I decided to buy a dog as my younger daughter Manvi’s birthday present. The hunt for a ‘manageable breed’ started and finally zeroed down on a not so commonly seen Beagle. It was love at first sight as soon as I set my eyes on this 40-day-old frisky pup. Here’s a recollection.
Muffin was so small that he fit in the cups of my hands and I remember the scream of sheer delight when Manvi cuddled the bundle of joy in her arms. His puppy eyes looked up at us so innocently and we thought we had brought an angel in the house.
Attila the Hun
He could win an award for the worst mannered pup for messing around our newly bought house like Attila the Hun. He chewed up the legs of all our furniture, bit furiously into shoes and bags, tore up magazines, made holes in our sofa cushions and I don’t think we had any pair of socks that did not have a peeping tom in it. Muffin figured he was a force to reckon with and did obey some rules with him around but the moment my husband Ajay’s back was turned, he would be back to his old tricks. We were careful to ensure the main door and gate were closed else he would shoot out like a bullet and gun straight for the dustbins at the park across. When we screamed at him, he would hide under the table and not come out till he was satisfied that we had cooled down.
The only thing that could ever distract Muffin was the lure of food and he could gobble up anything even when he was full. As he grew older, age did not really mellow him down too much and he would reach out for food at the kitchen counter, pull the tablecloth off the dining table so that all the food came within his reach, plonk himself on the sofa refusing to use his own bed. Taking him for a walk was a bit stressful as he would strain at the leash and would want to venture wherever he wanted to go. Some of our friend’s dogs were very obedient and we were advised to hire a trainer to teach him some dog manners. Till a few classes we were ‘ok’ while he was being taught to shake hands, hi five, sit, etc but when the trainer asked for a choke chain to rein him in, we put our foot down. We realised we loved him for what he was and that was the end of disciplining him.
Slowly and steadily our lives started to revolve around Muffin’s schedule and he grew on Ajay so much that his morning schedule was with him completely – starting from fetching newspaper from the ground floor to the first floor (dog treat waiting for him every single time), and while Ajay sipped his tea he would throw one puffed rice at a time and he would jump and deftly catch it in his mouth like a cricketer lunging for the ball during a match! Throughout breakfast time, he would sit like an obedient dog while Ajay fed him egg and papaya. He had bowled
Ajay over completely. Manvi and this dearest furry family member loved playing hide-n-seek and even though he was a hound dog, somehow he could never sniff her out and would keep running and looking for her, till she would call out for him from her hiding place.
Apple of everyone’s eyes
Muffin loved hanging out of the space between two bars in the balcony and passersby would get so fascinated seeing him perched there as he watched the world go by. He was the apple of everyone’s eyes including people staying around us. We would miss him terribly during our family vacations and when we would come back home from anywhere, he was the one whom we all knew would be there to greet us, wagging his tail furiously and running all over the place in excitement. The best way to be welcomed in our own house! He was a companion for each one of us and his selfless love overwhelmed us no end. He would sit beside you when you would shed a tear and lick it off as if saying “It’s ok, life has its ups and downs, you will overcome this too”, he would wag his tail when we would hug him out of joy as if to say “I am happy for you if this makes you happy”. If he was not in the mood to play, we would keep tickling him or punch him lovingly till he would put on his boxing gloves and his eyes would say, “Ok pal – you asked for it!”
The final adieu!
Muffin was quite healthy except that he would get fits off and on that would really wrench our hearts out, but would be fine in a few minutes and so the doctor said it was ok and nothing to worry about. A few days ago, he had another attack that lasted for nearly an hour and no amount of medical help could save the life of our beloved baby. As he breathed his last, the whole world crumbled around us. We tearfully buried him each one of us read out what the adorable & lovable member of our family meant for us.
It had been so sudden and so unexpected that we are left devastated and his presence can be felt everywhere. A strange vacuum and sadness has gripped the entire house. I strongly believe he had come for a purpose in our lives and created an invisible bond amongst us. He taught us to be a child again; to play silly games, to have fun, to loosen up and accept a house which looks and feels like a home. He taught us how to be caring, compassionate and tolerant. He taught us what selfless love is and had a one on one relationship with everyone without any bias for gender, age, class or caste. He taught us how the presence of another joyful being can change a family’s outlook completely. Muffin taught us that love never dies…transforming our lives forever. Thank you Muffin for coming into our lives, leaving behind so many beautiful memories. Thank you Muffin for being just you!