“Paw-Tails” l May-June-2005

My canine Family

Most of us are aware that human being is the only species that has the power and capability to protect other species. Yet, only a few of us choose to make use of that power and give voice to the mute. Those who share my emotions will also share the warmth that courses through the heart each time a pet bestows her life in your trust.

I became an animal lover ever since a pet dog named Buddy came into our family. Looking back now, had it not been for the series of cats and dogs we had as pets, I would have remained a lesser human being. Today, I am richer as a person because I have discovered the capacity to love and protect those that depend so much on us for their survival and continuity in this beautiful world.
My world revolves around Koko, the father dog; Kajol, the mamma dog and Koju, their six-month-old son. Koko arrived 4 years back on my doorstep, one rainy morning, shivering, hungry and obviously tame. He wolfed down the bread and milk I gave him. He was there again, on the doorstep for lunch, which he gobbled with equal gusto. Slowly, over the days, he wormed his way into the kitchen and finally my heart. Later, I discovered, his previous owners abandoned him from the nearby tea garden.
Koko is shy of riding in vehicles, but he loves to follow my car to my office, just a short distance away in the campus. He sits guard in the parking area until its time for lunch break. When he sees me approaching, he howls with pleasure and speeds across to our bungalow to outrace my car. He feasts on his favourite meal, rests a while and follows me to duty again.
Life for Koko was doing fine until he began to feel lonely in that special way. He disappeared for long hours. There was a moony look in his eyes and his interest in food wavered. I realised that he was in love! I sought to meet his girl. One fine day, there she was! Honey coloured with brown melting eyes, overweight body and a voracious appetite. Koko dug out a hidden roti from his hidey-hole in the garden and proffered it to her. Her eyes must have done the trick, I surmised. I christened her Kajol. She too, I was informed later, had been abandoned by her previous owners. The pain of abandonment must have brought them together.
Time saw them become a regular team and permanent members in my family. They fill up the loneliness with their unconditional love, non-judgmental acceptance and idiosyncrasies. Over the years, they have become parents quite a few times and endured the agony of being separated from their puppies. I suffer along with them each time this happens.
Both are quite mellow now and doze most of their time on their favourite couches before the TV. I have learnt from them a lot about trust, being non-judgmental and having healing faith in the power of being alive. I cannot imagine life without them. Each time I see their sleeping forms; I pray to God to send such angels to every home that deserves them.
– Farah Haque, Assam