Break the rules—Making of a pet parent


Varsha Verma with Rocky
There are no rules in my house now as Rocky knows no rules. He thinks he is a human too. His love for the family is immense, but he knows how to take back love as well. If he can melt the heart of a non-dog lover like me, he can make anyone fall in love with him. Life is rocking with our little Rocky!
“Mom, he is so sweet,” exclaimed my son Vinayak. “Hmmm…cute!” I muttered to myself as I looked at the two-month-old brown pup at my friend’s place. My friend had posted on the closed Whatsapp group that her pair of dogs had given birth to a litter, which she was offering for adoption. The same day my son and my husband asked me to bring home a pup. I thought it is a God’s message that he was destined for our family and so I offered to adopt one but asked her to take care of him until he is two months old. The day had arrived and I had to pick up the pup. I was more scared than the pup. Vinayak had already thought of the name – Rocky! So here we were to take Rocky home!

Becoming a dog mom

So, we picked up Rocky, Vinayak was beaming with joy and carried him to our car. He did not seem afraid and sat on his lap quietly. He seemed happy and I was terrified. Finally, I am going to live with a dog. Needless to say, I was never a dog lover but working for a dog magazine had made me tolerate dogs. But I never thought I would be a dog mom myself!

Fits rule broken

At home, Rocky was carried straight into our bedroom. The first rule – No pets allowed in bedroom – was busted instantly. “He needs to sleep with us, this is his first day at our home,” said Vinayak. The lights were kept on so that we can keep a watch on Rocky. I slept on the far off corner of the bed, so that Rocky can’t reach me. In the middle of the night, I felt some weight on myself. I opened my eyes only to look into Rocky’s face. I shrieked with terror, the little one became terrified himself. My husband woke up and cuddled him next to himself. That was our first real meeting!

Second rule gone

Rocky made his home under Vinayak’s bed, retreating under it whenever he wanted to be alone. Life started revolving around Rocky – his meals, his nature’s calls, vaccinations, etc. I was still afraid to touch and pat him though he tried coming close to me. One day, seeing me in a good mood, he touched my slipper and looked at me. I smiled at him. He lifted his paw and kept it close to my toe and looked again. I smiled back. Gradually, he lifted his paw and placed it on my feet and stole my heart. I smiled at him and stroked him. He was elated. It made me think that he is as emotional as a child, how can I not love him? My second rule gone – I will not let him touch me.

Third rule went off

But, I still did not touch him myself. One day, Rocky climbed the first four stairs of our duplex house. But, he was scared to go further up and he did not know how to climb down. He started whimpering. I rushed towards him and found him standing on the landing of the staircase, unable to make the next move. As I was alone in the house, I had no option but to pick him in my arms and carry him down. I immediately washed my hands and heard the whimpering sound again. God! Rocky was again standing at the same place, waiting for me to pick him up. That became a game whenever he wanted my attention! And my third rule went off the shelf – I will not touch him!

My lost lover

Gradually, Rocky became a part of my life. If I am late to rise in the morning, he will wake me up. Sometimes, he will just sit near my pillow and wait for me to open my eyes and take him out. He has become my constant companion, following me wherever I go. When I am working on my laptop or watching TV, he will sit at an angle from where he can look at me whenever he opens his eyes. My husband often jokes that he is my lost lover.
Every morning, when I sit down with a newspaper and a cup of tea, Rocky climbs and sits on the newspaper, asking me to pat him before I read it. This is a daily routine which he follows every day. When I cook something nice in the kitchen, he sits there patiently for his share. Sometimes, he becomes restless, forcing me to give his share before anybody else eats.

Everybody’s companion

After all, Rocky is not a one person dog. He equally loves Vinayak and waits for him to come back from school. Till the time he comes home, he is a boring dog, who just wants to sleep. The moment Vinayak is home, he becomes a crazy tornado, jumping up and down. Every night, he waits for my husband to come back from work. That’s the time when his loyalties shift and he becomes my husband’s dog. He does not know me at that time. However hard I might try, he will not even look at me and ignores me completely. He sits with my husband and makes him pat him for at least an hour. Only then, he lets anybody else come near him.

Four-legged human

There are no rules in my house now as Rocky knows no rules. He thinks he is a human too. He sits on the sofa, sleeps on a bed, washes his feet every time he comes back from a walk and throws his starry tantrums. Life has changed, there are many interesting moments and lovely antics, which keep us amused. His love for the family is immense, but he knows how to take back love as well. If he can melt the heart of a non-dog lover like me, he can make anyone fall in love with him. Life is rocking, with our little Rocky!