7

A tail of sensory delights…

It would have been Moony’s 17th birthday. It has been 2 years since he has passed on and has been gamboling at the rainbow bridge in a pile of chicken, boiled eggs and sukhi bhel(an Indian snack that he would relish with mom every evening). But the chasm that Moony has left behind  will not be filled easily. I would like a furry sister or brother to come into our lives, but as of now we aren’t ready. A gazillion amazing things have been spoken about how amazing dogs are and how they enrich our lives and every bit is 110% true. But while driving, and reminiscing about my days with Moony, I thought of how he regaled every sense of mine. I thought of how dogs excite, amuse, confuse and delight every human sense. Every pet owner will be able to relate to this, I am sure!
1. Sight : If you haven’t felt a warm gush in your heart at the sight of a dog’s big brown eyes and sloppy, drooly smile, you, my friend, are made of stone. They bring such happiness by just existing in front of your eyes. Have you noticed how warm a dog’s big beautiful eyes are when they are looking at you with all the love their little bodies could hold and quivering from head to tip of the tail for a hug? Have you seen how naughty those same eyes look when your dog has spotted a squirrel and sensed a slack in the leash? I feel giddy just remembering how happy the sight of my dog’s fan-like wagging tail would make me after a long day. The blackberry eyes, the giant smile, that big tummy!
2. Touch : Trust me when I say that no fabric in the world is softer than a new puppy’s pink tummy. No velvet is smoother than running your fingers over a dog’s floppy ears. I used to love patting my dogs legs, right between his thigh and his tummy and even keep my palm there to take in all his warmth. Absolutely nothing beats pulling your dog close to your body like a giant teddy bear at night and just nuzzling into his fur, not even a better half! I miss running my fingers over his temples, on his cheeks, tummy, just about everywhere. His big doggy hug would end every stress and worry right there and soothe me. The softness and the warmth was unbeatable.
3. Smell : Dear dog owners, please tell me that I am not the only weirdo who totally loves the odd smell of a dog’s paws! Moony’s feet used to have this funny smell of corn chips mixed with old cooked rice, I have no idea why! He would invariably push his paws on my face when deep in sleep. I would still hold him close and take in that part atrocious, part mesmerizing scent. Aah, how can I forget the stink of his ears when we would clean them. Even his mouth smelled like a fishbowl for some odd reason. Such a jumble of weird smells they are, but so lovable!
4. Taste : If you are living with a dog, and haven’t casually ingested enough of it’s hair to have a hairball in your stomach by now, you are doing it wrong. The hair finds its way into your stomach however hard you try. After picking it off everything, I learnt to just roll with it. It was on my clothes, in my bags, every rug, sweater, hairbrush, and floating around in the kitchen. And, also, kisses are a big source. 😀
5. Hearing : The cutest part of bringing home a puppy are the adorable sounds it makes. Those little grunts, snores, burps, squeaks, toots become such an indispensable part of your life. Agreed there were times when I have thrown a pillow at Moony to shut his barks at the invisible monster, but then he would throw in a squeaky whimper and all would be forgotten. And then he would start barking again. Trust me, dogs talk to you, and you only have to respond back anyhow you like, and watch them go at it.
I miss every bit of Moony and what he would do to my heart. I miss all the love he held for me and his various moods and his king-size personality. I miss the effects his sight, touch, smell, taste and voice had on me and how soothing that all was. All of you who have a furry friend to go back to, go give your dog a biiiiiggggg hug and tell them PB loves them.
kashid 131
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18

As my heart speaks (Guest post by the Father)

My dad wrote this and sent it to me over the weekend. I have no words to explain how I feel when I read it. It is the most beautiful, heartfelt tribute I have ever seen.
*——————————–*

As my heart speaks.

20th July 2015. The fateful day on which our dearest Moony left us. He left behind an empty life for us. Didn’t you realize that dear Moony? On that day I lost part of my life, an important part of my body. He was integral part of my life. How could he leave me?

15 years. That was the time he was with me all the time showering selfless love. That sometimes made me feel ashamed as we all do the things with some return in mind. But not he. For him it was only giving. Giving affection, love and pleasure. He drove away my stress, my worries. He gave me pleasure as a yogi gets in trance. He was pure love and joy personified.

15 years. That was the time I watched him grow. That was the time I also watched my daughter grow. I could never separate them. I watched his early playful days. I watched him getting matured and I watched him getting quieter. As I watched him, he also watched me and took my care. How could you leave me now?

15 years. During this time we took care of each other. Who took more care? Me or he? I can’t tell. Our friends and relatives say we took good care of his for all his life. Is it? In fact he took care of me. Yes, I used to rush to the doctor at the slightest discomfort he seemed to face. I tended him when he was not well. Administered medicines religiously. That was all. But whenever I was not well he was around all the time speaking through his eyes and asking me to get well and play with him. He never left me alone when he realized I was having some trouble. The way he received me when I was brought back from hospital after my operation last year cannot be described. He did not move from my bed. Why did he move away now?

15 years. He was always around. I always felt his warmth and his touch. Touching his coat was heavenly pleasure. I could never get sleep unless he pushed me with his paws. The touch of his body and softness of his luxurious fur was the gift from God. How will I run my fingers through his coat now?

15 years. That was the time. Long or short. These are relative terms. This is a short time for us. I did not like his leaving us so soon. I am getting angry with him for leaving us so soon and when we needed him more. How could he do that?

15 years. We celebrated his each birthday with joy. It also used to make him happy. He was in a critical state of health and great pain on his 15th birthday. He knew we had decided to celebrate. We called relatives. In spite of his problems he did not disappoint us. He celebrated with us enduring extreme weakness obliging with photographs. Then he decided to say goodbye. Next day! He cared for our feelings till last.

I am a great believer in rebirth. There is no doubt, dear Moony, we will again live together in the next birth with more love and affection. More than this birth. The God will have to grant this wish.

Can’t see anything, can’t write now. My eyes are moist. I know he never liked that. I will hold back my tears. 

Daddy and his boy… Such handsome men!

  

14

Our world of four people…

It has been a week since Moony has passed on. There have been so many sweet memories that he has given us. Mom and Dad and I have been spending time video chatting since his birthday, recalling everything. When I had called at the night of his birthday, we sat down and spoke about his 15 years. That was the last time I saw Dad still hopeful, but yet, we were starting to prepare ourselves for the inevitable. The next morning on 20th when they woke up, the hope was going dim. He finally passed on at around 10.30 am.

Out of the gazillion sweet and sour and a few exasperating memories that he has given us, I would like to share one and why Dad thinks he is like Ganesh(the Indian god of happiness and prosperity).

My parents and I had gone for a little trip to Sinhgad fort and Kamshet lake near Pune. If I am not wrong, I think I was in high school at that time and Moony must have been 3-4 years old. We did the whole trek to the top of the fort with our doggie in tow, who had a really weird habit of going ahead everywhere as if he is a sniffer dog or something and like it is his duty to protect us from any harm that could come our way. Due to his this habit, he may have been getting really tired. It was also summer time and it was quite hot. We roamed around on the top and then got back down after eating lunch over there.

After that, we stopped at Kamshet lake, and did another very long walk to get to the boating area. While climbing on the rocks to get to the lake side, we noticed that Moony had started slipping a bit and looked like he was holding his one rear foot up. He has had leg troubles since he was about a year old. It is partly due to his heavy labrador weight genes and partly due to a possible vaccine side effect.

So, noticing that, my dad decided to stop on the rocks and he asked my mom and I to go ahead for the boat ride. Moony was a completely Momma’s boy. Even if it was Dad and me and him in the car and Mom got out to go to a store, he would keep crying. And it wasn’t a cry-cry, but like this low, annoying whistle and after every few whistles, he would give out a shrill yelp. Constantly! It would look like we were torturing him or something. You know when someone really wants to cry but all the crying is done yet they are still trying to cry, it used to sound exactly like that.

As Moony saw that me and mom were walking away, he started yelling. A proper full fledged shrieky cry. Mom and me ignored that and got into the boat. He saw that and God knows what happened to him, he started dragging my dad who was holding his leash. Moony was almost choking with his collar against his throat, and my dad was getting dragged on the slippery rocks and freaking out that he was going to fall, but nothing could stop Moony. Finally around a 100 footsteps away from the boating area, my dad left his leash and Moony just bolted, ran onto the docking area, and promptly jumped into the boat. It was a 12 seater and there were around 8 people in it including us who were so shocked to see a dog jump into the boat! My dad reached us and clambered into the boat and that’s it. Moony plopped down happily by his mommy’s feet and everything was right with his world again! Who has seen a dog enjoy boating before? And not just this, he has been in a diesel fueled, really basic fish crawler boat to see dolphins with us in the Konkans, Maharashtra coastline.

Dad remembers this story from Indian mythology about Ganesh and Karthikeya with their parents Shiv and Parvati. When asked to take a round of the world for some competition, Karthikeya sat on his peacock and started his long journey. Whereas, Ganesh made Shiv and Parvati sit on their seats, and just took a round around them. His parents were his world.

We were Moony’s world. And he was our’s.

Our little boy, forever and always...

8

Dear Chintu…

Oh Chintu, you sweet doggie. You came into the society right after my 9th had ended with your cutie lil sister Mintu. Both white. Chintu, a boy with brown spots and Mintu, a girl, with black spots. You both were adorably cute and wanted to play with Moony, who, ahem, can have a li’l attitude. You were just a year younger to Moony. I remember Risbood auntie christening you both.

Time flew and you grew up to be such a weirdo. You had the smoothest head I have ever seen! With taut skin and super short hair, and a thin long tail, you looked perpetually naked. One of your eyes had thick black liner and one eye had half and rest half some pink thing going on. We never stopped making fun of your funky looks. Mintu was the prettier one clearly. She had puppies when she was 2 years old. It was inside a junk hut full of wooden planks and stuff. Mom told us not to go near Mintu because she may have bitten us, but yet Dad and I went near the hut the day after they were born to see them. We were peeping through the window when she saw us. She came running outside with the most amazing expression on her face! She was smiling, we kid you not! She actually nudged us in and then pushed her li’l puppies to dad and my feet. It was like she was showing them off! Dad started patting her saying things like ‘kiti goad aahe tujhe baal, shaani Mintu majhi’(How cute your kids are, my good Mintu). She just lied down for a tummy rub from Dad while I played with the pups. Sorry Chintu, for we had to send your nephews/perhaps sons(I hope not!) away for adoption and eventually the watchman also sent Mintu away to live on someone’s farm. I hope she had a good life.

Chintu, it was amazing how you could recognize our car’s horn from one lane away when Dad would come back from work. Heck, you even recognized our Scooty’s sound! Well, our Scooty roars like a rocket engine but goes at the speed of a bicycle, so it is not hard to recognize. It doesn’t matter if you were snoozing somewhere, or eating, or doing any of your business, but you came running and gamboling to greet mom or dad or me. You used to be rewarded with toast or khaari. Just this was enough for your evening snack because you liked to have chicken courtesy Aderao auntie for your dinner. You were so regular that toast and khaari was a part of our monthly ration even if no one else in the house ate them.

Your breakfast was set to be milk and roti. We had to do every trick in the world to shut the door on Moony’s face because he would get insanely jealous when you got the food from us. Moony was a jerk at times barking at you from the car, but you would just go ‘aaaaoooonnnnn aaaaaa’ at him and continue wagging your weird whippy tail in circles.

It was a delight in the morning to meet you. Dad says you never missed the morning walk. As soon as he would take Moony out, you would join them and roam together. And then, you would earn your breakfast. Well, you would also go missing for days, when you were out and about like a Romeo. We always wondered how you did it in spite of the operation we got done on you! Geesh! You would come back with new cuts and bruises from all the wars you fought for the ladies. And then it was Dad’s headache to pot ointments on you or wash you up. There was this one time I had to wash your face for a gross reason. Moony had lifted his leg to pee on a small plant and God knows why you rolled over there and Moony continued his business. You were blinking when his pee hit your face but there was nothing anyone could do!

The funniest thing I remember of you is your vigorously wagging tail going thwack-thwack on the ground because you wouldn’t even get up out of sleepiness and then squealing for me to pat you. The other thing is how your and Moony’s weird relationship made me suspect that Moony’s gay. Also, I am going to slide over the fact that you stole some of Moony’s girlfriends. You got slapped by mom and no snacks on those days.The biggest Chintu characteristic was that we would be walking home from the grocery store and suddenly we would feel this wetness on our hands. You would always sneak up from behind and lick our hands! Sneaky you! You also had the most incredibly clean and white teeth ever! You could have been a walking and talking advertisement for colgate. 

A lot of building people always wanted you out. But mom and dad argued with/convinced everyone that you were okay. You had indeed prevented some robberies. Except Vengurlekar aunty who kept up a constant tirade against you. Not considering the fact that you were old, and arthritic, and so tired. We defended you. Always. Dad threatened this man at the grocery store who claimed he would poison you. That is the only time I have heard of Dad really losing it. You were the most harmless creature ever and even little kids played with you freely. You were last in the generation of dogs that came with you. Kolhoba(accident), Furry(disappeared with the watchman), Mintu(gone), many others. Now there are Audi and Snowy who are extremely sweet as well.

My parents last day in Kothrud, they fed you eggs and milk and you really enjoyed the meal. They sent me pictures. Even I had tears in my eyes looking at you. They don’t tell me, but they were very emotional at the thought of leaving you. But they were sure Aderao auntie will keep you full and fed and well-cared for like rest of the dogs.

We left on 26th November 2014. We had our Vastu Pujan on 3rd January 2015 when I was in Pune. Risbood uncle and auntie came home on 6th January 2015. Auntie told us then…. You were gone…. 28th December 2014. You had a very bad evening and probably had a cardiac arrest. You left for the rainbow bridge later that night surrounded by your kiddo friends and Aderao Auntie. She took care of you and kept you warm. She got you medicines from the Doc as well, but there was no point. 

You passed away at your 12 years of age. You had a long and hopefully good life. You are the only roadie I know who had a natural death so that makes me happy for you.

Chintu, we will always remember every bit of you. 

That very black wet nose, the hard and round scalp and the whip of a tail you had.
The wetness of your sneaky kisses, the hundreds of fleas we pulled out of your skin, and your very strong legs.
The funny floppy ears, the half pink eye, and the funny squeal of yours.
The lady-love scars, your love for butter-milk, and your evening snacking.

We miss you, sweets.



Chintu, the great.