Always together, yet forever apart!

Lots of things can be fixed! Then, there are things that can’t be fixed! But, there are also things that should not be fixed – some relationships fall into this category.

In life we sail through a journey boarding a particular ship only to realize that our partner wants to board another one, and you just can’t be with each other anymore. It’s not only about what we want, it’s also about what the other person wants; and at some point, realization sinks in that holding on will only make the goodbye more painful. As such, you cannot make someone stay if they want to go. You can only love what you got while you got it.

“Dusk, is just an illusion, because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are; there cannot be one without the other, yet they cannot exist at the same time. How would it feel, I remember wondering, to be always together, yet forever apart?”
It’s said; if you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours; if they don’t, they never were. I was so involved with Casper and Junior, that I overlooked what my husband was up to. My dogs had given me so much joy, that briefly I forgot about all the problems that existed between my husband and me. But turning a blind eye to them won’t make them vanish right! My husband looked calm and composed at all times. He fulfilled all his duties as a husband and a father to dogs with perfection. I always thought, everything is fine! We will get through this. What I failed to realize was, that there were floods of thoughts going on in my husband’s mind. Thoughts about leaving me and Junior…forever!

You must be wondering why I didn’t mention Casper’s name. Here’s why. One fateful night, when I was waiting for my husband to come home from work, the most frightful thing happened. Dinner was set on the table, I was dressed up to go for a movie with him post dinner. He came home, Casper and Junior were playing, he saw me sitting on the couch and it seemed like he couldn’t hold it in anymore, so he just screamed out the words, “I want a divorce, and come what may, Casper will always stay with me.” It was a sudden and violent blow on my heart. For some seconds I was in denial that did I hear it or was it a horrible dream!

Out of impulse, my only reply was, “Either Casper and Junior stay with me or both stay with you. I will not separate them at any cost.” I was ready to sacrifice my love, my motherhood for my dogs only so that they could stay together. At that moment, I didn’t even give a second thought about my forthcoming divorce. Because the only thing going on in my mind was to keep Casper and Junior together. End of the day, love is about sacrifices as well.  Ever since Junior came home, Casper and Junior had become inseparable. And what I had learnt with time was, dogs wait all their lives for the ones they love. If they were separated, they may even die of depression. I could live without my husband, I could survive without my dogs, but my dogs wouldn’t get through without each other.

I didn’t ask my husband to stay. Somewhere deep inside me I knew this was coming. But this suddenly, that wasn’t likely. My family got involved and tried a lot to convince my husband to stay. But he was determined and, when he didn’t budge, my family offered my husband to take both the dogs with him and not just one. In all these meetings to save the marriage, I was always quiet. I still loved my husband a lot, but I knew nothing would change his mind. So my only goal was, to keep my dogs together, either with me or him. I assume my husband saw this sadness in my eyes and, the unbelievable happened. One day, in between all these silent nights and days, the fear of thinking that any day would be the last day for me to stay with Casper and Junior; my husband came to me and told me, ”I will not separate them. And you cannot live alone. You keep them, take care of them. I will visit them whenever you allow me to. They will protect you and also won’t let you fall into loneliness.”

Here I was, devastated but also happy. For the first time I realised how much I loved my husband and how much even he too loved me. But we were just not meant to be together. We had self-sabotaged what we had. We didn’t do it right and we were too late to make things work. My relationship may be “Breaking Up,” but I won’t be “Breaking Down.” If anything, my husband was correcting a mistake that was hurting four people, you and the person you are with, not to mention the two people who you were destined to meet. My future was uncertain, but I knew my husband had someone else in his life. But I was happy, as I got my babies back…together!

We separated. Both of us moved out, but to two different places. We sold our house. A place where there were so many beautiful memories. I opted to live alone with my dogs and not with my parents as I needed healing. Away from everyone and just in my own little world to find myself again. To come to terms with what had happened and plan my future. Little did I know, my battle wasn’t over!

Life was never the same. But today when I am sitting on my comfortable chair and typing this, I know it was the best decision my husband took. I strongly believe everything happens for a reason, and, as days passed, the mystery started to unfold; the answers to my questions started opening up. I became the accidental dog mom, but that accident was the finest accident of my life. Keep following and reading my blog to know more about how many more troubles I came across and how I achieved victory over the problems in my life. And the biggest role to help me through was played by my dogs!

A little piece of advice: when you bring home a pet, it becomes a family member. It is not a toy or an object that when you are bored, you throw it away. When we decide to welcome a new furry member to our family, it is up to us to provide them with the lifelong care they require. Make sure you are ready to commit and ask yourself what your situation will be in five, ten and twenty years before welcoming a new pet. Whether you are getting married, or leaving the country or state, or having a baby, under any circumstances, never abandon your pet or give them up for adoption. The impact is huge on them. Just because they don’t speak, doesn’t mean they have no feelings. Bringing home a pet means a commitment for life time. Little lives they have. All they ask for is love. Don’t let them live in trauma, heartbreak and a shattered sense of trust. As Elizabeth Eiler has rightly said, “Dogs don’t make judgments about physical appearance or abilities, and they don’t care how big your house is or what you do for a living. They care about the quality of your character and your capacity to love.”

Limitations are self-imposed!

You know what’s the worse feeling in the world? The worse feeling in the world is when you are with someone, but, you still feel alone! You feel you don’t belong anywhere. Sleeping right next to the person you love every night but those few inches in realty are more than a million miles. The life, the home, and, the family you had made, were falling apart like a crushed dream. Have you ever had that feeling where deep down inside you know this marriage is not going to make it through, but, you aimlessly wait for a miracle? You wish, pray, to the extent desperately hope, for your partner to change. You have endless conversations and efforts only to realize that everything is fine for 2 months and then you are back to the same old situation. I have realized It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So, the best thing to do is keep the wonderful memories, and move on!

Casper coming back into our lives was a big ray of hope; as for once, me and my husband both wanted something together and would spend time together discussing him. I am sure all of you are probably baffled by the idea that how can a girl who is petrified of dogs, not only decide to adopt and raise him, but eventually turns out to be a dog mom. Honestly speaking, I am perplexed myself till date about how the events of life have unfolded and carved me into what I am today.   

Whenever we got Casper home, my husband would go for his work for couple of hours and then come back and work from home. In those 2 or 3 hours, when I was home alone with Casper, I used to be terrified and keep Casper confined inside his crate. Then one day, my husband got annoyed and gave me an ultimatum that either I work on removing my fear of dogs or he would have no choice but to give Casper up. I was super happy not touching Casper and only seeing his little paws dance around the house, but giving him away was not an option I could accept. So, with great courage, and a task which was no less than bravery on a battlefield for me, one day, when my husband went to work, I sat down in the centre of the living room and told my maid to remove Casper from the crate and leave him free. Casper came running towards me and started licking and biting me with his small teeth. For the Initial few minutes I literally froze to death; almost like I was a helpless goat in a field, faced with a tiger and inevitable defeat. But after the initial few excruciating moments, slowly my fear started to evaporate from my body. All I could feel was love and the feel of a tiny gentle soul trying his best to get all the attention from me that he could.  For the first time in days I took Casper in my hands and hugged him and there was no feeling in this world better than this. Things were fantastic for quite some time. He bought us a lot of joy and happiness. From a breaking down marriage, to looking forward in anticipation for a better tomorrow; that’s the magic Casper had done. Even though we only saw him every 3 months, whenever we did, our joy had no limits. Each time when we would meet him, we would be surprised to see his growth from a little puppy to a big dog. We would regularly be sent his pictures and videos from the boarding lodging and that would bring a big smile on our faces. We were pleased that he was in good hands in our absence and was taken good care of.

Whenever we would come down to Mumbai, we would take Casper on short trips, buy him a lot of toys, pamper him, and, also got him trained. As I have mentioned before, I took up further studies and had to come down to Mumbai for my final exams. During that time, we had sent Casper to a summer camp out of Mumbai and had plans to pick him up once my exams were over. But, before my last exam, I had a break of 8 days, and, so, we decided to have a surprise visit to the place where Casper was. Typically, Casper would enthusiastically come running to us as soon as he would see us. But this time something wasn’t right. When we reached there, Casper didn’t move and lay still on the ground. We immediately understood that something was wrong and without wasting a single minute, my husband literally picked him up, put him in the car and drove back straight to the vet’s clinic. Our fears were confirmed and Casper was not only diagnosed with tick fever but also was in a critical state. The vet immediately started his treatment and upon asking, he informed us that chances of his survival were bleak. My world came crashing down. This was the first time in months that I realised that I wasn’t a dog owner, I was a dog MOM. My child was fighting a battle with the Grim Reaper and I wanted nothing else but for him to live.

Day and night, we were at the vet’s clinic doing everything we could; I was cursing myself every minute to have sent him to the summer camp. After 5 days of treatment, Casper finally showed some positive results. The vet told us he would make it and I was overjoyed and mirthful that my baby was going to live. In all this chaos, I didn’t get the time to study for my final exam and I decided to mark absent for it and attempt it next year. But my mother told me, “If you don’t appear for your test, you will as it is be marked as failed. Why don’t you read your books and give your exams. At least you will be satisfied that you gave your best instead of not going at all.” I took her advice, stayed up all night to study while my husband bought Casper home and was looking after him. I appeared for my exam and when the results were declared, I had PASSED.  Guess chaos is only a matter of perspective; what is chaos to a fly is normal for a spider. Giving up at the first instance of seeing a difficultly in life will surely ease that particular situation; but we won’t know what possibilities could lie ahead only if we try a little harder then. It is always better to try, give it a shot, rather give it our best shot, and then accept whatever happens, rather than not try at all and then sit and think a few years later what if we had only tired. The possibilities are ambiguous, but at least we know within us that we tried!

Within months, I had seen life, death, failure and success. My mother taught me a very good lesson which till date I remember and follow whenever I have to. No matter what, get up, dress up, and show up. This has become a motto for life. Seeing Casper near death and back to life gave me a new life. Basically, a new and stronger perspective to life. He taught me to face my fears. He showed me that anything can happen in life, good or bad and we have to be prepared for everything. He taught me how to have fun and laugh for no reason. He made me a responsible human being. Above all, he made me a Mom. Yes! I am a proud Mom and my kids have four legs and fur. As I write this, my eyes glow seeing Junior sitting next to me and once again makes me realise, I am so lucky to have this baby in my life. Casper taught me life, and Junior is the reason that I am living my life. And I always thank God, for blessing me with such beautiful babies.

Happily Married?

Fairy Tales always have a happy ending. However, that really depends on whether you are Rumpelstiltskin or the Queen.

In the modern age Fairy Tale ‘Princess Ben’ by ‘Catherine Gilbert Murdock’, she has rightly mentioned that every fairy tale, it seems, concludes with the bland phrase “happily ever after.” Yet every couple I have ever known would agree that nothing about marriage is forever happy. There are moments of bliss, to be sure, and lengthy spans of satisfied companionship. Yet these come at no small effort, and the girl who reads such fiction dreaming her troubles will end ere she departs the altar is well advised to seek at once a rational woman to set her straight.

After my boyfriend’s mother’s outright, and, not go forget unreasonable rejection for me, and our union, me and him started fighting more and more every single day. To a point where we had almost given up on each other and had started preparing ourselves to move on in life. But one day, when we were almost sure everything was over, a miracle happened. After months of grief, heartache and hopelessness, I heard the phone ring flashing the number of castles in air. It was my boyfriend’s mother. She had accepted me and our relationship and wanted to meet me and my parents. I was elated. Suddenly, I was the most jubilant girl on Earth. What made her change her mind is something I didn’t know or cared for; all that mattered was things were finally moving ahead the way we wanted them to.

Our parents met, and, in no time, we got engaged. Promptly, our preparations for the wedding started. We were fired up with the process and wanted everything perfect. The surest way to make your dreams come true is to live them. The excitement was beyond the description of words. It is always a glorious feeling. We were leaving no stones unturned for the big day. As a young girl, I had fancied for this day for a long time. And the day came. I was dressed as a princess, an Indian princess who walked down the aisle. And my prince charming was standing in front of me. In front of the Agni (the God of Fire) we took our vows to never leave each other and love each other in thick and thin, through the good and bad days, in sickness and in health. We were married!!

Promptly, we started our documentation to shift to Dubai from Mumbai to take care of his business. Amid all the paperwork, cultural and religious formalities post marriage; we went to Karjat to enjoy a weekend at his farmhouse. That’s where I met his two dogs Captain (Labrador) and Rocky (Doberman). As I had mentioned before, I was petrified of dogs. When they approached me, I ran and sat in the car out of fear till they were out of my sight. I behaved as if someone had left Lions in the open. My husband couldn’t control his laughter while I was sulking in the car. I spent the weekend in jitters and panic thinking the dogs will come and pounce on me. My husband tried a lot to talk me into about how good and adorable dogs are, but I was nowhere near convinced.

Soon after, we shifted to Dubai. As our life continued to flourish in a foreign country, trying to adapt to the new surroundings and environment; it was not all that euphoric as I had thought of. I realised, dating and marriage are two totally different worlds. Soon, Reality struck me!  My story has no beginning or an end. These are the moments of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead. And unknowingly, whether in pain or happiness, I always moved ahead which I realised today. In joy, it was euphoria. In sadness, it was a learning lesson. Never give up. Miracles can happen even at the last moment!

Within all my life’s chaos, choosing to write this blog was the best decision of my life. It is not only a way for me to share a major and most important part of my life, but also to contribute my share of knowledge about dogs. From being a girl who was petrified of dogs, to be the mother of 2 wonderful dogs, I have gone through the learning curve and learnt so much about these wonderful creatures. If I can share this knowledge with other dog lovers and maybe help even 1 person with their pets, then I would consider the purpose of this blog fulfilled. There is not even a single boring day in one’s life if you have a dog. You are sad; he comes and cuddles with you. You are crying; he comes and licks your tears. You are bored; he is always ready to play. You are sick; he will give you the best comfort. You are happy; he is always ready to dance with you. He is a doctor, a teacher, a protector, but most importantly; the most loyal friend!

Every Thursday I update you all with my past and present life. Today, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sapna and I am from Mumbai (India). I am a Lawyer by profession. I love to paint and cook which are my stressbusters. I am also a single dog mom who works out regularly and a yearning Pizza lover. I know I know; Pizza and exercising does not go hand in hand. But I have my cheat days. I have been asked why the “Accidental” Dog Mom. Well, let me reveal that in my next few posts. As we always say, you never know what tomorrow has in package for you. Keep reading and I hope you enjoy my posts.

Merry to Teary

Somewhere around pubescence, we have all seen dreams of falling in love and getting married to the love of our life – for girls it’s the reverie of a prince charming who will come on a white horse in his shining armour, grab her hand and ride off to a fairy tale land; Or the illusion and desire that at midnight you would lose a shoe destined to fall into the hands off a prince who would come looking for his lady love and once the shoe fits and you and him would live happily ever after. But reality is far from our delusions. Within seconds, all your dreams can get shattered. It is said that after adolescence, if one’s life is sufficiently interesting, the desire to tell oneself stories diminishes. This exactly is what happens in the real world!  

My prayers were answered. My feelings were reciprocated. We were captivated in love. Assuming nothing could go wrong, as we both buzzed from wealthy families, running the same business line, not having much of an age difference and of the same caste; we notified our families about our bond and plans to get married. My parents happily accepted my choices and wishes, but, unfortunately, and to my utter astonishment, his mother rejected me without even meeting me once.

As I mentioned before, sustaining love is not easy. Because of his mother’s headstrong disapproval, we began to quarrel and started to fall apart. I thought to myself, was our love so fragile that we couldn’t fight for it and instead started fighting with each other! It was a situation where it was him vs me, and not we vs the problem. Within months, we were from madly in love, to planning our happily ever after, to not tolerating to even see each other’s face.

Nothing helps a broken heart; not even a hot bath or a good night’s sleep. That was just the beginning of my whimsical to bottom out life which hit me like waves in the coming years. But one thing I learnt from this – You may be down in the dumps now, but take solace, in the fact that you’re definitely not the first one to have your heart broken in this world.

While my story continues with its ups and downs; a rollercoaster ride with a lot of thrill but also an unknown fear, my today is all together different than what it was more than a decade ago. This blog is not only a way for me to express my life in the simplest form as I can, but also to reach out to everyone and anyone who feels or believes all is lost. Believe me, nothing is lost. You are not alone. Hang in there and one day, you will see the sunshine. The prayers that were not answered were God’s way of protecting you and providing you with something better. Everything happens for a reason.

As I am writing this, Junior is fast asleep on the couch after jumping around all day. Once I am done for the day, I will hit the bed with Junior all cuddled up with me. Every single day I look forward to this. The warmth of his body, his soft fur and his loud snores. It feels like heaven. Nothing describes love in its purest form than a dog cuddled up with you. Oh well! He does occupy ¾th of the bed leaving little to almost no room for me to sleep. Not to forget the occasional toxic gas (just kidding) he passes sometimes from all the food he enjoys daily which believe me, I sometimes believe, is the only purpose and goal of life. But jokes apart, and honestly, I cannot live without any of this. I love coming home to him. A home filled with unconditional love, wet kisses, a super wagging tail and sparkling eyes. Yes! Junior is my home. My safe haven and the apple of my eye. I had heard about it that home can be another person. I believe it now. The person does not necessarily have to be a human!