Tricky Moments

Have you ever had a moment of blank out; a moment when something so scary happened, that within a matter of milliseconds, millions of thoughts rushed through your mind, squeezing your heart with the pressure equivalent to a zillion tons! I have gone through this more than a few times, and, as many of you may be assuming by now; it was not due to my ex or a failed relationship, but rather due to my dogs! While some of these moments were really scary, others were funny. But as it’s said, life is about moments. The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experiences, whether good or bad. Sharing some of my bad and good experiences where in some I cried, and others I laughed.

Let me start with the scariest, and, worst moment with Casper. When my ex-husband and I lived in Mumbai, we would set off to our farm house in Karjat every weekend. Of course, Casper would always be with us, and, we would all get time to spend with our other two dogs (Coal and Ruby) in Karjat. Casper too would get an open space to play, swim, and socialize with Coal and Ruby. Since there were no restaurants or vegetable market next to our farm house, we would always make a quick stop at a restaurant which was half an hour away from our farm house, pick up some food and then proceed to the farm house.  This one time, when as usual we stopped at the restaurant, I opened the car door to get out taking all precautions that Casper doesn’t come out. But somehow he managed to escape. My ex-husband had already walked a few steps towards the restaurant and I was near the car. I tried getting close to Casper (biggest mistake) but Casper thought we had to play, and, to my horror, ran straight towards the highway. I let out a loud cry because I saw a truck approaching, and, within a second I thought I had lost Casper today. Hearing my cry, my ex-husband immediately ran towards Casper. By then I had already closed my eyes and started crying hysterically. After a few minutes, I heard my ex-husband calling me and telling me to open my eyes. I opened my eyes and saw Casper was in his arms – safe and sound. He had a narrow escape. I still get goosebumps thinking about this day.

Besides that, I had a very funny incident with Casper. My whole family along with Casper and Junior had gone for a long weekend to Deolali. The house that we have in Deolali is in a society which consists of 6 bungalows. All the bungalows were filled as it was the Diwali weekend, and everyone had come there with their family and friends. I was scared because I had 2 dogs with me and there were a lot of kids. Thankfully, Casper and Junior were welcomed with open arms and everyone had a great time. One morning, when I went for a shower, I had given my dogs responsibility to my brother in law to just keep an eye on them till I get free. My brother in law got up to have water and in no time, Casper and Junior ran out of the house, and, managed to enter all the other 5 bungalows, steal their breakfast, and, came back, almost smirking! I had come out of shower by then, and my brother in law briefed me as to what happened. A few moments later, I saw my neighbor coming towards us, and I was relatively sure that I was in for an argument to keep my dogs under control. I was so scared that I told my mom to face her and tell her sorry. But instead, she gave some food to Junior, and, told my mom that Casper was leading the way and alone ate all the food leaving nothing for Junior, so she came to feed Junior. Ha ha ha ha!

Let me share some events about Junior. Before that, let me brief you about the difference between Casper and Junior’s behavior. Casper’s recall command was very weak. Since he was my first dog, I didn’t have much knowledge about training dogs and followed whatever the trainer told me. So for Casper, if you get close to him, he would feel that it’s time to play catch and cook, and he would start running in the opposite direction. As for Junior, he is well trained but post Casper’s death, if any person or dog comes close to him, he feels they are approaching him to play.

When Junior was a puppy, his favorite place to hide was below the divan (a kind of an Indian sofa where you can spread your legs out and relax). On a regular day as I was running errands, I realized I hadn’t seen Junior around. I searched everywhere in the house and couldn’t find him. Panic struck, and, I started searching for him in my apartment tower, asked the watchman, went on the road, etc. but he was found nowhere. I came back home to call my ex-husband. Just then, I thought about looking below or near the divan; and that’s where I found Junior looking at me right in the eyes with that innocent look as if he never heard me calling out his name. I was overwrought for 30 minutes in looking him and calling out his name, but Junu acted so innocent. And as we all know, we get hypnotized by those puppy eyes and cannot stay angry with our fur babies. In true sense, this was a mini heart attack where I was terrified, eased and chuckled all at the same time.

One morning, when I was walking Junior, there was a stranger standing near a building waiting for the watchman to open the gate. When I looked at him, I noticed he looked a little nervous and was desperately waiting to enter safely in building because he was already scared of the stray dogs. He too noticed us walking towards his direction, but we were just taking our usual rounds. As we reached a little closer, out of nowhere Junior unpredictably ran towards that man. Since I wasn’t expecting this, the sudden tug made me let go of the leash and Junior started jumping on that already petrified man and that man started screaming “bachao-bachao” (help-help in Hindi) and started perspiring as if a lion was let loose. I wanted to laugh my lungs out that moment, but as soon as I could, I got hold of Junior’s leash and pulled him away from that man. I have never seen anyone run as fast as that man into the building in my life. I felt sorry for him, and, guilty for laughing, but this time someone else experienced a mini attack because of my dog.

Life is indeed full of moments, good or bad; that there are so many other big and small occurrences, like once Junior was left without a leash at the beach and he ran so far in the water that my friend just jumped in with his clothes and shoes to bring him back, or once Casper and Junior were locked out in balcony by my maid unintentionally because she thought they were in the room, and when I came home and couldn’t find them, etc. But all these moments make life worth living. There is no good without the bad and there is no bad without the good, like Yin and Yang. The best thing is, All’s well that ends well. Be precautious but don’t miss out on any moments due to stress or fear. Learn from the bad ones, and, cherish the good ones. We must slow down, and remember, how precious it is to be alive, to love, and, be loved.

A letter from Casper & Junior!

Dear Mumma,

We would like to start by saying WE LOVE YOU, A LOT.

We know you are tired single handily taking care of everything to give us the life we deserve. But let us tell you this, whatever you have done, is enough. We are grateful to God to have a Mom like you. We know you consider us as your child even now and treat us no less than a human baby, but you are the best, and in our next life, we would like to be born from you as your child.

You take care of our every need; You give us every comfort and luxury in your capacity. There have been times when you skipped your meals to save money and buy us food so that we do not go hungry. There have been times when bad people have come to attack you because of us but you stood like a shield in front of us to protect us. And even today, you do not settle down in life with anyone if they are not ready to accept us. Yes, it’s only Junior now, but we know when you stood against all odds to keep us when everyone was forcing you to remarry and give us up for adoption. Unlike some out there, who have abandoned their dogs, or gave them up for adoption because they had to shift to another state/country for work, or marriage, or who had a baby, or got a partner who didn’t like dogs, you never gave up on us. Sometimes, we wonder what we ever did to get so much luckier than some of our other friends who have to live through all the pain.

You have sacrificed a lot for us. Your own comfort, your sleep, your health, your likes and dislikes all are secondary for you when it comes to us. But we also know, you are very happy with what you do because we are with you. Sometimes, you are so silly that you get happy when we poop – like seriously mom, its poop!

We have heard you telling people that we keep you healthy mentally and physically. You keep telling us we are good boys and we wag our tails, even then you have a big smile on your face. We love to dance with you when you dance for no reason. Then you tell us, “sit down and let me clean the cobwebs.” You take us out for drives; we enjoy poking our heads out of the window, and feel the breeze. You bring us Vanilla Ice Cream some times, and we relish over it. Although mom, one cup really isn’t enough! Did you even know it literally takes about 5 slurps for it to get over!

When we were younger, you cleaned our poop and pee without complaining. You didn’t even shout at us when we destroyed your favourite shoes or ate the wiring of CCTV in the house – now that I think about it, those wires were yummy indeed! You trained us and worked on us so that we are good boys most of the time. You laughed when we slept in funny positions. You always removed time for us from your busy and messed up life. You didn’t even move an inch when we slept on your lap even though your legs went numb. You have stayed up all night when we fell ill. But we know, you did all this only because you love us as much as we love you.

Then, when Casper crossed the rainbow bridge, you slipped into depression. But gathered yourself back again only for Junior. We were sad to see you sinking in that time. But the strong woman that you have been always, you once again got back in action.

Today as I turn 8 years old, you are very happy, but sad too as I am turning old. You have noticed my slow walks and breaks while climbing the stairs. You have also noticed that now I play only for 15-20 minutes at a stretch, unlike before when I could play for hours. You keeping looking at my face every time like there is no tomorrow. Maybe I cannot entertain you much like before, but I will try my best till the end of my life to keep a smile on your face.

Mumma, thank you for being the best Mom. We know you thank us for coming into your life and keep telling everyone that we have adopted you and this is our house. It takes a very strong person who has seen rock bottom quite a few times to still stay committed to us. Being a single mother is not easy, but you have showed the world how joyful it is to have dogs in one’s life. 

We have heard some humans say the Phase, “It’s a Dog’s Life”! We are not exactly sure what it really means, but with you we would live a dog’s life a hundred times over!

Your good boys,

Casper & Junior