Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Goodbyes are hard, especially final goodbyes. How do you say goodbye to the one you brought up? To the one you chose to be your own?

The first time Whoopy came into our house, she had stood in a corner shivering. We were to choose from two pups. Her sibling, who was jumping around the house, had been the more obvious choice. But Whoopy had quietly come and cradled into my open arms. She stole my heart that moment. I had held her tight and realised that I would never let her go.

Whoopy turned out to be a complete devil. She turned the whole house topsy-turvy. She was a princess who wooed the entire household. To be able to serve her was an honour. A kiss from her, however reluctantly given, was a boon. And I, who was her favourite, was the privileged one. I loved her with all my heart. I couldn’t get enough of holding her. She always smelt so sweet. My little love.

It was hard to say goodbye to her when I left home four years ago. She was after all my little baby. I left her in my mother’s capable hands. My mother, who tends to be more affectionate towards dogs than humans, became her entire world. Short trips home were bitter-sweet for me. I could spend some time with Whoopy and play our favourite game, hide-n-seek. But I had to unwillingly accept the fact that she loved Mamma a little more than she did me. I hated it. I was jealous. But I loved her too much to be angry. And to be fair, she did pay me a lot of attention when I was around. I would always be her first love.

For the past two months Whoopy had been very sick. It was difficult to see her suffering so. But she had suffered in silence. On the 19th of June her pain became so unbearable that she was started howling. We knew the time had come to let her go.

I have said goodbyes to Whoopy so many times in the past few years but this time it was different. She was the one leaving. Perhaps she knew. A few hours before she was put to sleep, Whoopy had suddenly become very alert. She had kissed, a nudge of her nose, all of us by turns. Later, when she slipped into another bout of convulsions, her eyes became dazed and we never got her back.

Whoopy breathed her last breath on my lap. One moment she was breathing and the next moment she was gone. We cremated her the next day. I had hugged her cold body and kissed her for the last time. She still smelt so sweet. It was so unfair.

It’s been ten days now and I still haven’t been able to let her go.

Friday, June 17, 2005

First thing on a Monday morning, R walked into office and announces, ‘There is a guy in the Kerela Government named Joseph Presentation.’

It got the rest of us into a giggling fit……

“At home he must be lovingly called ppt”
“I love working on Presentations”
“It was a short Presentation”
“Really, my Presentation was long”
“I work on Presentation day in and day out.”

… and so it went for the next hour or so. Who says Monday mornings need to be blue?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Both our dogs were taught the standard tricks of ‘paw/handshake’ and ‘beg’ at an early age.

I realised that Snoopy felt a need for greater expression when I entered a dark room one evening to find him begging to no one in particular. Switching on the light I noticed that Snoopy was actually begging to a lizard on the wall. ‘Come down and fall into my mouth’ was what he was saying but since he knew no other way to say it, he begged. That’s when I decided that he ought to be taught more actions.

But first came the decision of what to teach him. Snoopy, being the smart dog that he was, had already caught on how to express his feelings with just ‘beg’. He wanted food, he begged. He wanted to go out, he begged. He wanted to say sorry, he begged. What could I teach him then? New actions for new feelings was the answer. Thus began the arduous task of teaching him feelings. Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. In time Snoopy learned to yawn when I said ‘how boring’, to sit still when I said ‘statue’ and to extend his paw and then lick my hand (which I laid over his extended paw) every time I said ‘gentleman’.

My darling Snoopy. I bet he’s the most gentlemanly and the coolest dog in all of dog heaven.