My Dog Charlie

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My Dog Charlie

Charlie, came into our lives the same month I got married. He was just 2 weeks old when one of my relations handed him over to us and he adapted to his life with the new surroundings. There was our Tom cat whom we used to call Mani with us for the last 2 years before the little dog arrived.

Initially Charlie used to play with Mani, but somehow the cat was not very amused to see the attention getting diverted to the new visitor. Once he tried to put his paw at Charlie, and from thereon the dog was careful in his interaction with Mani. Mani as tom cats do, slowly used to disappear and would come back once a week and thereafter his frequency decreased to a month and then he never came back again.

Within leaps and bounds, in a matter of a year Charlie grew up and was seen in almost all corners of our one acre land. You could see him smelling something at one corner, and the next minute he would be standing just next to you. He was a dog seen in all places within the well defined boundary walls of the compound that had a pond and many palm and arecanut trees and a few cashew and jack fruit trees.

When we used to call him, he used to run across to us in a fluid motion with his mane flowing. Most of the time he would collide with me as he rarely could bring himself to a complete halt.One of our past time was me putting my hand in his mouth an he trying to bite playfully with the right amount of pressure applied.

In the initial stages, he loved to take a bath especially in the summer days, but as he aged, it was a bit difficult to entice him for the bath. Sometimes he would run away before the first cup of water was poured over him, and sometimes he would vanish after the  soap was put all over. But somehow I would manage to grapple with him and bring him back to the bath stand and because of the love he would stand still and take the bath, maybe, because he did not want to hurt me or any person in the family, who was trying to clean him.

In the night, he was left to roam the compound and during the day, he was sent to his kennel, the only way to entice him to it, was to either bring his breakfast or his lunch. He would run from wherever he was, the moment he heard the sound of his steel container, as that meant, his food was ready.

Dogs rarely like anybody touching their plate, once it is handed over to them, and this was true with Charlie too, as he would growl and show his teeth, if your hand went anywhere near his tiffin once he had started eating.

Dogs also know who is the real master of the house, and that way, he first respected my father and mother and then us in that order.

He was vaccinated only twice in his entire life of 13 years with us. Once I remember, I had to close his barking mouth, since he was not very keen to get the injection the first time when he was around 1 year old. But I could see the trust in his eyes, as I closed his jaw, saying silently to me, “I am not bothered what the doc does to me, as long as you are close to me and wish me well”.

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The pond in the compound would see him standing at the edge and looking into it, maybe looking at the tortoise or the fish that used to come near the edge. He rarely was engrossed for long in any particular thing and would move on to the next thing that interested him.

While my father watered the plants and the palm trees, he would run around or stay around, but would rush with great speed towards the gate, the moment he heard someone touching the latch on our gate. That way we used to keep our gate closed and had to take him to his kennel before letting our guests in.

Since he was seen strolling freely most of the afternoon times especially in the summer, all visitors would call out to us at the gate just to make sure that Charlie was not anywhere near.

One day, I remember, I came home late in the night, and my parents had locked the gate as I had told them, I will be sleeping at the office and be coming in the morning. As I came near the gate, Charlie made those funny squeaky noise especially when he spotted a loved one. But I wanted him to bark at me, so that my father would be alerted. But he just lingered for a few moments and vanished and finally I had to climb over and jump into our compound. I was a bit worried though, as to how he would react to me  scaling and jumping over. But then, he had disappeared into the darkness..

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After the first few years, myself and my family moved to the middle east and would see him only once in a year, and you could see the joy as he saw us when ever we came back. Leaving him after the vacation was heart wrenching for me, as was to the whole family.

My parents took good care of him, and he turned out to be their second son in my absence and mother would say to me, “taking care of him, sometimes would neutralize your absence “. The last years, was not good for him, as my parents had to leave him alone at the house with the care taker coming twice a day to feed him. The absence of his loved ones for one month or so in the last 2 years left him a bit gloomy and depressed. Though I came back, 2 years before he breathed his last, because of relocation to the city, my visits to him also went down.

My parents had gone to meet my sister and during that time, he contracted some illness and stopped eating for 2 days, and on the third day, I reached and gave him medicine to help him recover from his ailment. He was also running a fever. I knew he was going through his last moments. Dad arrived that evening without my mother as she planned to stay for a few more weeks at my sister’s place.

Dad gave him some food in the evening which he took, he must have been really overjoyed to see him back, the master of the house,  despite his illness and happy that he could rest in peace. That very day, during the night he passed away leaving a vacuum in our lives. My mother was really sad but in a way consoled herself that she was not there, as it would have been heart breaking for her.

It has been around 5 years since he left us, but to us, he was to us, a great pet and shall ever remain etched in our memory till the very last…

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Balance Lost

The crow craned his neck to look at me
the alley cat with inquiring eyes wondered
as to what was wrong as I stepped out
the clumsy dog who normally lifted his ears
upon my sight, today got up fully confused.

I knew, something was wrong with poor me
my legs refusing to anchor me as I walked
and when I fell, all animal kind fled away
except the dog who came running to me,
and barked at all and licked my fallen face…

The Lost Dog

 

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Pic Courtesy: Dogingtonpost.com

He appeared out of nowhere
looking for his lost loved ones
whimpering on his great loss
he looked at me only once at first.

He was lost in his own thoughts
would his master discover his missing
would he ever able to spot them again
will they come back for him or never.

It was then the poor dog  observed me
who was all the time trying to read him
the rain made things worse for him
a confused bundle of fur he appeared.

The road provided him no shelter
and running to and fro at first
It was then he observed me well covered
and  came near my large umbrella

When I offered a few biscuits, was he glad
as he looked at me with benevolent eyes
to gulp it down and rush back to the road
to be on the lookout for his lost master…

 

The Prized Salesman

I almost fell down onto the floor having dozed off in the early morning. It was going to be another hot day. The room was dark as I was alone within the confines of my space. I must wait for the owner to open the shop to bring in new tidings of the day and watch people amble by.

My job was to sit and make noises to attract people passing by the shop. The eatery shop is located on a busy street in a busy city where people flock to from distant lands in search of a living, a city that was work personified for its working class. The hot summer made things worse for me, as I was supposed to sit outside the shop while people whom I had attracted were cooling their heels inside the restaurant.

People walking fast by the restaurant will not notice it unless I make a hue and cry all of a sudden, that I have to admit, startles some, but that is how I start making  my presence felt, so that they look around and notice the eatery joint and a few of the many do enter when they feel they should get some good food. If it was not me sitting outside, very few would have ventured inside or continued walking hungrily.

The only respite I get is during the noon times when sometimes, I am let in and asked to take a siesta when I used to doze of just as I had done now. Inside, I am supposed to keep quiet and just observe or perhaps note down the profile of the customers, so that next time when they passed this way, I should alert them to this hotel which served nice dishes.

It must have been so many seasons that I have been working for my master. I am fed and lodged well as per his vision but then who will not crib when the same stuff is doled out to you day in and day out. You might ask why am I still stuck with him for so long and why am I not looking for better options or leaving this place itself to other lands where there might be better opportunities. But then, I guess, my mission is to seek out new customers for my master.

If only you had known me beforehand, you would have not asked this question. I do not know how many more seasons are in store from me, maybe a few or may be several years ahead as I do not know for how many more I will live or what is, as they call it, my life span. I wish,  my voice would remain powerful until the very end.

There are people who pause to look at me as they arrive at this place, for they know, here is one person who sits all day in the morning and into the late evenings just chirping it out to attract many a passerby…

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