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29 May 2010

sHaDoW

His name was Shadow. First puppy EVER to be born in our house. All the rest of them were either bought or brought. He was our own baby.


He was black when he was born…. looked like a little rat. The servant said he was going to be unlucky for the family, what with being black and all. Pffff.
His mum, Sheaba, was fiercely protective of him; all mothers are, aren’t they? Grandma was the only one who was allowed near the baby.


Grandma treated Shadow like her own baby… piece of her heart. The last thing I saw before I left for college is him sitting on his haunches in the best chair of the house and her feeding him cerelac from a La Opala bowl with a spoon. And he had a napkin too=) U get the point.


He was slowly growing into the cutest puppy EVER. He started growing a lot of fur (his papa is a Lhasa Apso, the kind with fur all over the face) and he started getting white patches on his face and all four, little, puppy pads. He slept with on ear open and started baby-yelping (which he thought was barking) at people he didn’t know. He took over my sister’s doll, a little yellow raggedy thing she named Manju, and ran around dissecting it. He learnt to climb the stairs to my Grandma’s room in a week; a feat which took his father more that three months. And all this with a tummy touching the floor when he walked=D Affectionate as only dogs can be, he followed both of us, me and Grandma around like there was no tomorrow.


He was a month old when his mamma taught him to uproot plants. Then uprooting the garden plants became his aim and goal of life. He decided that the summer was too hot and jumped into the fish-tank and not knowing how to swim, sat there in neck-deep water whimpering, till the gardener rescued him. He yelped the house down if he didn’t see Grandma for more than half an hour and ate all his mamma’s chicken pieces. Spoilt brat he was. Our little baby spoilt brat.


Then, Grandma went to visit Ma for fifteen days. She came back and got the shock of her life. Shadow, the fat cuddly healthy clean puppy had gone and a thin haggard looking dirty parapatti-like thing had taken its place. He had a horrible cough too. The only thing that was left of Shadow was his affection for us; he wagged his little tail and scarpered around delighted to have her back, his valathamma. He’d missed her and she’d missed him more than she would admit. She took it upon herself to make him better and restore his health; he was our baby after all.


He jus became worse, developed a bad cold and his limbs started twitching. It was a sad Vishu spent at the Vet’s place. The Vet was a self-assured bastard who considered himself beyond explanations and just went on sticking needles into the weak little body. The next day, on asking him repeatedly, he rudely said that Shadow had contracted distemper and that the twitching was going to be there till what was left of his life. He recommended euthanizing him.


My heart broke clean into two halves. He looked at me, his puppy eyes’ asking me what was happening. I couldn’t bear to look at him.


I asked God the usual question, why? We had three other healthy, adult dogs, none of whom were even de-wormed and never had, touchwood, any problems and here was my precious little puppy suffering.


I went to my hostel early and sat in my room alone crying and praying till I fell asleep.


I came home for my semester holidays and nobody was there to greet me. Manju lay abandoned. The La Opala bowl and spoon put away. The napkin was burned. I didn’t need to be told.




My baby’s gone.