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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Positive Developments....


I am not really a dog-lover….as a kid, I was petrified of dogs. I remember we used to visit my mom’s best friend. She loves dogs and has a German shepherd that looks like a wolf. At every occasion we would visit them, aunty would lock up ‘shyama’ inside a room as I would start crying uncontrollably when she starts barking. Even now I remember how I would clamp up the minute we would reach aunty’s house and my heartbeat would start beating faster. Infact, once we had gone to her place and I was wearing a pretty pavadai (long skirt worn by kids in south India) and by chance, before aunty could lock up shyama ( which was heart wrenching for her….dogs are like their own kids for dog lovers, I realize NOW!). ‘Shyama’ in her enthusiasm on seeing a small kid and thinking I have come to play with her….came running to me….I was shit scared that I started running around the house and in the process my pavadai was shredded and torn as ‘shyama’ thought it was a big game. Amma tells me that I cried uncontrollably for a long time and she was more upset about my torn pavadai and shyama looking forlorn and looking sadly at aunty with a ‘what have I done now!’ expression.

Cut to the present,
I was engaged to S and till I visited his place I did not know that my in-laws have not one, two German Shepherds (Kaspar and Cookie)!!!! I remember every time Kaspar and Cookie would bark the minute I got up…..so for the entire day I was glued to the sofa and did not get up even when I wanted to pee. Apparently, S did not enlighten me about the dogs, lest I refuse to marry him in fear (for the dogs!). I was thinking to myself, how the hell am I going to move around the house, forget moving around….live with two dogs?!!! Despite the fact that we lived alone due to proximity to work, we would often visit or live with my in-laws over the weekend and I didn’t have a choice, but get used to it. Slowly and steadily I got used to being around them….and could ignore Kaspar when he came and sniffed around and I would close my eyes tightly when he licked me all over. At that time, I did not understand that was his way of expressing his love….after all, he cant talk?!!! Dumb me!!

By the time we were married, Cookie had to be given away as she did not really get along with Kasper and it was a big strain to take care of two dogs for my in-laws. I got used to Kasper and would still clamp up when I reached the doorstep and would wait for him to literally pounce on me and lick me all over for at least 5 minutes. He liked me so much that he would wait outside the bathroom when I was inside….and my MIL would complain that she is the one who feeds, cleans and takes care of him and I am the one who reaps the benefit!!!

Kasper died a few months ago and I realize that I do love him a lot and miss him. Every time I see a German shepherd, I am fondly reminded of my dear Kasper. I still remember when he would look at me, I could feel him emoting true feelings…like a true person!!! When he died I was alone in Pune with S traveling abroad and could not get over the fact that he is no more. For my in-laws, S and Shashi (S’s sister) he is like a kid and a sibling respectively. S was understandably very upset when he heard about Kasper and was unfortunately abroad at that time. Infact, he has written his first post about Kasper…

It is indeed a huge development from what I felt for dogs as a kid. My parents and aunty especially are so surprised about this development in me…..

Kasper, you are missed by all of us and most importantly, loved by all of us…to the extent that he is called Kasper Venkatraman!!!!

4 comments:

Raaga said...

Sorry to hear. S's folks also had a German Shepherd, Julius, who passed away in June this year.

Ritu said...

It is so easy to love animals... We are also planning to get a dog. We have been avoiding it so far knowing the responsibility of rearing one is tremendous. But my kids love 'em!

Aaarti said...

Hey

Am so sorry about Kasper n too bad Cookie had to be given away... can imagine how you must have felt,cos i have a couple of friends who wont come anywhere near my house cos i have a dog,he is just a pup...

And they are so easy to love and care for and expect nothing in return..just little more love from us... i love em... am sure u do too now..

:)

Pretty Woman said...

hey aaarti,
looks like you are a new visitor to my blog :) Keep coming back...
Its not difficult to guess you are a dog lover. Indeed, dogs do not expect anything in return, their love and affection ( expressed in their own unique licking!) is unconditional!!