What was the first one called… how can I forget. He was Shadow and he was there even before my younger sister (Paru) came into my life. An Alsatian, he was ferocious for the rest but a partner in crime for me the naughty boy. He was smart, hairy, long nosed and very possessive of his house and master. One of those days, we left him alone at home and he displayed his annoyance by eating away dad’s scooter cushion. Oh dear, dad was mad and Shadow had to endure some starving sessions which of course wasn’t effective as he had a friend in the form of a 7 year old! I could sit on him and imagine I was riding a horse and he never seemed to have minded that role-playing for me.
Our house was on an elevated piece of land and the road was at least 5 meters below. That did not desist my furry friend from fighting with unwanted elements seen on the road. He used to take a leap across to argue his case and expected me to get him back through the main gate without dad’s knowledge. That was our secret deal. Very soon, hearing of his exploits, he had a huge fan following and he had to make those trips to establish his superiority over the mongrels and honour the admiring lasses. Very committed to the cause of expanding his genealogy, his trips at times became difficult for even me to suppress. So, as days passed, our mom had to be co-opted in his secret out-pass plans.
The sad chapter started when my dad passed away and we had to shift base to an apartment in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. Shadow could not stay with us as I was in Sainik School and mom had to attend full day office. I did not realize such bigger administrative issues as I was just told that a relative would take care of Shadow. During the first term break, I hurried to that relative’s place to realize that Shadow had moved houses to her friends place. Desperate to meet my only childhood friend, I went to their house only to be told that he had run away from there. What a sad day it was for me. Not even my dad’s loss had made me feel so lonely and isolated. In my heart I believed that he would turn up at our house in Thiruvananthapuram but little did I know that I was not told the whole story.
Shadow was with that aunt’s friend only but not wanting to lose him or his loyalty they kept it as a secret and fed me the story of his having run away. Poor me. A 10 year old was never to realize the realities of life and kept praying for umpteen nights to restore me my friend. I am sure Shadow also would have had a similar prayer till the last breath of his life wondering about his being orphaned and his friend abandoning him.
My eyes grow misty as I think of him and maybe yours too will. Since past is past, only thing you and me can ensure is that such a fate never befalls a dog and his friend.
We shall meet again dear friend. Maybe we have met again but the ignoramuses we humans are we never know. Miss your wet nose and the furry snuggle. Miss those sharp eyes and pointed ears. Miss your barks and lovely whines.
Maybe in another life we will meet. Love you.
Gather ye together with the utmost joy and fellowship and recite the verses revealed by the merciful God. By so doing the doors to knowledge will be opened to your inner beings, and ye will then feel your souls endowed with steadfastness and your heart filled with radiant joy. Baha’u’llah
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