Spice of life: Julie and Caesar, my links to paradise
Before you realise, he is part of the family. To think of it, we are the world for him. Who else in the world will feed him, take care of him, and take him on car rides and walks to the lake. He will always meet you with a smile and a wagging tail. Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil, jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog and pat him, doing nothing, is like being in heaven.Updated: Aug 10, 2015 09:27 IST
Before you realise, he is part of the family. To think of it, we are the world for him. Who else in the world will feed him, take care of him, and take him on car rides and walks to the lake. He will always meet you with a smile and a wagging tail. Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil, jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog and pat him, doing nothing, is like being in heaven.
Since our daughters’ childhood, we have had dogs in the house. It was the German Spitz breed earlier, three generations from the same pedigree since 1985 of our first one — Julie. All of them were lovable and friendly dogs. It was Julie, and then came Romeo-1 and Romeo-2. Somehow, we felt that Julie had trained them at birth to be decent and well behaved. They never attacked or bit anyone. Julie was brought from a retired brigadier in Mohali. I paid Rs 500 for her in 1985, a princely sum for a dog without a Kennel Club of India registration. I just liked her and more so her mother, who was wagging her tail as if begging us to adopt her. It was as if no one wanted to adopt her, but I wanted a female dog only, so I picked her up. With me was my elder daughter, Simrit, carrying a basket lined with cotton and some flowers. We were determined to pick up a dog that day, come what may. It was Julie we chose. Her mother came to see us off till the gate of the house and stood up to the cane basket as if to bless Julie that she goes to a nice dog lover’s home as she did. Every mother wishes that for her daughter, doesn’t she?
A few weeks down, Julie started to bang her head against the walls. She was blind. The vet suggested that we put her to sleep. I asked him: “Doctor, if it were your child, what you would do?” He never charged us for Julie’s treatment till her last day. He started to treat her after a few weeks. Julie turned out to be a very affable dog. She delivered three litters, each better than her. She regained her sight.
Seven years ago, Caesar, a Labrador, came into our lives and changed all the doggy equations once and for all. He is an unsettled tornado. I could not tackle him in spite of my energy and enthusiasm. He is a naughty character, always comes up with surprises and tests my patience, can devour anything and everything, vegetarian or meat. His hunger is insatiable. He is of British pedigree; his father was imported from the UK. Dogs come into our lives to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart. Things you learn from a dog — greet everyone with enthusiasm, loyalty is a virtue, protect those you love, love unconditionally; and no matter what life brings you, never change your loyalties.
Finally, what these loving dogs taught me and my family in life was to be compassionate and to give unconditional love and affection. But more than unconditional love, they all left a message behind, that in all circumstances, when the master of the house returns, greet him with a wagging tail; it relieves him of a lot of worldly tensions. They did add to the family values that we cherish till date.
The writer is a Chandigarh-based freelance contributor.