So much has been written about pets and their going away that any more words seem certain of sounding platitudinous. But like air and water and sun and the earth, thoughts by their intrinsic nature, are born to be shared.
If my Mom is Dad’s first love, Fluffy was his other lady love! He had a name for her, “Gudia”.
Originally a fifth birthday gift to Aqseer, Fluffy was by extension her sister because the pup’s mother Candy was my Dad’s dog and that put Fluffy laterally in the same orbit as her five year old owner. But it so happened that over the years, with our constant moves and unsettled tenures, the pooch found her way back to her original home. And there she stayed for twelve long years, until her passing away at the remarkable age of 16 years on this 18th May.
Far more through omission than by commission, Fluffy grew up to be Dad’s personal dog. During those vacation seasons of family gatherings, while the hordes gathered around Mom, Fluffy stayed loyal to Dad, dismissing all the gaiety and cheer in favour of his busy shadow. They had quite a pact. Dad would take one look at the giggly story telling session involving a bunch of excited grandkids leaping all over the prostrate yarn spinner in his master bedroom, turn to Fluffy with a crisp command ,“Let’s go Fluffy,” and the two would be off to the guest room!
It is Dad who knew the little tricks to make her finish her meal! Many a crisp, green, cucumber they have shared under the table. The doggy bag of goods with every non-veg purchase was a foregone conclusion. She received her care: the bath, the medicines, the walks, the brushing chiefly from Dad. I know the highlight of her day was a tummy tickle with his big toe! She was also partial to a demonstrative action on her little head.
Once an energetic little ball of white fur, for a while lately, age had begun to slowly but steadily creep up on her. The eyes were dimming and her limbs deflating of strength. Dad was clearly running out of tricks to feed her. She gave off a whiff of weariness and fatigue. Most of the day was spent in a stupor. The doorbell that would once shock her into wild yelps no longer penetrated the curtain that was drawing close.
I am glad we were around to sit over her as she departed. There she lay under the fan, covered with one of Mom’s fine, new dupattas. As we drove to a calm and open place at dawn to lay her to rest, I couldn’t help but recall all those other occasions when she would be hanging out of the car window in excitement, ears twitching and tail furiously wagging. Having found a neat place under a tree, a little pit was dug up and Fluffy laid down for her final sleep.
It has been seven days. Is there a canine paradise she has gone to? Did the phantom of her mother Candy stand at the doorway, awaiting her? I don’t know but I sure am glad, she is at rest on a path that her owner walks every day.
You Fluffy, dear dog, in the truest sense, are buried deeper in our hearts!