This photo brings back so many memories of a time that may never return - when Dash and Socks were still friends and played together. Back then, we didn’t have collars on them, or have to separate them by putting a chain and tying Dash and Socks in such a way that they can’t reach each other. Back then, putting the collar and chaining them to the balcony grill was a punishment. I still remember the first time when I tied Dash and Tina was so upset and sad about it.
I’ve always had dogs, right from my 2nd class or so. Goofy, who ran away one day, Snooker - who never adjusted with us, or we with him and had to be given away, and Simba, who was my best friend… until the distances of engineering college, NID and then Bangalore slowly erased me until I was only a faint memory. I carried the pain of losing Simba for the longest time, knowing that I could have done better, to have reconnected with him whenever I came home for a few days…
After moving to Bangalore in 2006, I’d yearned to bring a dog home. For the longest time, I wanted to get a Lab, a big dog… until a visit to my friend Sachin’s home in Delhi and meeting Phooey changed everything.
Dash came into my life on a July morning in 2010. A few months later, in September, I saw an infant Bolt with a dislocated hip (he was dragging his rear legs behind him), and I couldn’t bear to see him in that state, so I took him in. Later that night, his sister Socks, who’d been picked up by a boy and his mother was abandoned at that same spot, right in front of our house; and Vivek and I took her in too. And they just stayed.
I always knew that whoever came into my life as my partner would have to love dogs, and when Tina came home the first time, they just took to each other so peacefully, especially Dash who since then has always had a special place in Tina’s heart.
People are often surprised when we tell them that we have three dogs, all of whom we adopted. Sometimes I wonder how it would have been if we didn’t bring them home, would they have been happier, roaming freely on the streets? Would our lives have been easier? It’s a lot of responsibility, for starters, we’d have been able to pack our bags and just take off wherever we wanted to without thinking twice about it. Some of the things they do frustrate us to no end. Sometimes I get so angry with them too… but, there’s the flip side to all of this. The joy, the tremendous, unimaginable joy I have when I see them when I come back from somewhere, when I wish them good night, when we play together, when they come to us, demanding to be petted and talked to and loved… when they sleep in with Tina and me… our lives would have been so, so incomplete without them. Every single day is blessed with them in our lives, I know that they’ve helped me become a better person in many ways.
They’re my darlings I can’t imagine a day without them in my life.