Friday, February 24, 2012

Our Andrew Ruled Us For 11 Years! Part - I

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I had been thinking of writing about our Andrew for a long time now.  A Facebook message by Usha Pisharody triggered my brain and I am doing this post at last, now! I was afraid that I might write a lot and yes, I am going to!

Let me start from the day he joined our family! It was in Hosur! We had just then shifted from Bangalore to Hosur.  My neighbour from Bangalore had a Pomeranian dog, Pinky, who had delivered 5 puppies and she offered me one.  But we had to wait for the pup to grow up.  So, he, whom we named Andrew, came home, by car to my husband's office and he sent him via his office boy who came by a bicycle holding him to his chest!  Andrew was shivering when I took hold of him for the first time...he was looking like a tiny white soft woollen bundle with 3 black rounds for 2 eyes and a tiny nose, maybe the nose was pink! He was just 40days' old! Though we had a dog in my grandmother's place and then cats in my mother's place, Andrew aka Andy was new to us. My sons were in 2nd and LKG classes! So, three children to look after for me in a new place! And I didn't have a servant maid too! Imagine! After he slept, I ran to the shop, asking my neighbour to be with him, in case he woke up, to buy a small chain, a teething ring(!) and some marie biscuits.  I feel as if I did all these things recently! We lived in a Housing board colony of independent houses.  We had small garden areas in the front and the back but no fences! I had to keep an eye on Andy all the time! Because of Andy, all the colony children started coming home to play  with him! If I closed the door, he was behind me playing with my saree and then just like that, sleep on my foot! I was cooking without moving my foot for a long time, I still remember!

One day, no, one night, we couldn't find him for quite some time.  The year was 1983...TV was still new.  It was a Friday and 8 O' clock Tamil film song programme 'Oliyum oliyum' was going on in the TV.  The whole colony was deserted.  Nobody wanted to move out because of the TV programme.  Still many children joined us in the search. We just roamed here and there calling him! All of us were very upset...then we found him sleeping behind the gas cylinder when the whole group of adults and children had left the TV programme in search of him!

He had this habit of running to the neighbouring house and bringing home their child's toys!  So, whenever some toy was missing, my friend used to come and complain 'unga Andy thookkindu vandiruppan' (your Andy must have brought it home!). Sometimes she was angry too! But Andy is a baby...a loving baby! Shail knows best!

I didn't know what to feed him in the beginning, so like I used to feed my babies, I fed Andy paruppu saadam (dhaal rice) with salt and ghee! Later on I was told that ghee and salt are banned for dogs!  But in later years, he was fed saambaar rice by my servant maid along with her 4 children and this fellow was happily gobbling it up from her hand! She used to work in 4 houses, collect all the rice from those houses, mix them up and feed her children (making balls out of the mixture and dropping in the children's hands and then one ball for Andy!She used to feed him holding rice in her hand!) who came from a nearby school for lunch. 

Andy used to play 'hide and seek' with the colony children.  We women used to play tennikoit in the open space in front of our house.  This fellow used to intervene and run away with the ring!  We, women, children used to run after him! It WAS real fun!

When he was tiny, we made him to sleep on a small jute bag with a cotton cloth on it.  Andy used to sleep on that, come out, urinate outside his bed, in small round puddles, go back and sleep! His bed was never wet for months together!

Ours was the only house which had a Pomeranian dog in those days.  So it was called 'naai veedu' (dog house).  Andy used to run away from home often for one or two days. Sometimes we used to find him in some homes.  He was an over friendly dog! Once he was missing for a few hours and we found him sitting near a small plant...his chain was caught in a branch...he was a 100% budhdhoo and darpok!

I had already written here how he used to bring auto rickshaws by himself! Whenever we were out of station, we used to send the children and Andy to our friend's place.  When we have a dog, we should have some friends who would be happy to take care of them in our absence.  My friend's husband was crazy about Andy.  He used to give oil bath on Sundays to my sons and his children and Andy too used to have shampoo bath with the children near their well in the open space! He really enjoyed life!

If I was not in station, my husband used to take him to his shop (he had an electrical shop then) and Andy used to sleep there! My husband had to coax him a lot to eat! Andy loved chapaathis and curd rice too!  Sometimes we used to feed him eggs.  He loved warm breads from the bakery...it SHOULD be warm, otherwise he refused to eat!  He used to be very fussy for eating if I was not home!  He never liked me going out.  Whenever I tried to change my saree for going out he used to sit on it and make it difficult for me to wear it and then would start barking until I turned the street corner!

He never liked to take bath! I had to carry him in my hip like a baby, even after he was quite grown up, for giving him a bath! He would run here and there and hide beneath the  low double cot and it was very difficult to pull him out. Sometimes my husband used to bathe him.  Andy hated it more because my husband would apply soap on his body and rub him so hard that his whole body used to move from one end of the bathroom to the other! Then he started acting smart!  Whenever my husband said 'Innikku naa Andyei kulippaattureen' (I will bath Andy today), this fellow would run and hide in his usual place - beneath the cot.  My husband would coax him, plead him...no, he won't come out! Then my husband will curse him, go and bathe himself and come near the God to pray...now, Andy would come and stand beside him with his tail wagging!

My friend, whenever we met used to ask me 'Un moonaavathu paiyan yeppadi irukkaan? (How is your third son?)'  He was like one.

I remember one more incident.  Andy had the/took the freedom to go anywhere in the house.  On the Ganesh Chaturthi day, he loved to sit near Ganesha among all the flowers and diyas, sometime sleep, keeping his chin on the cold flowers (this was in Chennai!).  After the haarthi, I used to recite some shlokas and my sons used to repeat them.

Gajaananam bhoota...sons used to repeat and then Andy, 'Wow Wow'
Ganaadhi sevitam...after sons' repetition, Andy, 'Wow Wow'
or is it 'wok wok'?! The Pomeranian dogs have a unique small voice and our Andy had that!

Imagine Andy sleeping, keeping his chin on the flowers in front of the Ganesha!

I think I will continue in the next post!


THE SECOND PART IS HERE
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26 comments :

Destination Infinity said...

We can very well understand how much you considered Andy to be a part of your family! He should also be lucky to get a family like this. Its amazing how dogs can understand everything that humans say/mean. No wonder they are mans best friend.

Once when I was in Bangalore, our vendor came from the United States (it was his first trip to India). On seeing various street dogs roaming here and there, he asked me, 'Who feeds these dogs'. I said, 'Nobody'. He was shocked! It was just a moment, but his face expression conveyed how much they care and take care of dogs.

Destination Infinity

Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: Thank you, D.I. We enjoyed his company until it lasted. Now, we don't think we can give so much attention, so we didn't bring home another dog.

Our cat too understands if we talk about her, though not as much as Andy did. But dogs are always dogs.

Yes, they care a lot about animals.

kavita said...

I know Andy from your previous posts ,had a look again at the archives.Pets bring so much joy to the family they live in.Andy doing chants in his own woofy style ,playing tennikoit(his version of course,lol),all sounds so sweet .My son wants a puppy of his own ,we promised him that we would bring one on his birthday this year.

Bikramjit said...

You know we had one called Jenny, and she was so adorable. I had come ot uk and i returned after a few years. I had not told anyone i was coming to be a surprise .. I was just there when she was barking her head of, it was 4AM in morning .. SHE knew i had come ..
The whole two weeks she did not leave me.

She was a part of family and went with us wherever we went , if any relative showed some disagreement my dad never went to their house again ever..

I am so looking forward to having a pet here in uk, once I get to have some free time .. Dont want to leave it alone in the house all day.. when i am at work..

I did keep a pet for 3 weeks but I felt I was doing unjustice, and being bad to him, as i went to work nad came late at night and it had to stay home all day long ..

This post reminds me of Jenny and I am sure i had read about Andy earlier too ..

Bikram's

Sandhya said...

KAVITA: As per my opinion children should grow up with their pets! That bond will remain with them their whole life. They will become soft-natured and will appreciate all living beings surrounding them. My children too talk about him like I am doing now, whenever his topic comes up at home.

If the cat is not home, we adults always speak seriously at home, well, mostl! As soon as Goalie comes in the tone changes!

Gauri and Kaustubh will be happy to have a puppy growing up with them, I am sure, Kavita!

Sandhya said...

BIKRAM: Human and dog friendship is for life, Bikram! They will never forget us.

Yes, we cannot leave them alone at home and go for work everyday. Dogs love to be surrounded by people.

You had written about Jenny earlier, too, Bikram! We are crazy dog people!

Shail said...

Oh my Sanshya! He really repeated the shloka after you! :))
I loved reading about him and am waiting for more Andy purana :)

Ashwini Sriram said...

I am happy to have known, fed and played with Andy!! :D Andy is, to a certain extent, the reason I am still crazy about dogs.

It has been said that kids who grow up taking care of dogs, are more sensitive to other people's needs and feelings. That applies to both the Annas!

Your absolute love for Andy comes through in this post, Mami. Both of you were lucky to have had each other. I love how Andy's antics are still spoken about, in our family. :) He is missed!

Usha Pisharody said...

Sandhya, this is so so so beautiful :) Your Andy is one heck of a guy :) Your third son :D :D
your autorickshaw caller
the neighbourhood pet
the huge entertainer all around...

Our pets are all these, aren't they. They are the better parts of us, I sometimes feel, giving so unconditionally and asking for so little in return. Just that we love them too, and be there for them :)

I so loved reading about him, I really did.
I read that autorickshaw post too :) :) What an absolute darling!
Looking forward to more Andy tales :)

Sandhya said...

SHAIL: When we recited the shloka together, he must have found it odd. He barks at odd acts! Will write about it later!

Thank you, Shail!


ASHWINI SRIRAM: I know that he influenced you to bring Jerry home! He too was a baby!

You are right about the pets' influence in children, Ashwini!

He seems to be missed by everyone who had been in contact with him!

Will write more next!


USHA PISHARODY: Andy did make a huge influence in our lives, Usha!

You must have felt that too! Thank you, Usha! Will write more!

Renu said...

He looks so cute in your home, but I am very scared of dogs, so none for me.

ashok said...

long post :) but interesting to read..

varunavis said...

Wonderful andrew,i never used to like dogs.After reading IHM blog i started liking dogs.

My neighbour has dog,kids give biscuits to him and i talk to him,the moment he sees me he wags his tail....

Usha Pisharody said...

A tag, Sandhya, if you would?

http://ushus.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/the-elevenses-tag/

Do read it, and post your take :) Thank you in advance!

radha said...

My nephew when he was a kid used to call his dog Alsatian Swaminathan. I guess Andy also had a similar name considering him being the third toddler in the house!

Rahul Bhatia said...

A lovely post:) No better friend than a dog...

Rachna said...

Hey, I have a puppy Labrador, Coco, who is 10 months old. He is the baby in my family, and my sons just adore him. He is quite big and so loving and friendly. I can understand your feelings about Andy. Having a pet really does enrich our lives.

Sandhya said...

RENU: Once you like them, they are like babies, Renu! My family also have got people who are scared of dogs, even they started liking him after sometime!


ASHOK: Thank you, Ashok!


VARUNAVI; You have started liking them now. Saritha!


USHA PISHARODY: I did your tag fast, Usha. Normally, I am lazy doing tags!


RADHA: One of my friend used to tell that he is Andrew Kumar!

I like the name Alsatian Swaminathan...sound unique!


RAHUL BHATIA: Thank you, Rahulji!


RACHNA: Here is one more dog lover, thank you Rachna! Yes, they become part of the family. We seem to talk about him often even after 16 years!

Swaram said...

So so cute! Luved the Ganesh Puja part :) :)

Ruprekha said...

So lovely a post! Can understand your feelings Sandhya, I have gone through all this. Yes, they bring so much happiness/love and then before you even know, its time to part, leaving all those fond memories to cherish .....

kanagu said...

I am expecting this post for a long time and I didn't read it on time!!! bad me!!!

Always enjoyed Andy's antics.. Dogs are just kids.. they do antics and loves to play with us all the time :)

Even though I love dogs.. I fear playing with them... :( Wish I was better..

Indian Home Maker said...

Lovely story of Andy!! Loved how he could go anywhere in your house. A friend's dog also used to respond to a particular bhajan and she believed he was joining in the prayer!

What I find most amazing is his rikshaw travel.

Sandhya said...

RUPREKHA: We and our children should be ready for that too, Ruprekha! We talk about him often at home.


KANAGU; Cats might scratch or bite when they are angry, at least some cats. But dogs never do that even if they are hit badly. They are the best friends of man, really! Bring a dog home and you will know!


INDIAN HOME MAKER: Yes, I can see him sitting on the seat in the rickshaw, balancing to the movement, even now! Thank you, IHM!

Shail Mohan said...

I loved reading it all over again! :D

Rachna said...

And do you see Sandhya that I've already read and commented on your post earlier :). It's a small world!

Sandhya said...

SHAIL: Thank you, Shail! Even now we keep talking about him. His picture is in our show case for us to admire him always!


RACHNA: Yes, it is a small world indeed! How is your Coco? Do you write about him? I must subsribe your blog now!

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