Sunday, March 25, 2012

Our Andrew Ruled Us for 11 Years - Part II


10 Canine Commandments:

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful to me. Remember that before you buy me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial to my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment and your friends.  I have only you.
5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when it's speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it.
7. Remember before you hit me. I have teeth that could easily crush the bones of your hand but I chose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being unco-operative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me.  Perhaps I'm not getting the right food or I've been out in the sun too long or my heart is getting old and weak.
9. Take care of me when I get old.  You too will grow old.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys.  Never say 'I can't bear to watch it' or let it happen in my absence'. Everything is easier for me if you are there.

My friend Usha Pisharody had posted the above message in facebook, which pushed me to write this post about our Andrew.  The first part is here, wherein I wrote how much we enjoyed his company.  Like it happens with human beings also...with our own children, we have to bear their tantrums, take care of them when they are ill etc. we have to bear some things with our pets too. Though with dogs they are slightly different.  It takes time to get used to including them as a member in our family.  Unless you like/love them whole heartedly, it is very difficult to bring them up.  With pomeranians, which have too much hair, we have to bear the 'tick problem'.  We have to keep them clean.  Bathe them and brush them regularly.  Still somehow they attract ticks (small insects).  So, from my personal experience long/thick haired dogs are difficult to bring up.  Yearly vaccines for any type of dog is a must - we enjoyed going to the vet where we came to see many types of cute dogs/pups!

We must have somebody reliable to leave them when we are away from home, who will feed them, take them for walks, etc.  Thank god, we had friends who loved our Andrew like we did when he was with us. 

Now, to the 10th point of the above '10 Commandments'. Our Andrew lived with us for 11 years.  He was unwell for a few months and my sons insisted on taking care of him like we took care of them. The doctor came home to have a look at him often.  Then my son was unwell and was in the hospital for a few days.  Still he was asking about Andrew everyday.  Andy died when my son was still in the hospital.  My mother said that pet dogs die if somebody in the family was unwell.  I don't know about that but my son cried so much hearing the news that we were worried about his health.  One of our relative broke the news to him against our wish not to tell him. Well...he was a good pet and will live in our heart always.

Now, to some more antics of him! As you know I have two sons and they were school going children when Andy was with us.  They were asked to take him for walks, one on each day, after dinner.  Until dinner, Andy will keep quiet, just keeping an eye if we finish our dinner.  As soon as the dinner was over, he would start whistling, looking at each son, standing on two legs, dancing in front of the son whom he thought would take him out on that day. Sometime the sons fought, like, 'you take - you take'.  Andy used to run to both of them in turns and dance! He never liked looong walks, only short walks!  If we take him for long walks, he would just sit on the road after his due distance and would not budge.  We had to carry him in our hands or hips!

He was very possessive about my husband.  He never liked if my husband hugged my sons.  He would start barking at them, push his face between my husband and son and separate them. He never liked when my sons fought with each other.  He would stand up and bark at them loudly until they stopped fighting.

Some of my old relatives who never liked dogs also were made to love him by his friendly nature. He never climbed the bed but during the rainy season, thunder made him to climb and sit in between my sons!  He always loved to be surrounded by people.  He used to sit in between me and my friend on the sofa and sleep off when we chatted in the afternoons.

I remember his first birthday on 8th April '84.  My sons also were small.  All the small children from the colony celebrated it grandly...I remember my friend's daughter tying a small conical cap...well trying to tie (!) on Andy's head.  All the children had those caps and a cake was cut with cheers, with Andy joining in with his 'wow, wok, wok'! Happy days!

I still remember him taking tiny bits of chapaathis from my 1 and a half year old niece, without touching her fingers.  Another niece used to take him for walks (!) inside the house from one room to another.  The chain used to hang between him and her hand.  He never pulled her unlike he did with us! She used to act like a teacher later and Andy was the student.  He just used to sit there and watch her. She is a mother of two children and tells stories of Andy to her daughter now!

I feel that if possible, it is better to bring up a pet, esp. dog, when we have got only one child.  Then the child will develop sharing mentality and start taking care of the dog, which is like taking responsibility at a young age. This happened in our sons adored him and were very close to him.

I can go on writing about him for a few more parts...but will stop now! Enjoy your pets!

P.S.: Cats are ruling us now! We have got 2 older cats at home which are sterilised and they entertain us now.  No, no, we entertain them (husband says!). Anyway, cats are cats and dogs are dogs! Nothing can beat the friendly/loyal dogs!

Edited to add a few hours later: Our whole family is reading this article and they keep remembering new things about Andy! Once my husband's cousins had come home for the holidays when we were in Hosur.  One brother used to take Andy for walks 2-3 times a day.  So, Andy was giving him special attention! Whenever the brother changed from pyjamas to jeans, Andy would start jumping with joy, knowing that Anna will take him for a walk! Once Anna just changed back to should have seen Andy's face, body language...he just went and sat in a corner...he was upset! I don't know how many 'edited to add' I am going to write now!


Ugich Konitari said...

Sandhya, I so enjoyed this write up ! My downstairs neighbors had a dog called Boris when my daughter was little, and I remember one of her birthdays when the entire gaggle of kids, rushed downstairs to feed him a piece of cake....My daughter always accompanied uncle and aunty on their daily walks with Boris. Reading this brought back some memories...

Sandhya said...

UGICH KONITARI: Whoever likes animals/dogs, will remember their acquaintances with them, when they read this post, I know. Animals, esp. dogs, give unadulterated love, always!

Thank you, Suranga!

ashok said...

nice u say, it pains to part with them. I have decided not to have any more dogs after our last ones 'Bingo' and 'Ceaser'

Saritha said...

Now i too want a met,kids always pester me to get a puppy for them.

Lovely post sandhya....

KParthasarathi said...

Dogs endear themselves so much that when they die after the short life they have,they leave the nowners sad and miserable.I know of a relative of mine who was very much affected and it took a long time for him to become normal.But as long as they are there,the joy they give is unique.
I could see the love you and your family memnbers had for Andrew from your post and the nostalgic memories they bring for you

Sandhya said...

ASHOK: Nice and unusual name Bingo! Yes, we feel bad for a long time when they leave us. Now, we entertain our relatives' dogs! No permanent ones at home!

VARUNAVI: Please get on for them. This is the correct age. They will enjoy its company, Saritha!

KPARTHASARATHY: He didn't die young, so his departure was not a shock for us. Yes, we loved him a lot and he expressed his love for us very nicely. Even now, after so many years, we talk about him often!

Destination Infinity said...

When I was younger, I have asked my mother to buy a dog but she told me that dogs need to be fed with non-vegetarian food at least once in a week. Is this true? If it is true, how did you manage? You are a vegetarian right? Secondly, my mother was also working back then, so there would be no one at house to take care of the dog. Well, that was a good reason not to buy one. And besides, none of my relatives, including a whole bunch of extended relatives, have a pet! I find it very strange.

I will definitely have a pet at some stage of my life. Your description of Andrew has definitely stirred up my interest.

Destination Infinity

Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: Andy's favourite food was chapaathi. I used to make it twice a day - morning and night. He used to have the first chapaathi always! Then, curd rice, milk. They are secondary. Sometimes eggs. But his favourite was chapaathi, not egg! In those days, we never knew about pedigree. Don't know if it was there and I don't think I would have bought it!

Dogs become like a member of the family. Children love them more. Their nature will change, if they grow up with pets, I feel.

You will definitely enjoy your pet. They are relaxing. Their eyes show their love to you...let me stop now!

Kavita Saharia said...

Wonderful tribute to Andy .I too have heard that if someone in the owner's family is in trouble the dog takes the trouble over him.A true best friend .One of my patient gifted us a small puppy and Kaustubh is a busy busy boy now .House is full with four babies now :)

Rahul Bhatia said...

A lovely post, Sandhya ! Dogs shower all the love

Bikram said...

I am nostalgic now and you know why


Sandhya said...

KAVITA: I am very happy to know that Kaustubh has got a puppy! I am sure he and his sister will take care of him very well. You will see another soft angle of the children - four? What, Chandan included?!All the best!

RAHUL BHATIA: Yes, Rahulji, thank you!

BIKRAMJIT: Yes, I know! Even after 16 years, we are talking about Andy as if he was with us until yesterday. Dogs are like that.

Anu said...

I love doggies! And yes, as you said, any memories about them just gets etched within our heart. They just live with us like a family member and its really hard if they leave us.

radha said...

I had a pet too when I was young. But then we were in an independent house. Now, I would love to have one especially since the kids are away, but what about the times we are not at home?

P.N. Subramanian said...

Wonderful post. This brought back the remembrances of our own Steffy, Fox Terrier which passed away 4 years ago. It was with us for 12 years. It is really painful to see them at their death bed. We have resolved not to go in for pets any more.

Anonymous said...

nice post.. though I never had any pets myself, I totally agree with the 10 commandments.. I feel like owning a pet after reading your post..
how are you doing? long time..

Sandhya said...

RADHA: That is the biggest problem. Unless we have got a second family to take care of the dog, we can't bring them home.

VAISH: Yes, esp. children take it into heart. It is very difficult to console them.

PN SUBRAMANIAN: This is the resolution most people take after they lose their pets. We have cats which don't show that much affection and know to take care of themselves too!

EVANSCENTTHOUGHTS: Yes, it is a long time since I saw you. Hope you are doing fine.

Bringing up a dog is a unique experience which you will never forget. Please bring home a dog if you can.

Rama Ananth said...

Lovely post Sandhya. Read both parts and really enjoyed it very much. Thanks for the link.

Sandhya said...

RAMA: Thank you, Rama! We will always remember him like you do with your dogs!

Ankita said...

what a touching post.All the points are very correct.I too had a doggie,an American Spitz, it died six yrs back of old age.I still remember my furry friend everyday....

Sandhya said...

A S: Thanks for the comment, A S!

Whoever had lived with a dog and enjoyed him, will relate to this post! Dogs are friends for life!

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