Over the years, this picture has stretched, beyond all our imagination 🙂
We were still in college when Bono became a part of our lives (how that happened is a story for another time). Handsome, majestic and super intelligent, he was a part of all our adventures and some misadventures too. Years later he witnessed our wedding and nothing felt more special than starting our new life with him.
Having a dog when you’re just married is a responsibility but with a dog like Bono it was a “peace” of cake. Peaceful weeks rolled by, until over one casual conversation with a friend who had a female Dalmatian, out of the blue, we unanimously decided that continuing the lineage of our unique pet was imperative. And so this idea landed us with our next dog, 3 months into our newly wedded life.
Bono’s son Ringgo arrived and ‘the picture just got cuter’, though we clearly forgot about seeing corners getting chewed up. What we had in our hands was a cute cuddly fur ball with a mind of his own and one who could chew through anything! Things that have passed the Ringgo quality test : our furniture, fridge, headphones, expensive rugs, precious books along with the bookshelf, pancard, my husband’s signature series drumsticks, money (yes, actual currency), our marriage…certificate! Nobody knows how he got his paws and teeth on these. He refused any kind of obedience training and took his own sweet time to housebreak. By the time this phase ended it was more than a year and he had pretty much shaped and reshaped our lives, personality & marriage.
It’s really not the things you do when you have a house full of pets that matter, its the attitude you develop towards it that makes the difference. We learnt lessons in patience, to live one day at a time, and to always except the unexpected! What would start out as a regular day could end up being a hyperactive one with fun activities, visits to the pet shop etc., or it would be a sudden visit to the vet because there was a little gang war and one of them got bitten. We also experienced the most intense form of grief through our pets, when the time comes for them to crossover it rips your heart. Nothing can prepare you for that. Yet we continued to willingly step into those shoes, again and again. If these are not lessons to allow the soul grow, what is?
Pets in your life, especially during the early years of your marriage can be challenging. We found ourselves struggling for some alone time. Spontaneous getaways were impossible as we always had to plan and arrange for our pets to be in safe hands while on a vacation. There were financial implications. It meant growing up faster and being responsible all the time. Pets made our marriage more regimented but not without fun, they also taught me the two most important things that keep any relationship together, loyalty and unconditional love.
We always took care of the dogs on our street, feeding them and making them comfortable without getting over familiar. Can’t remember distinctly when and how they became a part of our household! Perhaps it was one Diwali night, an occasion we dread as pet parents, some unusual sounds near the front door prompted me to check and there she was standing, the brown beauty of our street, Laila (I nicknamed her that due to her many suitors) with her 5 puppies in tow. Shivering and scared she was looking for a safe place for her pups. New constructions around the area had taken away some of her hiding places. Not knowing what better to do we opened the door, all 6 of them rushed in and settled down. Well, that evening our home was rocking to club and house music (an effective method of drowning the sound of the fire crackers). Bono & Ringgo were not very happy about the uninvited guests, nevertheless, they decided to play good hosts. Well fed and comfortable we all slept until the wee hours of the morning. The next day, life was back to normal and unknowingly we became parents and pack leaders to the 6 dogs on our street. This was now ‘our pack.’ Each one of them got a name, collars to suit their personality, food, healthcare and yearly vaccination. I also took a decision on Laila’s behalf. It was a difficult one, but it was in everyone’s best interest. That month Laila and her pups were neutered. This new arrangement meant that from here on our lives were going to get a little more complicated and lot more enriching!
Now, close to a decade has gone by, some of our darling pets have passed over to the other world, leaving us to grief but their memories are a lifetime’s treasure.
The latest addition to our pack is Betty; her pervious owners abandoned her because she was old and unwell. That was a year ago, today she is happy and healthy, and rules the roost.
Over the years our home has been a foster home to a baby bat, an injured kite, a fledging raven and several kittens. Why we do it? For the single reason that I believe that this planet belongs equally to our animal and plant friends and we must care for them. It is very vain of us humans to think that only a human life is worth saving. Every life is important. While I agree that it is unwise to interfere with the natural processes of Mother Nature, it is no excuse for being unconcerned.
It’s 6 am, as I sit penning my thoughts, I can feel a commotion stir in the bedroom, Ringgo & Betty are starting their morning ritual of waking up my husband, which usually ends in a wrestling match. Chikoo is snoozing on the rug by my feet. Muscle and Blacky are curled up in the balcony and this house is going to wake up and come alive in the next 15 minutes and I will need to be on my toes…
Good Morning life 🙂