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Mom, writer-editor, dreamer, dog lover, wannabe traveller...yes probably me

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In all earNest!

They took a year off from making themselves at home on my terrace. I thought Black’s presence meant their last babies here (read my earlier post) were it. I wondered aloud, sometimes mumbled about it to Blackie, Kunal, Arin and whoever else listened. This year, just before that totally wet spell, I had seen attempts to stitch up the kardal leaves in my terrace. I was whooping with joy inwards when it poured cats and dogs for days together. Gloomily I would poke around in my pots hoping to see signs of life in the leaves. Then one day, I was poking around as always and I saw her sitting in what was now a nest! The bottom bit of the leaf all dried up, the top is green and tied up precariously together in this green-brown bit in delicate threads of cotton is a tiny nest. The cotton comes from a giant tree right outside the terrace. The tree has its share of guests. Every year there’s a beehive, colourful birds, shrikes and an occasional bird of prey basking in the sun or gorging on the insects hovering around. The bee catchers are a delight to watch at work here. And then come the bats, just before the rains when the flowers are blooming and the cotton pods r coming up. They come in dozens and swoop onto the tree to eat the fruit. Fighting, talking and walking upside down, they entertain many of our evenings. This tree is also where my little bird friends hang out chattering when dear Blackie heads out to sun himself and when I water the garden. I feel terrible to get their little hearts beating so fast at least once everyday. More so coz I am responsible for creating a happy place for them to call home- with the hibiscus flowers and all that. But I’m also like a proud clucking mother who shows off the nest – from a very safe distance – to all who visit. They birds take turns in getting worms to the little ones flying in and out quickly. And they look so adorable with their long tails and fat tummies. But this cute couple is slightly crazy, I’m convinced. They have seen Blackie and I’m wondering why their fine tuned senses did not encourage them to look out for nosy neighbours. Their bird brains didn’t tell them that should Blackie bother to sniff higher than his nose, he can reach the nest and have a delicious snack or two. So, like a responsible god parent or grandparent, I’v done the needful and put a pot between the nest and the dog. Of course that’s all just a lot of pot luck.... In the meanwhile, Blackie is allowed out only when he is supervised.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A bite of a lesson

It’s already over a year since Blacku a.k.a Black a.k.a Blackie a.k.a Daku came home. Just last week, he did what I had been dreading for the whole of last year!

He bit Arin. Right next to his eye.

I’m not angry, nor am I upset. Strange you'd think, considering I am Arin's mom and I do love him so.

Let me explain how it happened. Since we got Black home, he was teething and invariably he found my ankles and Arin's legs the most delicious chew things. So we no-no-ed him and pushed him away and on the rare occasion even gave him a thwack. He eventually limited his chewing of my ankles to the time he wanted to take me for a walk (ahem).

Arin, however, was treated like just another puppy. Definitely not a master or a peer, just an insolent brat. Thus began the games of Tom and Jerry (Arin and Blackie/ Blackie and Arin) at home.

If Black was on the floor, so was Arin. If he was asleep, Arin would put his face in his face, if he was resting, Arin would make him jump. If he was bursting with energy, Arin would challenge him to a game of "you catch my pants-I will outrun you" and so on.... of course the boy and his dog are inseparable. The first thing Arin does when he opens the door is pet the dog and the last thing Arin does before he heads out is kiss the dog.

The last few sips from his cup of milk are kept for Black every day and the days Blackie's hind leg (broken in places and dislocated sadly) hurts, the conversations between the two are full of love. If we are going out, he tries his level best to ensure that the dog comes along and if we are going to be late, the dog is told that.

Entertaining at some points - especially when we saw the bond between the boy and his dog growing, we quickly realized that the gay abandon with which Blacku was troubled everyday was unhealthy. So we sat Arin down and explained germs and rabies, injections and the top dog philosophy. All in vain.

He continued his 'playing' and having realized that he wouldn't listen, we took the bold, and in hindsight maybe even foolish decision of leaving him with warnings of an impending bite every single time it got tooo much for the dog. We figured that if he was going to learn a lesson the hard way, we couldn’t do much else.

Please note that we did try to threaten him with sending the dog to another home, but at 7, he recognizes empty threats quite easily. Daku did his best to control his temper over the last year, ignoring, growling threats and mock biting Arin – every afternoon that his sleep was disturbed, every morning that he was in dreamland and found a familiar face staring into his eyes, every evening when he was pushed to play against his creaking bones. You would think a little boy would figure that a bark is better than a bite.

Arin apparently wanted a little more.

So one afternoon last week, when I was in the bath, this little boy troubled the dog and the dog reacted. When I came to check on Arin, he was reading, the dog was asleep, and I didn’t wonder. Just that I saw a bandaid going from the top of his cheek into eyebrow. "Just like that," he explained quite convincingly.

It was only later that night after his bath that I saw a scratch and realized what must have transpired.

Then came the anti rabies shots. With much thrashing of legs and loud "I don’t want any injection" shouts, he hopefully has learnt his lesson.

But when it’s about Tom and Jerry, the peace, as we all know is only temporary.

We watch with baited breath :D