The old guy lies on a carpet by the fireplace, worn out and listless. His 'dad' comes over and whispers to him that his place is upstairs, with his parents in their soft bed, but fails to evoke a reaction from the oldie. So, he lies down next to his 'old baby' and wraps his arm protectively around him. His 'mum' then gets a blanket, tucks them in and after looking lovingly at the pair, tiptoes out of the room.
If you are a dog lover, you will instantly recognise this scene from the movie, 'Marley and Me'. It's a movie I have seen umpteen times, as I am sure you have, too. Every quote by the writer, John Grogan, will resonate with you. Every scene, whether hilarious or a tear-jerker, will make you reach for your bundle of fur, and hug him tight.
As I write this post, I see my labrador son of 12 years, Chikoo, sleeping by my feet; his breath rhythmic, his eyelids fluttering as he romps about in his dreamland. As I ponder over our life together, I am overpowered by a medley of incidents that have Chikoo in the pivotal role. I am baffled as to how this little thing entered our lives and took over the position of head of the family! I wonder how we survived before he came along with his muddy little paws and stamped love-prints all over our hearts, getting us addicted to him for life!
I often hear people wondering why it is that we make a big fuss about our fur babies; they are animals, after all, who can't speak or convey emotions as their human babies do. So, I have gathered a few quotes that every dog-lover can relate to and am presenting these to you. I don't intend to convert you into dog-lovers, but to give a glimpse into our lives and understand why we dog-lovers are the way we are!
"Dogs have this amazing knack of finding those people who need them the most!"
I can vouch for this one. This little fur ball of ours, who was the weakest of the lot, but with the largest of the hearts, entered our world, which was one big vacuum. Maybe we were blessed enough to have our saviour, our guardian angel amidst us!
Our canine baby is blessed with boundless reserves of patience and understanding - a lot more than humans. We needed it. It isn't easy dealing with patients of mental illness. And, I, the care-giver, was a bundle of nerves, always on edge, on the verge of bursting, like a balloon. Handling the patient's nervous breakdowns, dealing with my mood-swings, dealing with us during the worst of our times, requires special skills. We wouldn't have survived these tough times, had it not been for our Chikoo.
We humans are a fragile lot, overwhelmed by stress all our lives. It really isn't easy living with us, condoning our rude behaviour, enduring the injustice inflicted by us on those we take for granted. But, dogs, now they are a special species, indeed! You scream at a dog, vent out your frustration on the poor animal, and yet, all it does is look at you with smiling eyes and a wagging tail. As if it were some new game - this yelling and screaming! Or maybe, they have this innate understanding of the hell we go through, of the amount of love we all are in desperate need of and showering it on us in unlimited quantities.
"A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his!"
Yes, they do that. Chikoo won't care for gifts. I just need to call out, "Hey, Chikoo babyyy!" and his tail wags like crazy! I wonder when was the last time I was as happy. The simple joy at being called 'baby' is something we humans might never experience. Or, we may, but when in the rush of new-found love, when our lover calls us, "baby"! But, for how long does that joy last? We would rather be gifted a solitaire, than be called 'baby' night and day! But, call a dog by that name each day, every day, and he will simply shower his love on you.
Have you seen the ecstasy in the eyes of a stray dog, when petted by a street urchin? What does the kid have to give to that mutt by his side, except some words of love or a few affectionate strokes on its back? And yet, the contentedness that drips from the canine eyes can't be measured. Go ahead, spare a few minutes and just have a look. It will warm your heart, I am sure.
"Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day!"__
It's a shame we leave our dogs at home. The amount of time they spend alone is a lot for these creatures. And, these babies, they wait with bated breath; eyes glued to the door, ears straining to catch a single sound of our approaching footsteps, or the horn of our car. And, the moment they realise it's their human at the door, they break into rhapsodies of happiness! The warm welcome they give us, it would melt even the most unemotional of hearts!
Lastly, here's this quote by John Grogan from 'Marley and Me' that would receive a resounding "Aye" from us all, because once you have lived with a dog, you can trust yourself to come out a changed person at the end of this journey you have shared with him. These guys, they live in the moment, forgiving and forgetting the past in a fraction of a second. It's a lesson we humans need to learn, what with the amount of grudges we keep moving around with, for years together.
"A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things - a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in the shaft of a winter sunlight. And, as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and above all else, unwavering loyalty."
So, how did that feel? Dogs aren't all that bad, are they?