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Chikoo and I - A love story.

                     
Young man, Chikoo.

        Chikoo was an un-planned pet - much like an un-planned pregnancy.  Hubby felt that  bringing home a puppy would add some much-needed cheer to our world. But, I argued, that if getting home a pet was so important, then why not get a fish? It would swim in its bowl all day, minding its own business, but a dog  would spend its entire day minding other people's business; what if that got us in trouble? Moreover, we knew zilch about caring for a dog.
      Sadly (for me), any further argument was pointless, for, the deed was done and the 'furry package' was on its way home. I decided to deal with it as unsentimentally as I could; it was an animal, after all, who knew nothing about 'emotions'. Ironically, the moment I laid eyes on the said  package, I melted! It was love at first sight when the fur ball looked up at me, tilted its head to a side and asked, "Hey, who is this girlie?" I swooned over those chocolate brown, very expressive eyes!
     Things happen for a reason, I deduced.  People  walk into our life for a reason.
      (Thank you, hubby, for bringing Chikoo home.)

       It did take some 'getting used to', but the pup and I  began accepting each other's presence at home. In the initial months, Chikoo's love was reserved only for his 'dad'; he was brought home by the man, so naturally he was his hero! He was a permanent fixture by hubby's side  - at meal times, at bedtime, and also in the bathroom, giving his dad some quiet company! As the days passed by, I, too, began taking care of him, his meals, his grooming; more importantly, I began getting involved in his 'upbringing'. And, it felt good!

     Still, he was daddy's boy and daddy was who he wanted all the time. He would even insist on sitting on his lap  in the car. I would try and hold him in my arms, but he would wriggle out and reach for his dad, much to my chagrin!
   Once, when hubby was driving on a busy highway, Chikoo,  freed himself from my arms and stood right in front of hubby, obstructing the view ahead; he wanted to sit on his  dad's lap! Hubby hollered at me to pull Chikoo away lest he ram his car into another. My throat went dry and my heart in panic mode as I grabbed hold of Chikoo and yanked  him back. There were a hundred vehicles moving  along at breakneck  speed and here was this brat with his strange demands!

     Enraged, I muttered, "I take care of you, feed you, bathe you, clean up your mess, and you shower all your love on your dad?!" Chikoo  looked at me, perplexed, wondering why his little wish wasn't fulfilled!  Bad dog?
     No, darling dog, bad me!
    We humans couldn't be more pathetic, could we? demanding love like that! I guess, this is the reason Chikoo entered my life - to teach me things I was ignorant about.

                       
"Mamma, may I? "
      Over the years,  things began to change. We grew closer - Chikoo and I. He began regarding  me as his mum, or so I would like to believe. For, he  followed me everywhere I went. He would grab the end of my kurta with his teeth and walk alongside me, not letting go even for a short while.   Now that he is old and unable walk as well,  or stand unassisted, his eyes follow me wherever I go. His favourite place in the world is the entrance of the kitchen, where he plonks himself and keeps watching me with his big, brown eyes - observing my movements and chatting with me about this and that. Yes, his eyes really do talk!
    Every time someone asks him, "Hey, Chikoo, come on, let's go for a walk!" Chikoo gives me that questioning look and asks, "Mom, what do you say? Should I go, or are they just kidding?"
    Mamma's boy!

Chikoo and I. 
     Life, as we know it, is ever-changing.  People change, relationships undergo changes, and when that happens, life tends to get lonely. It hits you hard where it hurts the most - your heart. It happened with me, too. Accepting this change was difficult.  The loneliness became too much to bear; friends stayed too far to meet or talk with. At times, the silence at  home would seem deafening,  and I would burst out in tears. At such times, the only soul by my side was my son.  Chikoo  would  read my mind in a jiffy. A few sniffles from me and he would know his mum would soon turn on the waterworks.
    In an instant, he would trudge up to me, place his paw on my knee and try to calm me down, "Shush now, mom, I am here for you, am I not? Stop crying, please!"   I would gather him in a tight hug  and thank him over and over again. Despite the pain that had begun troubling him, he only cared about me!
 
      It's something Chikoo has taught me over the years:
      To be there for your people. Always. For, you may be the only person by their side in their time of need! I am not as large-hearted as Chikoo, but I am learning. Being selfless is not easy, though. Wonder how these babies do it!

    There's one incident I would like to share before I end this post.
    Few years ago, we met a gentleman who needed a male Labrador to mate with his Labrador bitch. We agreed to help  out and drove Chikoo to the kennel where he would meet and mate with the 'girl'.  Unfortunately, for the father of the, er, bride, things did not go as planned. The girl was very aggressive and hostile towards my peace-loving Chikoo! So, the idea had to be dropped and we brought Chikoo back home. When I informed my sister-in-law about how the belligerent girl had driven my son away, she burst out laughing. "Shilpa, you sounded like a typical mother-in-law when you said that! "   
    Well,  yes, I am Chikoo's  mother and I will not take it kindly  if some  hoity-toity chick turns down my darling son!

     12 years ago, I had not an inkling that an animal would change my life, my thinking, my heart; an animal I had decided to deal with "unsentimentally"!
     I must say we have come a long way, haven't we, Chikoo baby? Or, should I say, I have come a long way? Eh, sweetie?



Dedicating this song to Chikoo, who came into my life and changed it, for the better.


Comments

  1. I cannot get the picture of chickoo holding onto your kurta and following you. That's just too cute. And that scene in the car is straight out of Marley and Me. He's a sweetheart.

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    1. Yes, Tulika, he used to do it, just like your kids must have tagged along with you, holding onto your pallu or your dupatta, while you went about your work. :)
      He is my sweetheart! <3

      Delete
  2. Awwww, I do love your Chikoo posts. I can feel the love you two share just resonating out of the words. That's so wonderful that you two have become so close over the years after him being Daddy's boy at first. Very special!

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    Replies
    1. He is very special, indeed!
      Thank you, CAt! Love!

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  3. awww I always love your posts on Chikoo, but this one is no doubt special. Yes, pets have a way to change our perspective in life. We never realize it until it's done. Chikoo trying to sit on lap while driving is so funny but no doubt you two must be freaking out :D

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    Replies
    1. We did freak out, Raj! But, that's how pets are! You won't realise their presence till they freaked you out! :))

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  4. A sweet love story. It is so hard, too, to see our loved ones age. I'm seeing this now with a number of people I've known for years, entering their 90's and even one who is 104. It is hard for dogs and for people.

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    Replies
    1. It sure is hard for every one - old age. But, we got to live with it, isn't it? And, keep them as comfortable as we can!

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  5. :D I agree with Cathy! Chikoo posts are the best! Totally heart-warming! They bring a smile to my face.

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  6. Heartwarming post Shilpa. I have read a few more Chikoo posts and loved them all. He is a darling and ur a darling ❤️

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sunila!
      Yes, he is a darling!

      Delete
  7. This was just the post I needed to read to end my day :) Love the emotional welling up in your heart as you write this heartfelt piece about Chikoo. So very beautiful. A true son for a devoted mom. Bless you both.

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    Replies
    1. A true son, he is! Thank you, Shailaja! I am glad you enjoyed this post! <3

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  8. This is such a happy post. I loved the connection you wrote about, I could almost see it. Just the post I should have read at the end of an exhausting week. thank you:)

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  9. This is such a delightful version of Marley and me. Except that it's Chikoo and you :)
    Knowing how much you love him, I can't believe he was unplanned. No offence to fishes, but surely you wouldn't have loved the fishes as much as you do him :)

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    Replies
    1. Of course, fishes would have been great, too! We had them as pets during our childhood, but, hubby wanted a puppy!And, he turned out to be equally, if not more, wonderful a company!

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  10. I just love these Chikoo posts. I know there is some pain in writing about the old age that is creeping in but I think he has given you so much in life too and that is the memories you see here... the things you remember fondly. We need to hold on to that.

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    Replies
    1. And, that's just what I am doing, doc, holding onto the wonderful memories we have with him, about him!

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  11. I am loving Chikoo even more by the day. What a heartwarming post. It brought a smile and I am feeling what stops me from getting one home :) Beautiful one, Shilpa! Hugs.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Parul! It has been hard work - bringing up Chikoo. But, it all has been worth every moment. You will enjoy one, if you think about getting one. But, you should be able to give it time and attention. :) <3

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  12. I can completely understand your feelings. We too had dogs that we loved to death and even now I see their goo goo eyes , and feel their warm licky kisses and their goofy antics to bring a smile to your face when you're down

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    Replies
    1. The only thing for me that brings a smile to my face when I am down is CHIKOO! :))
      They are such adorable beings, aren't they? :)

      Delete
  13. Such a heartfelt post Shilpa! I totally enjoyed reading this one. I have Cooper, much like the unplanned kinds. He's been here with us from last two years. I love him but not as much as you do Chickoo. I guess, that will happen over the overs. Your post made me remind of the days when husband brought Cooper and he was such a cute little thing who would go around wherever I went!

    Cheers
    Geets

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    Replies
    1. You will surely fall in love with Cooper, Geets. Just give it time. And I know for sure, that there will come a time when you two will be inseparable! Just wait and watch! :) <3

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  14. I have read each of your posts about Chikoo. Can feel the love and feelings you have towards him. A son indeed and he would surely remain in your heart forever. PEts have this unique warmth that they shower on us, without being able to verbally express htem, making anyone smile.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you are so true. They have that ability to tell us exactly how they feel just by a look in their eyes. A look that says it all and the love that stays in our hearts for ever and ever!
      Thank you so much! <3

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  15. Such a moving post, Shilpa. I'm crazy about dogs (as you must know already) and have had one almost all my life. It amazing how they work themselves into our hearts and how much they are tuned into every nuance of our voices.

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  16. Shilpa, I surely know your and Chikoo's love story is indeed beyond words.Chikoo is truly adorable and I wish him good health and lots of love.😊

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               ___H.W.Longfellow.



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