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This one's for Chikoo.



             






 The drum beats from a distant Ganpati pandal wake him up with a start. The whining comes almost instantly. Music blaring out of  loudspeakers, crackers going off even at a distance fill Chikoo with fear. I rush to shut every window in the house, but to no avail.  I fail to make our home soundproof for my boy. Sigh.

       I gather him in my arms as he lies whining and crying in fear. Trying to soothe his nervous heart, I speak to him in whispers, to reassure him that the sound will not enter our home, ever! All the efforts to calm him down fail miserably. I let out a deep breath and sit by his side, fuming and cursing the people who fail to show some consideration towards their fellow beings.

        The music dies down only to return with a force that sends Chikoo in another fit of yelping  and crying. He tries getting up on all fours - a feat for my arthritic dog - to move to a place where he can find some peace. Alas, standing up is something he hasn't been able to manage independently since months now. He drags himself here and there, all the while crying in pain and fear. His joints have been acting up despite the array of medicines he is being administered, and his hearing, too, shows signs of ageing. Sounds like the knock on the door fail to reach his ears, but the bursting of crackers drives him insane!  Finally, I help him onto  a sofa and sit by his side - my patience evaporating, my strength giving way.

       Life as a pet parent is tough. Your "child" ages before you do, suffers the pain and agony of old-age before you do, finds it difficult to express his feelings vis-a-vis his pain, and withers away silently right in front of your eyes. And, what can you do? Nothing,  except watch helplessly. You do your best to keep your fur-baby as comfortable as humanly possible to you, you give him the best of medical care and then, keep waiting for the moment. The moment when he will stop suffering, the moment when he will be gone to a much safer and quieter place, albeit, far far away from you. Tough, isn't it? Caring for  a pet dog is not easy.

      A week ago, I had this horrid dream where I saw an image of a lifeless Chikoo lying unnoticed in a corner of the house for more than a few days! I awoke frightened, my heart beating wildly, a weird sort of a vacuum in my chest. I kept mum about it, but then shared it with  my SIL and frightened her, in turn.  Couple days later, a  friend of mine informed me how dreams foretell the future. I know what the future holds for my son; it's just that I don't want that future to arrive into the present so soon!

     Every day, I cuddle up with Chikoo, click pictures of him, with him, in a bid to make memories for my future. I agree with my optimistic SIL that my son is fine and he still has time, but the pessimist in me argues that time always comes unannounced, therefore make the most of every moment that you have with him, for you know  not what the next day will bring along with it!

     All I hope for him is that he lives the remaining days of his life free of pain and suffering, if that is possible. I am here to take care of him, but, may he tell me when the time arrives for him to cross over the rainbow bridge. And, yes, may he wait for me to join him there someday and then take me around to show me all his favourite spots!

    Amen!

Comments

  1. I have no words, Shilpa. Just warm hugs and love for you. This fear grips my heart too. As beautiful as they are, their time with us is so very less. It is painful to see them grow old so soon. <3

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    1. Yes, Rachna. It has been a tough week for me, maybe my hormones are acting up, maybe I am imagining only the worst, but it sure has been tough. And, it also makes me feel guilty for thinking such negative thoughts about my baby! But, I know things will not be any different than I imagine!

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  3. I feel for you, Shilpa and for the love you carry in your heart. Chikoo is blessed to have you for his mom and I hope and pray that he lives a full life. Your pain comes through in this post and I so wish people would be more considerate when it comes to mute and helpless creatures.

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    1. I, too, am blessed Shailaja, to have a baby like Chikoo! I, too, hope he lives a full life, but without too much suffering.
      Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best for him.
      Thank you so much!

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    2. I, too, am blessed Shailaja, to have a baby like Chikoo! I, too, hope he lives a full life, but without too much suffering.
      Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best for him.
      Thank you so much!

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  4. I have had dogs in my house for the last 31 years of my life. And the pain of loss is terrible... it breaks you from within. Especially as the years progress and they weaken, this sense of fear within you grows... I've felt it too.
    Look to give your pet as many happy memories and moments of love. That is the best we can do to repay what they have given us.

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    1. That's exactly what we are doing, Roshan. We pamper him silly - always have - but now we do it more.
      It does get painful - for them and for us. Although, their pain is worse than what we go through. Chikoo is in tremendous pain, but always happy. I am just hoping he doesn't have to suffer too much.

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    2. That's exactly what we are doing, Roshan. We pamper him silly - always have - but now we do it more.
      It does get painful - for them and for us. Although, their pain is worse than what we go through. Chikoo is in tremendous pain, but always happy. I am just hoping he doesn't have to suffer too much.

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  5. I'm sorry to hear that Chickoo is so affected by the noise. It's so sad to see them scared and helpless.
    I've lost a lot of dogs too through the years, each one leaving their indelible pawprints on our hearts. But they teach us so much about life and ourselves, don't they. I wish Chickoo a long and healthy life.

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  6. Loved ones such as Chikoo can most often than not handle the environment we are in. It is amazing that you are a caring pet parent to him. He probably needs all the comfort and "snuggles". And dont think of the inevitable, sometimes its good to spend the present day with quality time with your loved ones!

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  7. So sorry to hear this.I wish were were more empathetic towards animals but when we don't even care about fellow human beings, I doubt we will be caring when it comes to animals. Hugs!

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  8. I'm so sorry to hear this, Shilpa. We have recent lost our dear dog of 11 years and it broke us. But such is life. Give him all the love.
    And yes, in the name of festivals people act so insensitive! :/

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  9. When my pet died I was so far away from her but the day she passed away even before I knew it I saw her I my dreams. Strange that she had come to visit me like that before saying goodbye. She was 13 years old. Lived a happy life but in those dying moments, it was painful. I pray for your Chikoo and hope you find strength too. This will be a rough time.

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    1. It sure is a tough time, Sunaina. The vet just informed us that Chikoo has cataract in both his eyes. It's not very bad, but slowly it will. He is also getting insecure by the day. Tough leaving him alone for even a minute.
      When we think about life and the adversities we will face, we feel "it" was certainly not what we had signed up for! But face it, we must! I am taking one day at a time, but it is scary. Let's hope I get the strength that my baby has in such a large quantity!

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    2. It sure is a tough time, Sunaina. The vet just informed us that Chikoo has cataract in both his eyes. It's not very bad, but slowly it will. He is also getting insecure by the day. Tough leaving him alone for even a minute.
      When we think about life and the adversities we will face, we feel "it" was certainly not what we had signed up for! But face it, we must! I am taking one day at a time, but it is scary. Let's hope I get the strength that my baby has in such a large quantity!

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  10. I never had pets but I could feel your pain here, Shilpa. I know it's not easy seeing him in pain. The love is no unconditional that it cannot be replaced. Hugs and more strength to you.

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    1. I meant so unconditional..

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    2. Yes, they only give you unconditional love and to see such babies suffer is too much to bear.
      Thank you so much Parul!♡♡

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    3. Yes, they only give you unconditional love and to see such babies suffer is too much to bear.
      Thank you so much Parul!♡♡

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  11. Oh my sweet friend..... That made me sad to read. Lucky is Chikoo to have a pet mum like you. My heart goes out to you dear. Sending you warm loving hugs Shilpa

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  12. Loud festivals are so hard on pets. I could feel your pain Shilpa. I have lost two of my beautiful beautiful pets while growing up. It broke my heart and we promised never to adopt anymore. But that never happens. We adopted more after the loss. I am sure Chikoo is leading a peaceful and loved life. He will be in a happy place even after, but till then you both have each other. <3 Love and hugs!

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  13. Although I've never kept a dog, I know many who have, and I know many dogs are terrified by fireworks and like loud noises. The 4th of July (U.S. Independence Day) is a night many Americans dread, as people take to the streets in many places with fireworks. You have, sadly, a lot of company, with Chikoo.

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  14. Stay strong Shilpa dear. Feel so sad for both you and Chikoo. You are the best mom he could have got and rest assured, there is nothing more you can do. Hugs and love.

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  15. I'm not a very dog friendly person, but reading about the bond between Chikoo and you makes me think that maybe they do feel the same feelings that we do, and we must make it our priority to look after them. I hope a solution comes up for this.. maybe some headphone style earmuffs for dogs? Or are they already available in the market?
    As for Chikoo getting old, I guess it will happen, and is happening at every moment. The best thing to do, I believe, is to make sure that he enjoys each and every moment of his life, and cherishes all these beautiful moments in Dog Heaven. And you too will look back at the photos and memories, and know that his spirit will remain eternal. Hugs and love to both you and Chikoo too! :)

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