Faithfully yours.

(This post has been picked up as the BlogAdda’s Tangy Tuesday Pick)

A li’l heads up – this post is going to be pretty long.

Today, when I sit down to write, I have a heavy heart, mildly wet eyes yet a satisfactory smile on my face.
I have made a very sound decision in my life today. If I am ever going to have my own kids in the future, I will try to bring them up with a dog. I realized that dogs are probably the most beautiful creature on this earth. And there are so many things one can learn from them. And these are exactly the things which one would like to inculcate in the coming generations.
  • Dogs teach you the true meaning of unconditional love. No matter how you look, they will love you for being who you are to them. You might be in a bad mood and might just take the frustration out on your dog by shouting, but they will love you back, irrespective of anything. They will greet you with the best of hug even if you lock them and go out somewhere, without any fuss. Try doing that with your family/friend.
  • Dogs teach you how to be selfless. It doesn’t matter if you feed them or not, if they love you they will do anything for you selflessly.
  • Dogs make you learn the meaning of companionship. They are the only creature who will stay with you in your thick and thin, without any expectations.
  • Dogs teach you to share. You might have your loved ones and family around, but your dogs have just you. You are their family. But still, they share you and your attention.
  • Dogs teach you to be responsible. Owning a dog is just like having a baby who is dependent on you for each and everything. And isn’t it good to be responsible?
  • Dogs teach you to forgive. They will never stay upset with you for more than a biscuit break. A li’l throwing of tantrums is allowed, isn’t it?
  • Lastly, dogs teach you to deal with separation. They die before you complete a lifetime. But they live theirs fully with you. Biding a goodbye to them is difficult, yet they make you strong.
Not just that, having a dog is the best stress reliever. Seeing a pair of gleaming eyes looking at you and a tail wagging at you when you return from a stressful day can drive away every worry of your life and make you smile.
And now, let me tell you the source and inspiration behind this post. She is Jumpy.
The life and times of Jumpy.
Jumpy was a li’l dog when she came to us. She was left by the MCD – Dog Squad after spaying. She must have come here wandering around and was attacked and chased by the other dogs of our society. Our neighbours brought Jumpy to their place to rescue her. Since then she has been living here, in our lane and became dear to every family living here. It was the year 2007.
Jumpy sitting in her favourite pose.
I was really scared of dogs then. I would hardly go near them. But Jumpy would playfully chase me around when I used to run away from her. She chased me till the day I fell in love with her. She was young and energetic. Too dynamic to be collared and petted. She used to hop around on the roofs of the cars that were parked here. Always jumping around with all the excitement and thus I named her Jumpy. This is what I called her. She was too groomed and well-bred to be a street dog. We tried calling her with different names, assuming that her previous owners left her, but she won’t respond to any name. But after a few days, she responded to me on Jumpy. And that is how we became friends.
The beautifully groomed Jumpy!
She was the boss of this lane. She would never let any other stray dog come near any of the houses here. She would become angry and possessive if I ever caressed any other dog. In fact, it was really difficult for an outsider to even come to this lane of ours without being barked at. And this somewhere made us very secure. She would guard our houses when we were not around.
The elegant guard waiting for us to leave the house.
Jumpy was a great guard. I remember once, there were two puppies who accidentally fell into an open drain. Their mother was scared and mad in grief. Jumpy barked and growled till I came out of the house and she led me to the drain. After I took out the two puppies and safely placed them on the blankets, she sat around them for the next few hours. For the following few weeks, she would look after them while their mother went around in search of food.
She was an extremely happy and funny dog. I sometime could never make out what sort of gigs she would pull out. She would run around with the cats and chase the birds. Sometimes, she would bark too loud to be scolded by the uncles and my dad. She would quietly sit at a corner or curl around my legs to seek comfort.
Jumpy’s attention seeking gigs.
She would sniff around everything. But she wouldn’t eat anything that she would found on the streets. She would eat only what was given to her by the people living here. She would refuse to eat plain bread or chapatti unless dipped in milk. She was very choosy when it came to food. She once ate a pigeon and threw up and then never went near any pigeon.
Jumpy enjoying her favourite biscuit treat.
I was always scared for Jumpy for being such an energetic dog and always picking up fights with the other street dogs. She used to sit in the middle of the road and that scared me even more. She could have been hit by the fast-moving vehicles around. But as I said, she was energetic and thus was faster than those cars and bikes. Some of the society kids would throw stones at her which infuriated Jumpy and she used o run after them. This became a regular game for the kids. I used to spend my evenings outside to save Jumpy.

Jumpy at her favourite spot-middle of the road.

Jumpy was really scared of loud noise like every dog. She would hide inside her blankets during Diwali and would become invisible whenever there were any loud parties. I used to celebrate every festival with her. My mom would offer the prasad to her after every puja that happened in our house. My mom was never fond of dogs, Jumpy changed her too.

Happy Holi 2014!
Jumpy always knew her boundaries. She was too scared to go out of this lane after she lost her way once in 2011. She was gone for two days. We were all sad to have lost her. She turned up the third day, weak and scared. After that incident, she learnt her lesson. She would only go out of this lane when she saw us leaving the house. She would happily run ahead of us with her ever smiling face. The sense of security that she had when she walked around with us was so vibrantly visible, always. She never went beyond 200 meters though.
Weak and scared Jumpy after she returned back after three days.
She was a well-behaved dog. She would sleep at night inside our houses but would always wait for the doors to open in the morning to do her business. Whenever she had to pee or poop, she will go somewhere where she won’t be seen. Shy dog! She never came inside the rooms of houses. No matter what, she would sit at the doors but never stepped in.
She was a quick learner too. She learned to open and close our house door. She would play around and come inside, drink water from her bowl and leave quietly, thus becoming self-sufficient. I taught her to respond to a “hello” by raising her limb. But as I said, she was too energetic and lively to stay at a single place to learn other things! She had so many houses to go to for all the pampering. She was obedient too. I don’t know to which language she responded, but she always understood when she was asked to sit, stand and eat. And she was a poser. She loved the camera because she could make out that we watch her through that.
My super poser!
And on 23rd November 2014, she quietly passed away in her sleep. She must have been some 9 years old. She was ill. She was ill for quite some time now. We gave her medications for her lethargy or her infections but this time, the illness she had was not to end on a good note. I don’t even know if her death was painless, but it was peaceful. She was severely sick when we rushed her to the hospital. She was dripped and injected. She was brought home where she slept for the last time.
I believe she knew that this was her last year. She lived every season this year. She did not run for the shades in the sunny summers and endured the sun. No matter how much we coaxed her to come inside, she refused. She was afraid of water but this monsoon she bathed well in the rains. She always came to her make-shift shelter during the rains, but this time she did not. With the advent of the winters this season, when all her blankets were out, she preferred sleeping outside. She would slip out of her blanket every time. She used to shed her fur every year. This year she did but her fur didn’t grow back in the same volume. She probably couldn’t recognize any of us during her last days. She would just look at us with her beautiful and confused face.

Jumpy was a good dog. She never left us. She was loved by everyone. But I wanted her to live with us, a li’l longer.

After her burial, standing near her grave, I realized how difficult it is going to be. It is difficult for me now to get used to the absence of the super excited tail wagging welcome. It is difficult to get used to the absence of those winter nights when I could hear Jumpy’s footstep running around in search of her blanket and then mildly barking, calling me out to re-assemble her blanket on her. It is going to be difficult to live with the guilt of the hundreds of “If only” in my head. If only we had taken her to the hospital sooner.If only I could have loved her even more..If only..
PS: If only I could let you know Jumpy that how much I love you. I have so many memories with you that I might just run out of words to describe each one of them. You might not be here in flesh and bones but you are alive in my heart, forever. I am glad you chose us to be a part of your life.
  1. Never be disheartened, Sush! Jumpy will always remember wherever she is! And trust me she is at the safe hands now. Surely sometimes animals show us the exact meaning of what love is, the unconditional love that humans have forgotten!

    Don't be sad dost!

  2. Indeed jumpy was a great dog ! May its soul rest in peace . And your story … D great journey of friendship is so touchy . The way you expressed was amazing. I felt as if everything is going live in front of me . Blessed are those who get such deep bonds . Stay happy. Jumpy now might be a girl like you or a boy like me or a new dog . You never know when you will met while jumpy will be around you in a new avatar.

  3. @Rahul
    She had the perfect ability to express her love. She would wag her tail in the happiest manner. She would sit around when I used to be low and look at me..

  4. @Ankit
    I just hope that Jumpy is happily jumping around in heaven. Incidents like these make me want to believe that there exists a world far better than ours, up there, for the people we love and lose

  5. Sushmita, its nice to learn about the bond that you both shared. Good that you are letting her go with a happy heart, coz its just the cycle of life and death. You two are bound to meet again in some form or the other because of the love between you. Keep writing 🙂

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