“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras (photographer and writer)
This morning was just a normal morning, as all mornings are. I woke up to a piping hot cup of tea made by my beloved and got to my desk to figure out what was happening in the world. Whether the lizard was still holding up the ceiling or the sky had fallen. Turns out it was exactly as I suspected. All well, all normal, it was just another ordinary day!
The husband had decided to work from home, so he got busy on his conference call, when our grand old lady walked in to the study, looked at us with a bored expression and decided it was time to stretch and moan with the sweet sensation of an orgasmic release after stretching. And then she just kept staring into our faces with that notorious quizzical look of hers, almost saying, “Will I have to tell you what needs to be done you nutcases? Don’t you know it’s time for me to pee; and if I am in a good mood, perhaps poop too, to save you the trouble later? People I tell you, they just don’t learn!!”Four-legged furry friends are #bestfriendsforever! #Dogs #lab #love Click To Tweet
Okay! So I understood that expression and since Desh (my husband) was busy on his calls I decided to take her out for her morning walk. Usually he wakes up early and takes her for her morning chores. Since she acts like a lazy bum during these cold winter mornings she wakes up at her own sweet appointed hour. And then it is anybody’s guess as to who needs to take her out. Guess that quizzical look was just for me after all… sigh! Well, I walked down to the door as she leaped to get out. Oh man, nature’s call must be really overpowering for a grandmother to leap that way! She did what she had to do, looked around, decided it was still too cold to be out and then walked back right into the door, straight towards the kitchen. Now, we are dedicated followers of morning rituals. So granny wanted her breakfast. She walked towards the kitchen drawer that houses her treats and milk bone biscuits and stood there, while I closed the door and walked up to the kitchen. Like a good samaritan I opened the drawer and gave her a milk bone biscuit. Usually, she takes it in her mouth, walks up to her favorite place, the landing where floor 1 meets floor 2, and sits on the carpet to finish her breakfast. But today, she refused to accept it. She wanted the other dog treat instead, because she simply loves it; no, she’s crazy about it. Well, now I decided it was time to let her know who was boss. I kept the biscuit on the small ‘bone sweet bone’ rug on the landing and walked up to the study to join my husband. She knew she didn’t have a choice but to eat it because the boss had finally spoken!!! Oh well…
She ate and walked up to the study and sat down quietly. She looked up at both of us to see if there was any room to get petted or maybe a small back massage, but when she saw that none of us were taking the bait she slept, snoring away to glory in less than five minutes. I looked towards my husband from the corner of my eye and we both exchanged a triumphant glance. We love Bella’s little nuances. Ya, that’s her, our granny – our wonderful golden brown Labrador Retriever who is 10 and strongly going on 11; spreading joy in our life day in and day out. She completes the family in her own way, religiously throwing tantrums when she wants and being a much loved member of our family when she senses the need. We are lucky to have our four-legged friend with us.
When I think of Bella, I think of a thousand things. Isn’t it amazing when your dog is multi-lingual and understands three spoken languages (English, Hindi and Punjabi), apart from the unspoken language of love and the strict language of discipline spoken through the eyes? I had heard somewhere that the best therapist in this world had fur and four legs! I swear by this statement, because of my experiences with Jimmy (the German Shepherd that my grandparents had when I was a kid) and Bella. Dogs have the knack of understanding you and your emotions and giving you the love that you perhaps never expected from them; sometimes even better than human beings because it is unconditional.
When I was still back in India and Desh was alone at home, she was his savior. In one look she would know what kind of mood he was in. When he spent hours talking on the phone with me, I could visualize him holding the cell in one hand and petting Bella’s head with the other. This was a ritual for months. But our little girl (oh yes, apart from being the granny that she is, she is also our pretty little girl) deserves all that and more. She throws a lot of tantrums but it is all worth it. Like this one time, we were leaving for the Smoky Mountains and she was going to stay over with a friend of ours, just for one night. She somehow sensed that we were going somewhere leaving her behind and walked straight towards the car and sat in the middle of the god-damn road. She refused to budge. Desh kept calling out to her to come back into the house and instead she called out to him by raising her paw. I walked to the car to put my handbag in the passenger seat and told her to go in. Guess what, she literally pushed me aside and tried climbing up on to the passenger seat. It was so tough to stop her from doing that and Desh had to carry her back into the house and lure her into the guest room with her favorite treat. Now, she isn’t little, she’s a lab. But these are things we have to do. The surprising thing is that she usually doesn’t climb onto the back seat on her own when we have to take her out. But that day, she forgot that she usually threw tantrums while trying to climb into the car, and always made us pick her up and put her onto the seat. Her resolve to be with us was so strong that she let go of her stubbornness of not climbing onto the car seat on her own. Can you beat that?
Bella has this urge of sitting on the living room sofas when none of us are at home. With all her shedding the sofas become dirty and it’s not fair to have guest sitting on that, so we decided to try and build a small wall to restrict her from getting into the living room. We have no clue how, but she broke the wall each day and whenever we arrived back home, we found her sitting on the sofa looking out of the window, waiting for us. Such is her level of intelligence that it beats us and our plans to stop her from doing certain things. What do you do with such a being? There are times when I get really angry and yell at her (okay, between the two us, I am the bad cop because someone has to be). She looks back at with me with an “I am really sorry” kind of look and starts raising her paw to touch me and tell me that she really would like to apologize for making me so angry. There are certain times when Desh sees her doing that and tells me to stop being so angry. Well, the truth is that I can’t be angry with her for too long! And then, we are one happy family again. The incident is forgotten, only to be repeated by her again!
Oh yes, before I forget. Bella tells me how well I have cooked. I rarely used to cook back in India, didn’t really need to. Once I moved to the DIY country, I didn’t have a choice. Well, our girl loves the food I cook, especially the yellow dal. And it is a pleasure to see her gulp it all down her throat like there is no tomorrow. She wipes the bowl lip-smacking clean and has the expression of being satiated for life. Boy, does that make me feel like a proud cook or not. She ensures that she gives us such moments of happiness off and on, ofcourse whenever she thinks we deserve them. Did you know rationing works with dogs too?
There are many things in life to be grateful for, and one of those little things in our
life is Bella. Her smile, her kohl-painted eyes, her loving look – all of this and more, makes life so much more wonderful! If you ever want to experience unconditional love in its true form, get a dog!
Shared with: February 2016 Gratitude Circle bloghop!