COGNITIVE ANECDOTES

An effort to recapitulate and share my ideas,views and thoughts in words...

I had my first encounter with a dog at the tender age of 9, we had just arrived home after spending a weekend at our ancestral house. The desperation to join my cricketing friends made me run ablaze towards the ground, only to be chased by my neighbor’s unchained Pomeranian. It would have been a very comical scene for a spectator but only I knew the horror I was going through with the fuzzy critter going mad behind me. Lady-luck was not by my side as I tumbled after stamping on a clumsily placed stone and fell chest first. The dog dug his teeth into my knee, rest was all tears. I was also embarrassed. The thought that I would face those needle pricks made me make a meal of the situation. My friends rushed to me, drove the dog away, examined the wound and carried me home for I didn’t have the mental strength to rise up. Soon my dad and uncle took me to the district hospital and I faced the inevitable anti-rabies injections.

This Incident evoked in me an extreme sense of canine phobia, I was sick at the site of dogs, even a dog’s bark would get my heart pounding in my throat and I never dared to go to any of my friend’s houses guarded by dogs.

Years passed by and during one of our routine visits to our ancestral home, I learnt through our house-maid that my neighborhood friend, Pravi had adopted a new dog! That’s the last thing I wanted, a dog in the neighborhood would definitely restrict my freedom. I had my first look at this dog when Pravi came to showcase his pet to our family. Light tan colored common Indian puppy, I examined him closely and was not amused as he was a mediocre type, nothing special and he was a bit shy too. My dad, a big dog-lover immediately became fond of him, thanks to the dog’s looks and mannerisms. The dog was named “Tinu”.

Owing to the very sparse population in and around our area, Tinu had the luxury of being set free. Much to my horror, he even managed to find stray friends. Once Tinu started developing qualities such as loyalty, I found it very hard to co-exist with him patrolling the area just in front of our house, where I and my cousins played cricket. He was soon becoming an obnoxious little animal (at least for me). As my grand mother used to feed him, Tinu extended his loyalty and territory towards our house.

My extreme fear and anxiety to interact with Tinu made my Grand mother make an effort to get Tinu acquainted with me, and so she made the dog come close and sniff me, I was terrorized as he moved his muzzle towards my shin but after his gesture, I felt better,” maybe all dogs aren’t too bad after all” I thought. The very next day, I made a very courageous effort to visit Pravi’s house, hiding my sub-conscious phobia. I opened the gate, there was no sign of Tinu, maybe he was sleeping, I was not aware if he had a kennel, so I tip-toed on to the front door and rung the calling bell. The door opened and to my horror, Tinu leaped towards me, I didn’t have a second thought, my sympathetic system made me run as fast as I could and luckily, I succeeded in reaching home before the dog caught me.

I was shell-shocked. How on earth can a dog who behaved so nicely to me yesterday react in such a manner! Pravi came running behind the dog and asked me if I was all-right. I turned away without a reply. “Hell with the dog” I thought, my dad tried to convince me Tinu had mistaken me for someone else and unsurprisingly, defended the dog. I cursed the dog and I wanted him to be chained.

My wish was not to be granted, Tinu continued to come to our house to take his daily share of eatables, which made me sick. In fact, after the incident, he started becoming more ubiquitous. Soon with every visit, Tinu started becoming a part and parcel of our family. Even though I tried my best to keep away from him, he would cross our cricket pitch when we play or interrupt our games or chase our ball. His favorite hang-out though, was the cemented floor we had outside our kitchen as some one would be happy enough to feed him if he sat there gazing towards the kitchen. Sometime we kids used to feed him with home made crunchies or the traditional “idli” and on rare occasions, leftovers of the meat and bones.

It’s during one of my recent visits that I found Tinu walking with a she-dog. I immediately sensed love in the air; his girl-friend though, was disliked by my family as it had a very bad habit of urinating in our backyard. Soon, she gave birth to Tinu’s 3 cute little puppies.

Recently, I sensed the aging in Tinu as he was not as active as he used to be. Lethargy had crept in him and he spent most of the time lying down. Nevertheless, he was not a mellow; there was not a question about his loyalty. He protected both his master’s house and our house. He barked ferociously and scared almost any stranger who would pass by, be it a post man or the common vagabonds.

Few months back, I went to my village alone to meet my grand parents, I spend a couple of days and had good time out but some thing was missing, some strange feeling of evanescence, I ignored it as I thought maybe it was because my parents were not there. Just prior to my departure, when I was tying my shoe laces I asked grand mother, “Where is Tinu? I didn’t see him this time around” almost instantaneously she replied with a long face “I actually hid from you as you may get sad, Tinu is no more, the dog catchers took him away” I felt so hollow, "so, that was the strange missing in the air" i thought. His face flashed across my mind, It was then I realized I had an attachment towards him, in fact we were all attached, I thought about Pravi and how distort he would be. As my Grandparents were alone most of the time, Tinu was a source of happiness for them and I knew his absence brought a great deal of sorrow in them.

I did not dare to ask more about him or to think where he might be, where ever he is, he will miss our beautiful village and his puppies. I wanted to curse the dog catchers but it’s of no use, Tinu will never return. I fastened my backpack’s clip, bid good bye to my grandparents and started walking, this time, without the fear of Tinu shadowing me, but with a handful of memories of our beloved dog, who will live in our hearts for a long time.




Tinu…






6 comments:

Touching post! Made me remember my own dog we left behind in our previous place.... Thanks you inspired me to write something close to my heart.....

Regards,

I'm glad I did that, Tanvi,

Regards.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Touching post, Vaisakh..
I got to remember my cat Whity who passed away last week.
Happy blogging.
Will give a detailed comment later(via mail).
Bye.

I started to read Canine Bond with a smile on my face remembering your unfounded fear of, perhaps, the most loving creatures in the world.That God reserved a ghastly disease like rabies on their account is reason enough to be fearful,the affection shown by dogs to humans surpasses it to reciprocate.As I read on, the photograph of prostrating Tinu suddenly came to view and my heart wept. Remembering bygone beloveds is a tribute to them.All the more so if it is about affectionate creatures..Good work!

@ Netha, K thanks...

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