Long ago and oh so far away
I fell in love with you...before the second show
And your guitar, you sound so sweet and clear
But your not really here, it's just the radio
8 years ago, on a bright sunny Sunday, we got a frantic call from my aunt. Her dog, Lucy, had gone into labor, but due to complications, we were going to have to do a C-section on her. Needless to say, the whole extended dog-loving-crazy-family I proudly call mine, rushed pell-mell over to the vet’s.
And half hour later, one “teensy weensy” golden colored pup was born.
He wasn’t breathing back then, and had to be revived with a drop of brandy, at which he “woke up” gasping and spluttering. And my aunt told “Kishoreda” to place him in my arms straightway. From the day I brought him home, and he tottered around my room, scaring the heebi-jeebis out of Sacha, who couldn’t believe our perfidy, it was the start a wonderful love affair.
That brandy truly defined his personality. We called him Leo, after Leonardo Da Vinci.. Ma, being a physics person, thought that it would beget great brains. Sadly, he was more Leonardo DiCaprio… tall, handsome and really really blonde. J
All of Leo’s swaggering about, though, was at home, with people he was comfortable with. We would call him for ages, but he would deign to come, only if he felt like it. However, all his arrogance disappeared outside the house. At the Vet’s, for example, people would be exclaiming over how pretty he was, and he would keep backing into us, and struggling in vain to fit that huge body under our chairs, with looks of complete disapproval at strangers.
The one “person” he ADORED, was Sacha.. our older dog.. who adored him back in return. They would spend endless hours with each other, doing the doggie equivalent “sitting around and chatting”. Wherever Sacha would go, Leo would faithfully follow. One was a tiny Spitz, the other, a humongous Labrador…David and Goliath…yet, the two dogs never ever hurt each other.
Ma loved him and spoilt him, as she always has and always will, with animals. However, she was always a little grieved that he didn’t ever “behave like a dog”, i.e., he did what he wanted to do, how he wanted to do it. He also behaved like the perennial cat.. would come to hug us if he wanted, and if he didn’t, he would shrug us off, and even lift a lip to show he meant business.
With me, it was unconventional. I didn’t really have a hassle about him shrugging us off when he didn’t feel like being hugged.. I am, in a way, the same type. So we left each other alone when we didn’t want to be bothered, and hugged each other when we did. Mom used to tell me, when she was really upset about my lack of emotion, “Ur just like Leo, ur not like Sacha”… I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry..
I went by the honorable adage of being the only one, who he would permit a lot of indignity from. My favorite de-stressing technique used to be sitting there on the floor, dragging him close and checking for ticks, cleaning his nails and ears, and generally spending quality time with him. After a while, he would lie there, upturned, legs paddling away happily in the air, a blissful look on his face, while I scratched his stomach or his sides.
He died yesterday morning. Mom drove down with him to our farmhouse, to have him placed among the flowers, so that he will always be with us.
When I write this, I realize that I will never hug him again, or rap him on the nose for “grr-ing” at me, or see that thrilled “I’m a god” expression on his face when he successfully bows for his biscuit. I will never hug him tight, and feel that fur in my hands, and use him for a pillow at night.
And my heart is splintering..