Kartika reminisces the life and times of her beloved best friend in this heartwarming dog tribute.
It all started with me leaving my hometown to go to college. Being the only child of my parents I was worried about them missing me too much.
It was just around this time that my uncle’s dog had puppies and I brought one home as a delightful distraction for my parents when I was away.
I named him Kodulal. His vaccination card read Kodulal Sitoke (which always raised eyebrows).
My father being a doctor with all the rules about hygiene had an aversion to pets (What about hair everywhere and the germs?). I left for my college worried that by the time I return for the break he will be dismissed back to the farm.
But I came back to a very different scene, my parents loved him more than me! This beautiful creature had everyone wrapped around his paws. Following my Mom around the house. Rejoicing when Papa came home. Playing with me whenever I was visiting home. Chasing squirrels in the backyard. He would bark at tiny ants and bees but a cow or donkey was too big for him.
Among many tricks he learned, opening the balcony door latch was always amusing to me. He’d sit and observe the world outside or wait for us to come home. Often late in the night, he would start howling to run outside. After all, the backyard was his kingdom and he had to do his rounds.
By the time he turned six, he began falling sick quite often. Our beloved Kodulal was diagnosed with kidney stones. The vet ran blood tests for him – too sick for surgery or anesthesia.
The antibiotics would work for some time and then he would relapse again. He understood that he was being treated.
My mom would give him injections, mind you these were painful heavy dosages and he would take it all silently as if he knew it was for his best. He would open his mouth and swallow the tablets and the liquid medicines that my mom would pour in his mouth. He understood that he needed them.
Despite his pain, he made sure to wag his tail with happiness at the slightest of eye contact.
There’s so much we don’t understand about them. The quantum of love they’ve for us. The trust they place in our trembling feeble hands… I wonder if we do any justice to all the love they give us.
Kodulal left us at the age of 7. We were all heartbroken. My mother felt the severest of this wrenching pain. Kodulal would follow Maa all the time, never once leaving her side… theirs was the strongest bond.
Kodulal is buried in our backyard. In his lovely kingdom where he grew up and ruled.
Always loved. Forever missed. Never forgotten!