Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The year of the dog: One year of Krish

Krish royally breaking the rule about not being allowed on the bed.

Krish turned a year old yesterday. At least I think he did. The pet shop owner we bought him from told us he was 35 days old when we took him home. Some approximate back calculations later, we arrived at his birth-date. 20th June 2015. I think. 

In any case, it has been 11 months since we brought him home. He was an irresistible bundle of fur when he came home, and now he has grown. Elongated is probably a better word. Like the members of his adopted family, he is taller than most of his kind. In general, hes a good looking fellow. So said every mother of every child. But i'll say it nevertheless.     

The first year has been about education. For both sides, more so for us than for him. I've realised there is no such thing as dog training. It's simply human training hiding behind a fancy name.  Either that or they are calling us dogs. In this, thank you Zak George for your amazing guidance. 

This year has taught me patience. It's something any positive trainer must learn. Its hard, especially during potty training. But then it takes a split second to pause, and remember that they are dogs. They don't have agendas, or cunning. They don't know what spite is. They don't mean it. Really. Which in many ways, makes them so much better than so many people. 

Side note: When I've introduced Krish to strangers, I've always assured them that he's harmless. Pat comes the reply: "Jaanwaro ka bharosa nahi" (you cant trust animals). To which I reply, with geological certainty, "Aaj kal ke insano se jyada jaanwaro ka bharosa hai"(These days, animals are more trustworthy than people).

This year has also been about responsibility. I've realised that though we can take a Sunday off, a dogs excretory system doesn't. Which means that for dog parents, there is no such thing as a Sunday. The same is true for journalists. And journalists who are dog parents. Sigh. Yawn. 

Krish has his unique nap position, where he makes an S with his spine. He sheds a lot. A LOT. He loves the car. He will patiently sit in the car while I do my errands, which is such a blessing. He loves to fetch. He loves other dogs, and other people. Ergo, he's not much of a watchdog. He rubs himself against our legs like a cat. If he's sleeping in our room, he wakes us up at exactly 6:30 AM. He has learnt (to my great annoyance) precisely how to wriggle out of his harness if he's leashed to a tree. The slightest play is enough to get his tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth.  He goes beserk when daddy's home, and wont sit still until he gets a bear hug from him. He's great with kids. He used to be scared of the tom cat in our building (in his defence, the cat can be pretty scary). He loves socks, especially his father's. And slippers, especially mine. He is the darling of any day care or hostel he stays at, because he adjusts so well. He is not allowed on the bed or the sofas, and he listens (most of the time. Ignore the picture above). I still have scars on my arms from his puppy biting phase, thankfully long past. He made sure I became a regular raffu customer back then as well.  He has a crooked ear, which makes him look all the more adorable. He isn't a barker. Except when there are fireworks. He loves trailing along when I'm riding my bicycle. But every once in a while he will make a go for my ankle. He doesn't like the sound of airplanes. He doesn't mind trains. 

A lot of this is probably true of most dogs, but all of it is still what makes him special. 

Many years ago, when I was a schoolgirl, I was an avid and sincere dog lover. I used to frequent the house of a vet who lived nearby. I used to care for whichever puppy was there, and once in a while, bring one there myself. Or bring one home. The strays in the neighbourhood were all my friends. Once I took one of them to hospital when he needed surgery, and felt faint at the sight of his blood. I dreamed of becoming a vet, or maybe working with the blue cross, or something that involved animals. 

Somewhere along the way, I grew up.I got caught up in the pretence that the adult world is and demands. For so many years, I forgot this part of me, buried it under things I thought were more important. Every time I met a pet dog, it would peek out, hoping again for a release from under the oppression of maturity. But I wasn't as friendly to strays as I had been before. The class based view of the world is infected with had subconsciously imprinted itself on my love for animals. And that wasn't the worst of it. The schoolgirl in me wouldn't have done quite a few things I did while pretending to be perfect.

A few of these barriers broke down when we finally got Krish home. I was able to love, both animals and humans more openly, more widely than I had before. Once again I saw stays as just dogs, just as worthy of love as pet dogs. This is the love Krish has given me. It extended itself into a wider love and respect for all animals and led to my turning vegetarian. It has made me more honest and transparent, like a dog is. 

So even though you cant read this Krish, happy birthday. And thank you. I pray to God that you will always be happy, and keep giving us so much happiness. 

Follow Krish on Instagram @krishibu