I love dogs but my son Ron goes one step ahead – he loves animals. He has been after me since we moved in with my mom, to get a dog. I even searched the net and found adorable pups to adopt but… I had many reasons not to…. We live with my mom who is not fond of dogs, I am at work, and Ron is in school all day so who will look after the pup? I have always had dogs because my father, who is no more, loved them. My dad, my brother and I being dog lovers always outvoted mom when it came to having one in the house.
Just as I was adamant about not having one now, Ron was equally dogged about having one. So one day in the dead of the night while I was sleeping, he heard this lost pup crying across the street. His soft heart couldn’t take it so he brought this poor little baby home. I woke with a start when I heard my son stealthily go to the kitchen to fetch milk for the pup. I didn’t have the heart to tell him to abandon the pup where he found it so we both got a shoe box with some old rags for it to spend the night downstairs, all the time dreading my mom’s reaction next morning. One thing I made it clear to my son that the dog cannot live in the house. Next morning with trepidation I told my mom the story and she very grudgingly accepted the fact that there was a dog to stay. So Scruffy that is his name given by Ron has become a part of our family, sometimes a joy, sometimes a menace…
I must have been about 17, almost Ron’s age now when I had the good fortune to experience something extraordinary with my dog Lassie. I had written about it a couple of years back and the article was also published in a magazine. I want to share it with you. My friend Sulekha and I go back a long way and she has read this article before. I hope you like reading it as much as it has given me pleasure to share it…
Once Chance In A Lifetime
My brother and I always aspired to be doctors. While he stuck to his goal to become one, I somewhere along the way gave up on it. It was mainly because of the frequent visitor that I was to hospitals, being accident prone. Every second month I would be dragged to the hospital for some stitch or the other! So my dream to become a doctor someday died as I grew up. But someone up there had heard my wish and I did get my one chance to don the mantle of a quack!
We had an Irish setter called Lassie, a ferocious bitch who guarded us with snarls and barks. Though a pure breed, she decided to fall in love with a handsome black Labrador (her neighbor) and start a family of her own. In her canine parlance he must been the ideal tall, dark and handsome guy she could have as her soul mate! It was the peak of summer and I remember all of us preparing her to bring her babies to this world. We did up her kennel which was in our garage (Mom had put her foot down about Lassie having her babies inside the house). Lassie may have appreciated all our earnest efforts but she was one stubborn bitch. She had already set her eyes on delivering her young ones inside the house and so it happened!
The big day came and she sneaked under our parent’s bed. The room was air-conditioned and she settled in there. Anybody, including my dad who tried to bring her out came face to face with bared teeth. Having no choice I crawled under the bed and kept vigil. She didn’t mind as she was comfortable with me. I will never forget that magical moment. Life of any kind is a miracle and to assist in bringing forth a life is a humbling experience. Lassie’s bag burst! And as she pushed, I watched with awe and pulled out one tiny wonder after another. There were six of them, blind as bats but struggling to move. Animals don’t have a doctor, a nurse or an attendant to clean up the mess after babies are born so God has taught them to clean up on their own. They eat their own placentas and lick their babies clean.
Today Lassie is no more and all her little ones, I am sure are also grandparents, but I will always remember that special moment which she and I shared. My brother is the gynecologist in the family today and I am just an ordinary woman. While my brother experiences these magical moments everyday when he delivers human babies, I too can say that I got a chance once in this lifetime to experience one such magical moment because my Lassie had placed her trust in me.