What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Beasts of Our Lives (Part 3)

The Beasts of Our Lives (Part 1)
The Beasts of Our Lives (Part 1)

For the past couple of weeks I have been writing about the furry friends who have been a part of my life. Here, I continue recounting their adventures.

 photo Socks.jpg

Ah, the story of Socks is quite interesting. I believe fate wanted us to finally have a dog of our own. He wasn't ours to begin with. But somehow, after some long tedious times he was our baby boy.

A dog owned by our local sports club had given birth to a litter of puppies. I'm not sure if she was a breed dog, I don't think so. But she was a magnificent beast and her pups were in demand. A local sardar family in our neighborhood purchased two puppies - one male and one female. The male was light brown colored and the female white with black markings. They were plush and soft, like two little teddy bears. They were named Tinu and Sapna and the two sardar boys flaunted them. All us kids would spend an entire evening gushing over the two puppies.

Within weeks of getting the pups the family decided to go to Punjab for vacation. They told the boys, just leave the pups. They are old enough and will survive. The boys however, gave the pups to a friend to take care of. That friends mom said no way and told him to get rid of the dogs as soon as possible. So the dog got handed to my friends two buildings down. Even their mom refused the dogs in the house and told them to keep the dog outside. They could play with the dogs when they went out.

One evening I was going home after playing when I heard puppy howling from their building. I went in and saw the two puppies sitting on the floor howling. They had pooped and peed around and no one was caring for them. I picked them up and tried to calm them, but they kept crying. When they started suckling on my fingers I realized they were hungry. This will not do, I told myself. These pups had been abandoned. I took it upon myself to stake claim as a puppy momma. As I took the two pups home a shopkeeper was enamored with Sapna the black and white pup. Knowing him to be a nice trustworthy fellow, I let him keep Sapna. Tinu came home with me. I set him outside the door and had mom give him some milk.

That night when my dad came home he asked about the pup outside. I told the tale of the pups abandonment and how we had to take care of him, just like he cared for Chibud. My dad then said, why leave him outside. It was Chibud's territory. He's just a pup so we should raise him. My family thought Tinu was a stupid name for a puppy and we needed a name for the little fellow. Because he had white stockings on all four of his paws, my mom suggested Socks. I was worried that the Sardar boys would come and demand Socks back, but dad said anyone who abandoned a puppy like that is not a responsible owner and he would make sure we could keep him. Dad and I then took Socks to the vet, had him neutered, vaccinated and registered. As I feared the boys came to our doorstep and demanded the dog back. My dad engaged in a lot of argument with the family. Eventually, dad won and we kept Socks.

As Socks grew up, his white stockings started shrinking in size till they were reduced to just small white spots. For a while we were sad that his name no longer suited him. Then he found a way to live up to it. Socks was a world class socks thief. You could never leave your socks in your shoes, he would steal it. Leave your socks around for a few seconds, he would sneakily get to them. If you were missing a sock or two, chances are Socks was hiding under a bed with them.

Socks was one of the gentles most adorable dogs I've ever known. All us cousins would roughhouse and play all sorts of wild games with him. I would wrestle with him. My little cousin brother would try riding him. We would try to straighten his curly tail and we bother him in a million ways. But he had infinite patience with kids and never once let out even a growl at our antics. But don't mistake him for a soft fuzz ball. He was a ferocious guard dog as well. Once we were remodeling our home. One of the workers decided to try and open a closet in my parents room when no one was around. He had mistaken Socks to be just a loving dolt and nothing more. When Socks saw it, he immediately went into barking dog mode and attacked. My dad had to go and sort it out.

There was also a time when I was talking Socks for a walk. I was taking a shortcut to the beach. It was a grassy path next to an abandoned building. I saw a creepy man masturbating in the bushes. In hindsight, I should have taken a different path. But I was confident of having my guard dog with me. I didn't think anyone would attack a girl with a dog. Not very bright of me considering I was just a little thirteen year old girl with a little dog. The man came and tried to grab me. Socks instantly went into attack mode and clamped his jaws on the mans hand, snarling viciously. The man was terror struck and with all my strength and effort, I had to save my would be attacker from the attack of my dog.

And for his relatively small size, Socks was a very powerful dog. We would joke that no one took Socks for a walk, Socks took his people for a walk. Even with a choke chain, most people could barely control Socks. My mom and I were the few people who had the ability to actually walk him, unless he really decided otherwise. The funniest was my little cousin brother. Even when he was barely six, he insisted on taking Socks for a walk. It was the most hilarious sight to see. His back would arch, his hand would be stretched out, his heels would dig in the dirt as he skidded behind the dog taking him for a walk.

Socks also had a really bad habit - Running away. I think he did it because it was a game for him. Once when my mom had the door open while talking to a vendor, Socks darted out. I ran after him to get him home. I screamed to all my friends who were outside to help me catch Socks. So there was a small group of kids chasing him - and the idiot of thought it was a jolly game of chase. Yes, and us idiot kids also thought it was a wondrous game of chase. Soon "Catch Socks" would be a popular neighborhood activity. Socks would sneak out. I'd run in chase. All the kids who saw it would scream "Socks bhaag gaya" (Socks has runaway) and join me in chasing Socks. Kids from all over the neighborhood and other apartments would also join in. There have been times when Socks was having a gala time running like crazy in the playground, dodging 15-20 kids chasing him. Eventually, when we all were dehydrated, panting, and on the verge of collapse Socks would sit down and be like "Hey, put that chain on me and lets go home". There were a couple of times he ran out, without anyone noticing. We would open the door to a baffled dog at the doorstep with a dumb look saying "Hey, why didn't you come play chase with me".

For a dog Socks developed some very quirky habits. He would reverently follow Pickoo around. She had no qualms smacking him in the face, but he still adored her. Sometimes he would sun himself in the rays in the morning with her, behaving just like a cat. One of his favorite food items was peas. Whenever mom would shell peas, he would come to the kitchen. We would toss him a few peas. He would gingerly shell it with his paws and eat the peas. It was the most adorable thing ever.

The most heartbreaking thing about moving to the United States was letting go off Socks. Initially, I was supposed to go back to India and stay till I completed my undergraduate degree. But my parents wanted to keep me close and decided against sending me back. Since my grandmother couldn't care for Socks, my grandfather gave him away to a friend with a farm. One fine day Socks ran away and was killed when he was hit by a car. My parents lied that Socks had just run away and no one knew what happened. I wouldn't be told the truth till years later. But it is one of those things you just know. So compounding my homesickness of being in a new world was regret and heartbreak. I felt that I had lost far more than I bargained for. No wonder I spent years in chronic depression. Looking back, it kind of is a miracle I managed to scrape through the mental funk. It is the good memories with our furry friends and their touch on our lives, that gives us the power to plow through the rough times.

 photo Socks2.jpg
I call this "The Mask" picture

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was suppose to go back to India not you :P Love you!!!

I love this series. Each post more fulfilling to read than the next. They were after all the beast of my lives too.