I love my dog. He’s my absolute favourite in the whole wide world. Don’t give me those looks. Yes, I love my dog more than any person I’ve had the pleasure (or not) to meet. My amazing parents brought him home on my 15th birthday. It was a surprise out of nowhere. After 15 years of begging and pleading for a dog, I had made peace with the show pieces and stuffed toys I received instead. And now suddenly, there he was at 6 weeks, sleeping in a tiny basket they took from my doll, at my door.
My first reaction was to not believe what I saw. I just stood there with a poker face – Is this what I have been reduced to now? Hallucinating about puppies? But my sister’s excited screams soon brought me back to my senses. It was no dream!
My second reaction was heartache. They brought him here for me to play with and they’ll take him back tomorrow. How can they be so cruel? I refused to believe that my parents, who had shrugged off my pleas for 15 years had finally brought home a dog. Permanently. And even after they reassured me that he’s mine, I refused to accept it till I saw him sniffing around the house the next morning. He’s still here! I have a dog!
My joy that day was immeasurable. I would have put Pharrell Williams to shame. I had a dog now. I had a dog to love, and to spoil. After the tiring think-of-an-adorable-name day, we decided to call him Trusty. After that, when I wasn’t at school, I was with him. I couldn’t get enough of his adorable puppy-scent. I just wanted to keep smelling him all day. But that didn’t go down too well with people around me who thought I was slowly sliding into canine obsession. Of course I wasn’t. Sliding into? I was born with it.
Trusty slowly started going from sleeping all day to chewing everything in sight. Bedsheets, socks, toys, slippers, towels, tables; everything he could fit his tiny mouth round were fair game. I still remember him, learning how walk on tiles without slipping (he never really mastered that. He still slips and slides on tiles in our home and it’s absolutely adorable), learning not to pee on people’s laps, his first tug-of-war, and his first bark. I’m sure people who’ve seen their dogs grow up will understand. Hearing your pup bark for the first time in that cute, puppy voice is more pleasing than a baby’s first words. I was in love and I knew I never wanted to spend a day apart from my darling dog.
After months of loss to our precious bed covers and the legs of my friends being treated as scrumptious chew toys, Trusty grew up to become the dog we adore. His snout grew much longer, his back grew long, making us doubt if our little monster could keep his balance for long. But he did. He supported his awkwardly long body on his terribly tiny feet and somehow managed to do it with grace. My little baby grew up to be a handsome attention-seeking hunk.
The first time we left him alone at home, I came back to see my books sprawled on the floor. One book was at a little distance from the others. When I walked up to it, I saw its gleaming wet pages. That was my dog’s revenge. How that little dog was capable of such monstrosity was beyond me. I could almost hear him think Let’s see you leave me alone next time, shall we? But we did, and he learned to cope with that by jumping onto our beds and rolling all around them while we were away.
True to his not-afraid-of-anything Dachshund nature, he became friends with a Great Dane. He didn’t think twice about his size before jumping up and chewing the Dane’s ears and stealing his squeaky toy. But I’ll be forever grateful to the gentle giant for not snapping the neck of his new, over-zealous friend who tried to take over his bed. It has been 6 years since I first saw him on my birthday, comfortable in that tiny basket which would not even hold his head now. In these 6 years, college has taught me to be away from him. And he has accepted the fact that I’ll always come back to spoil him.
He has no worries, no anxiousness of the future. My dog taught me to wake up every morning with a stretch and face every day with anticipation of joy (unfortunately I don’t have a tail to depict my joy at waking up). He taught me it’s okay to express your love, and sometimes your anger. He taught me to wear my heart on my sleeve and never let anything hold me down for long. After all, life is too short to waste not chasing flies and eating every meal like you’ve been starving for 5 years. Yes, he’s all grown up now. But to me, he’ll always be my squishy.