|Young man, Chikoo.|
Chikoo was an un-planned pet - much like an un-planned pregnancy. Hubby felt that bringing home a puppy would add some much-needed cheer to our world. But, I argued, that if getting home a pet was so important, then why not get a fish? It would swim in its bowl all day, minding its own business, but a dog would spend its entire day minding other people's business; what if that got us in trouble? Moreover, we knew zilch about caring for a dog.
Sadly (for me), any further argument was pointless, for, the deed was done and the 'furry package' was on its way home. I decided to deal with it as unsentimentally as I could; it was an animal, after all, who knew nothing about 'emotions'. Ironically, the moment I laid eyes on the said package, I melted! It was love at first sight when the fur ball looked up at me, tilted its head to a side and asked, "Hey, who is this girlie?" I swooned over those chocolate brown, very expressive eyes!
Things happen for a reason, I deduced. People walk into our life for a reason.
(Thank you, hubby, for bringing Chikoo home.)
It did take some 'getting used to', but the pup and I began accepting each other's presence at home. In the initial months, Chikoo's love was reserved only for his 'dad'; he was brought home by the man, so naturally he was his hero! He was a permanent fixture by hubby's side - at meal times, at bedtime, and also in the bathroom, giving his dad some quiet company! As the days passed by, I, too, began taking care of him, his meals, his grooming; more importantly, I began getting involved in his 'upbringing'. And, it felt good!
Still, he was daddy's boy and daddy was who he wanted all the time. He would even insist on sitting on his lap in the car. I would try and hold him in my arms, but he would wriggle out and reach for his dad, much to my chagrin!
Once, when hubby was driving on a busy highway, Chikoo, freed himself from my arms and stood right in front of hubby, obstructing the view ahead; he wanted to sit on his dad's lap! Hubby hollered at me to pull Chikoo away lest he ram his car into another. My throat went dry and my heart in panic mode as I grabbed hold of Chikoo and yanked him back. There were a hundred vehicles moving along at breakneck speed and here was this brat with his strange demands!
Enraged, I muttered, "I take care of you, feed you, bathe you, clean up your mess, and you shower all your love on your dad?!" Chikoo looked at me, perplexed, wondering why his little wish wasn't fulfilled! Bad dog?
No, darling dog, bad me!
We humans couldn't be more pathetic, could we? demanding love like that! I guess, this is the reason Chikoo entered my life - to teach me things I was ignorant about.
|"Mamma, may I? "|
Every time someone asks him, "Hey, Chikoo, come on, let's go for a walk!" Chikoo gives me that questioning look and asks, "Mom, what do you say? Should I go, or are they just kidding?"
|Chikoo and I.|
In an instant, he would trudge up to me, place his paw on my knee and try to calm me down, "Shush now, mom, I am here for you, am I not? Stop crying, please!" I would gather him in a tight hug and thank him over and over again. Despite the pain that had begun troubling him, he only cared about me!
It's something Chikoo has taught me over the years:
To be there for your people. Always. For, you may be the only person by their side in their time of need! I am not as large-hearted as Chikoo, but I am learning. Being selfless is not easy, though. Wonder how these babies do it!
There's one incident I would like to share before I end this post.
Few years ago, we met a gentleman who needed a male Labrador to mate with his Labrador bitch. We agreed to help out and drove Chikoo to the kennel where he would meet and mate with the 'girl'. Unfortunately, for the father of the, er, bride, things did not go as planned. The girl was very aggressive and hostile towards my peace-loving Chikoo! So, the idea had to be dropped and we brought Chikoo back home. When I informed my sister-in-law about how the belligerent girl had driven my son away, she burst out laughing. "Shilpa, you sounded like a typical mother-in-law when you said that! "
Well, yes, I am Chikoo's mother and I will not take it kindly if some hoity-toity chick turns down my darling son!
12 years ago, I had not an inkling that an animal would change my life, my thinking, my heart; an animal I had decided to deal with "unsentimentally"!
I must say we have come a long way, haven't we, Chikoo baby? Or, should I say, I have come a long way? Eh, sweetie?
Dedicating this song to Chikoo, who came into my life and changed it, for the better.