My father owned 2 dogs in his childhood, so he already had some sort of connections with dogs and some connections you know never break and so really that is the case with dogs. They were called Bruce and Suisse. I often regret not meeting them but maybe they were not so lucky to meet me or maybe vice-versa.

My mother had no connection with dogs whatsoever. She liked them at their place but not near her. Whether it was fear or merely irritation, I have no idea.

I and dogs were miles apart. I used to fear from dogs as if I was a cat. If I saw a dog even fifteen meter away I would run as If I had seen a ghost. So I and keeping a dog as a pet was unthinkable. However when finally a woofing boy leapt into our life we had to accept him.

I was born on 24th August 2000, but I started living in the true sense when Rocky came into my life.

One fine day I went to my best friend Amritali’s house as usual. I don’t remember the actual date but it must have been June as our summer break was ending. That day not only Amritali and her mom came to greet me but also a tiny furry creature waging his tail vigorously. At that point I screamed like he was not a dog but a spirit. After the mother, daughter duo calmed me I was informed that my friend had already adopted 5 or 6 dogs in past and that one was to add up to the list.

The first problem was to choose a suitable name. We finally decided on Rocky. There is a story behind this name. There was a serial called “Parvarish” on Sony tv and the male lead was called Rocky. That boy was also like our Rocky always jumping into mischief. The fawn coloured pug loved his name and started jumping. This was my first interaction to my, would- be brother.

The main problem lied in the fact that Amrita’s mom hated dogs and Rocky was brought just due to the insistence of Amrita. She loved her house to be clean and tidy, devoid of any dog hair which was not possible because according to a proverb “dog hair sticks everywhere in the house except the dog”. As a result he was continuously chained in the balcony in June’s heat. I protested but they turned a deaf ear at me. They argued that they had experience and I had humanity. Humanity lost that day but to win forever.

For the first time I saw a dog eating lady’s finger, potato, cauliflower etc. Amritas were vegetarian forcing the poor little omnivore to be as well. I couldn’t protest because as mentioned earlier they had experience. Being with Rocky made me a little softer towards dogs, though I was a bit afraid but at the same time I had to see a poor pet being tortured. When Rocky grew a bit older, I brought him to my house. Tasting complete freedom for the first time made him jump all around. My father appreciated it and that encouraged me to bring him more and more. Who knew that one day I would bring him home permanently? However my mother and our maid tried their best to ignore him. Firstly I forced them but then I realized that like I took my own time they also should be given their own time to accept him.

With him coming, my demands of keeping a pet also increased for I was not afraid of them anymore. However me and dad were voted ½ to ½ with a veto power lying with my mom.

Rocky now having tasted freedom and chicken came to my house whenever he got the opportunity, eating each piece of chicken like it was his last.

One day when I returned to my house after a badminton match, I saw mom playing with Rocky. Later I learnt that Rocky seeking opportunity had rushed into my house and started licking my mom. So mom naturally returned the greeting by playing with him. From then he became a part of our family.

However the turning point in my relationship was when Amritali asked me to keep Rocky for one night because she had guests. Rocky came as usual happily jumping and licking however when it was past 9:30 pm Rocky started sniffing the door as if to indicate that he wanted to go home.
“Old boy, move towards your bed.” Ma said
”Bed. Ma where is his bed?”
“The big basket will be his bed tonight.”
“Will he support your plan?”
Ma smiled and within a couple of minutes I got my answer. It is said that man proposes but God disposes, but that time the proverb should have been Ma proposes, Rocky disposes. He wouldn’t sleep by any chance. He kept leaping in and out of the basket and running all over the house. So out of helplessness we had to chain him till he calms down. Finally an hour before midnight he went to sleep. Next morning Amrita took him back. Now his visiting our house had become more frequent. So in such a casual visit I noticed that his body was full of infection, so I called the vet. The vet demanded to see the card and after we brought it, he stared at it and then declared that his rabies injection was not given so after our request he gave it.

I started understanding that I had some sort of a connection with Rocky when our house started seeming incomplete to me without him. Our things stopped breaking, Mashi stopped tripping on Rocky and everything seemed to have come to a halt. Home was merely a flat without Rocky. A dog whom we earlier sometimes used to avoid seemed to have become the apple of everyone’s eyes. I was happy but frankly I was jealous. I couldn’t bear that someone else took my place but I was guilty as I brought rocky into their life and now how could I throw him out. He had become a part of life as well and it wasn’t practical.

However Rocky became ours in the following holidays. I had come from Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata in my winter vacations or maybe summer because I don’t remember and it had no connection whatsoever to what happened and it still remains a nightmare to most dogs. Amritali and her mom had gone to Maharashtra to their relative’s house and left Rocky with Uncle. Now uncle had to go to an important meeting for 3 days so he chained Rocky in the balcony with some water and food. However a super cyclone Phailin came to visit Bhubaneshwar during that time. Poor Rocky had to face it all alone with almost no food. Unfortunately by mistake he poured the remaining water on the floor and had to go for almost a day without water.

When we came back and got to know about this situation mom suggested breaking the door and rescuing him. “People sometimes change drastically even before we can notice. Ma, who was earlier against keeping a dog, now was ready to break the door to rescue one.” I thought. Next day we pleaded to uncle to come and open the door. He granted our wish and like a genie came the next day to open rocky. We brought Rocky to our home and he ran as one does when he escapes from a devil. You won’t believe he drank three cups of water at a time. Then we decided that it was time Rocky needed a new family. Afterward we gave the money and bought Rocky. This is how I got my first pet a dog.

How Kishmish happened? We decided that Rocky needed a wife. Bhubaneshwar was a place where people mainly were dog haters so getting a pug that also a female was next to impossible. One day ma was going through Flipkart or OLX when she spotted a female black pug for sale. I already had Rocky who was fawn and had no wish to get another fawn coloured pug and get confused between them. So instead I decided on a black one. Her initial name was Kali but I decided to call her Kishmish. There is a story behind this as well. She was black and sweet so I decided to call her something related to raisins and finally we decided upon Kishmish. Kishmish was diagonally opposite to Rocky in every aspect. He is lazy while she is hyperactive, he is fat but she is thin. It took a little time to accept Kishmish as she was somewhat different from the idea we had of an ideal pet. However I have always taken her side and will continue doing it in future. The best thing is that Kishmish used to chase Rocky and bite him. The first day he ran like he was competing with Usain Bolt. He literally took shelter in our bed and started crying. Such a dynamite was our Kishmish. Now she has become a bit quieter. Now the problem remains how will people react and will we get accepted by the society. Maybe not but this journey with dogs is so beautiful that the result matters the least. Now we have faced a lot of problem regarding dogs.

First problem faced in Bhubaneshwar was regarding that dogs were not allowed in lift but then after looking it from a legal point of view we won. Now I was going to commit the biggest mistake of my life. I was going to come to Calcutta. I was sad but there was no other option. I think that how would I have adjusted in Cal if Rock-kish were not there.

We used to take Roc to the roof but after the society people literally threatened us we had to stop. So naturally I live a relatively secluded life here but that doesn’t matter. If someone has to earn my respect then they should respect my dogs. I sometimes fear that the people may poison them. People don’t understand me and neither do I. I am not at all amused that I am living such a crazy lifestyle as it is normal for me. You know once a furry little ball of love enters your life you forget how your life was without him/her. Moreover time flies so fast that now also I feel that Roc is the same Roc he was a year ago. No matter how old he rows he will still remain a baby to me.

Everyone is busy in their own life now. I am preparing for their wedding. I will show them that what a dog deserves and how large should everyday be.

Dogs are much better than people as they search for inner beauty not exterior one. Keeping dogs is not a hobby it is a way of life which non-dog lovers will never understand.

Tags: True Story

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