by Vijai Pant
sent through a messaging app created quite a
flutter among the recipients. It read Please
welcome our new family member.
Congratulations poured in, though the people
congratulating the two of us were completely
flummoxed by this sudden development, minus the
apparent signs of a baby bump and the visits to
the gynaecologist. And they were not to be blamed
as both me and my better half, having completed
our half centuries on this planet, were in a way
quite over and above that good news
faux pas I got furious at my daughter. She had
sent the message but in her haste to share her
excitement with others, she had forgotten to
attach the picture of Tuffy- the three months old,
fluffy haired Pomeranian, just brought home from
a relative of ours. The fact that I was not a
huge animal lover further fuelled my anger. Here
let me mention that earlier my wife and the
little one had to exercise all their persuasive
powers, before eventually getting my reluctant
approval for a family expansion.
But I had also
put some conditions before giving them the go
ahead. I had made it clear that I would not be
asked to feed him or clean his mess or take him
out for the mandatory walks. In short, except for
loosening my purse strings, my contribution in
his rearing would be a big zero. Little did I
know that the home visits of the vet, the
medicines and vaccination, grooming products, pet
food and all such paraphernalia would make me dig
deep into my pockets.
reservations in mind regarding pets, there were
hardly any celebrations on his arrival. Neither
did we have any difficulty in keeping his
presence hush-hush. The dog was abnormally too
well behaved, in fact, discomfortingly quiet. May
be he was getting accustomed to the new masters
or wanted to create a good impression on us.
Whatever be the reason, leave alone barks, there
were no mild growls either.
when the news did get broken I had a very tough
time responding to the sarcastic queries of my
The pet has
now been with us a little over eight months.
After the evening stroll he is brought inside the
house, instead of remaining in the courtyard, for
safety purposes- his safety, of course. Now, who
said that you feel more secure with a dog as pet?
continues to impress everyone with his docility.
Naturally, he has become the darling of my family
as well as the locality around.
I too must
confess that, of late, Im also undergoing a
change of heart. Even Tuffy now grovels and
snuggles up to me when I come back after a days
hard work, immediately de-stressing me. I no
longer care for the amused smiles and jibes of my
neighbours, while taking him out for some fresh
Even now, when
Im concluding this piece, hes sitting
at my feet, rolling his eyes at me every now and
then, but not doing anything which would distract
Does he know Im
writing about him? I bet he doesnt. But
does he know Im the latest to join the ever
expanding army of animal lovers? I bet he does.
And so does the world.