Social network for pugs and their people.
As members of Pugslife, we know what joy our pets bring us. The pure and unconditional love they offer is unmatched, and someone who has never had a pet will, sadly, never know what he is missing.
My father is a huge animal lover, and his colleagues in the Indian Army, where he served quite many years, would often regale me with stories of dad’s love for animals - and not just the domestic variety. One story I was often told as a kid was that when dad was a bachelor, he had once rescued an injured fawn, brought him home, nursed him back to health and eventually returned him to his roots. Another story was of how he had rescued an abandoned and injured calf of an elephant, and after nursing him back to health, had returned him to the jungle. Besides, I have seen some old black and white photographs of dad performing tricks with a hairy mountain dog he’d had for pet as a bachelor. And from all these, I can, without a doubt, feel the bond he must have shared with all these animals he so obviously loved.
As for me, my earliest – and rather faint – recollection of a pet is that of a white Lhasa Apso named Whiskey. He was the apple of dad’s eye, and mom often said that even she could not compete with him in so far as dad’s affection went. Seems, when I was a baby, whenever dad went out of town on work, mom got a neighbour's daughter to sleep with her, as she was afraid to spend the night alone. On such nights, Whiskey would tug at the girl's dress and try his best to pull her out of dad's side of the bed, for he could not stand anyone else occupying dad's place on the bed!! Unfortunately, Whiskey died a rather sad and premature death when I was slightly more than a toddler, and after that, dad could not bring himself to keep a pet for a long time. Moreover, my mom was not exactly enthusiastic about pets. Her grouse was that in the beginning, dad and I would take complete charge of the pet’s feeding, grooming, medicines etc., but before you knew it, the charge would be totally relinquished to mom, and our role would be restricted to playing with the pet. Having said that, dad always had the last word, so we weren’t devoid of a pet for too long.
My next pet was a beautiful cat named Rocky, who was gifted to me by a neighbour, and came to me as a barely three-week old kitten. He looked like a spotless white ball of fur and grew up to be as handsome as a cat can ever get. I do not know how intelligent cats are supposed to be, but this one was supremely intelligent, and I recollect at least a couple of instances that stand out in testimony. Our house had a toilet at the back for the domestic help, and its door had a crevice at the bottom, which for some reason dad had not bothered getting repaired. One day we noticed Rocky peeping through the crevice, when our domestic help was using the toilet, and after that, he never did his business anywhere except inside that toilet. The other instance is equally endearing. In the mornings, a fish monger would come on his bicycle, and Rocky would recognise his cycle bell. So he would promptly run to mom, who was usually in the kitchen at that time. He would tug at the hem of her dress and get her to come out and buy some fish for him. Like Whisky, Rocky also did not live to grow old, but got run over by a vehicle and died a rather horrible death.
Despite Rocky’s tragic death, I did have a few pets after him – a cat, a rabbit, a Mynah bird, and lastly, a dog who was a cross between a German Shepherd and a local breed. The cat, who was free to roam around, left us one day and that was the last we saw of her. The rabbit and mynah were both babies and unwell when my dad had found them and brought them home. They never recovered completely and eventually their health got the better of them. The worst death, however, was suffered by the dog, whom I had named Raisa. She was a guard dog who was kept at my dad’s farmhouse, and was looked after mainly by the caretaker. We visited the farmhouse twice a week and I spent oodles of time playing with her. One day when we reached the farmhouse, Raisa did not come sprinting as usual to greet us and we were immediately worried – more so as she had recently littered. Her litter was also missing from their bed. When we asked the caretaker, he claimed they must be around somewhere, but dad felt that something was fishy. So we started looking around, only to discover, to our horror, her dead body, and those of her entire brood, in a ditch outside the farmhouse. On interrogating the caretaker, we learnt that after she had littered, the caretaker was reluctant to look after them and had therefore decided to poison them to death. Needless to say, dad kicked the caretaker out forthwith and determined that we were jinxed and should never keep a pet again.
Luckily for me, when I met my husband, I was happy that his father had two dogs and that they had had a number of dogs, during my husband’s growing up years – a Pomeranian, a Doberman Pinscher, a Labrador Retriever etc. So, after getting married, I mustered the courage to get a pet, and now I have not one, but two adorable babies – Tin Tin, the pug, and Rusty, the Labrador Retriever. They are the love of my life and each day I thank God for having brought them into my life. They complete me, give me the courage to fight the bad days and celebrate the good ones with me. Love you, Rusty and Tin Tin.
With this, I invite all of you to write about the pets you have had thus far and the many small little things about them that you will remember or cherish forever and may want to recount.