I am not a dog lover but thought of sharing the journey of Tommy here- my husband’s first and last pet.

Well, I was neutral to dogs but at around eight years of age, I was attacked by a stray dog from behind (he jumped on me with his two front legs on my shoulder) and that was the end…I could never love dogs…I was infact terrified of them, till I got married.

Due to some commitments, I couldn’t go on a honeymoon trip for almost one year post marriage and then we decided to visit Panna tiger reserve. There in the resort were three well built, healthy pups- Caramel, Cadbury and cookie.🐶.they were always playful and used to chase me when I used to shout and run away from them. That’s terrible I was with dogs.😆

Then I got married and this man was so much in love with dogs and the same gene has been transferred to my daughter…I am the odd one out.

In this post I will be telling his dog story.

Since childhood, he was fond of dogs and had many stray dog as his friends. However there was one small pup in his village, who was very fond of him.

 Then due to some work my husband had to leave his village for few years. One day, almost after 5 years, he was returning to his village from Kolkata, in the midnight. When he reached the outskirts of his village he was surrounded by almost 20 dogs, who were on night patrolling I guess😁, barking loudly and was about to attack him. Suddenly, the leader of the group started to make a different noise, so my husband squatted down and calmly spoke to them why are you guys here to attack me and in that moment the leader dog jumped on him, hugged him and started licking him. He was the same small puppy who was his friend. Then that group of 20 dogs happily escorted him till his home.

It was a life changing experience for my husband and his fondness grew manifolds for dogs.

In Delhi, he had a Taiwanese friend (Steve), who had a golden retrievers in his farmhouse. One day he asked my husband (AB) would he like to have a pup, obviously AB jumped at this opportunity and brought home a 6 weeks old golden retriever and named him Tommy.  (I wish he was more creative)🤣

Tommy, kept in a carton box, wrapped nicely in a cozy blanket , sat on the passenger seat and AB drove him to his new home. Initially he used to sleep most of the time and was fed on milk. As he was not a much known breed for AB, he read a lot about Golden retrievers, their behaviours and also checked with Steve what all he will need in order to bring him up healthily.

Golden retrievers are friendly, their tolerant attitude makes them great family pets, and their intelligence makes them highly capable working dogs. And this was all true in case of Tommy. He was a jovial, fun loving pup, who always wanted to play.

He was born in the night of 30th May (one of the reasons AB married me because he says if you share his birth date, you will be definitely honest and loyal like him )😆

Tommy was always scared of bath but every time after bath he used to be super happy and will run around AB merrily. As Tommy was from Taiwan, he used to love boiled rice (Taiwanese and Oriya guys used to enjoy chicken and rice on weekends. )😂

AB had to travel sometimes due to his work commitment so he used to drop him back at Steve’s farm. But Tommy used to contract ticks and when AB used to bring him back home, he wanted AB to pick all those ticks.

AB and tommy spent hours sitting, talking about life and universe, while the process of removing ticks was underway.

They were inseparable. Then one day AB thought of starting his own business and he had now less time for Tommy.

AB felt that he cannot give his attention and care to Tommy, so he, while sitting with his friends at club, casually mentioned that if someone is genuinely interested in a dog, he would like to give away Tommy.

Luckily, the manager of the club came, who overheard this conversation, and said my brother is looking for a good breed for his grown up sons.

AB asked him to come over weekend to his house and see Tommy.

The manager called next day to come and take Tommy, AB lied saying i am out of house. He called after few days , AB again made some excuse. It went for almost a month, as AB didnot want to part with Tommy and was looking for someone who can take care of him in his absence so that Tommy remains with him forever. But his efforts were in vain. Finally the manager called once again and AB said come tomorrow. 

In the night before Tommy had to leave AB’s house, around 3 am AB went to him and said”Tommy, you have grown up and become a good big boy.  Now you need  more friends and bigger place to play. So tomorrow you will be sent to a new home where you will enjoy and I will love you till i live.” 

The manager , his brother and son came to see Tommy and the immediately liked him and said we will take him. They asked AB how much they should pay, AB said ”I love him and I expect you to love him and care for him the way I do”

They readily agreed and Tommy was sent to his new home…his new journey. He looked at AB last time thinking he was sent away to play and AB hugged him tight and bid goodbye. That was the end of 2.5 years of togetherness.

AB was heartbroken but life moves on.  He used to miss him, I asked him to call and check with the new owners how is Tommy doing. Fortunately those teenagers were really good with him and all their friends used to visit their house every weekend to just play with Tommy. Tommy was having a gala time with them and that was satisfying for AB to know.

Years passed. Almost after 4 years AB started remembering Tommy again, missing him desperately.

One day I told him why don’t you go and meet him. He said no, he has settled in his new house happily. If I go and meet, his emotional disturbances will grow that can have negative impact on his overall being. Also if the attachment comes again, AB will feel guilty for giving him away.

But somewhere AB was only talking about Tommy to me those days, narrating his mischiefs, incidents after incidents. That’s how few days passed and I asked him to give a call to those boys and check upon Tommy.

He then took the phone, dialled the number and the young boy picked. After initial formalities, AB asked –“How’s Tommy?”

“oh sorry uncle we forgot to tell you , he passed away last week due to some liver issues and doctors could not do much”, came the reply from the other side.

AB was shocked…no words….cut the call. That day was very disturbing for him. His Tommy was no more in this world. Did he miss AB and may be that’s why AB was fondly remembering him over few days?

He went to sleep late at night and there came his Tommy…in his dream…happily circling him around the way he used to play in the morning hours, licking him, cuddling him, jumping, wagging his tail and teasing him to run after him, chase him.

This incident told me that their bond was so strong that Tommy chose to contact AB from some other dimensions of the universe where he might be currently living.

After this incident AB decided never ever to have a pet again but you can see that in every dog he comes across, he tries to find his Tommy in them. Any day he will prefer a dog over a human for his company.

Both, AB and my daughter, can happily spend hours watching dogs or talking about them. Any new street dog comes, they jump in the joy and keep a track of their activities. They are madly in love with dogs.

And due to all this now I am adjusting. The maximum courage I have got wrt to dogs, is that now I don’t run away…I stand silently and let them sniff me or if I am scared I tell them that please let me go I am not comfortable and they somehow listen.

Now I understand why humans should at least have pet once. We learn a lot from them. Loyalty, living in the moment, enjoying life, forgiving nature all these traits are something to learn from them.

Even studies have shown that even small interactions with dogs cause the human brain to produce oxytocin, a hormone often referred to as the “cuddle chemical.” Oxytocin increases feelings of relaxation, trust, and empathy while reducing stress and anxiety.

Dog love 2

This is Tommy

We all live in urban conditions and we should learn to be kind with animals whenever we can.

Image by Manfred Burdich from Pixabay 

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Shalini Pandey

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