Reekoh breathed her last today at 4:00 AM!

January 02, 2022 will remain etched in my memory for a couple of reasons; one being Reekoh’s (our female-dog family member) demise and the other being the one I rather try to forget.

I am under the weather and, therefore, empty of energy. Nevertheless, it was hard for me not to break down into tears and grieve.

My family, especially my sister Tina (in the banner image) who’d raised Reekoh like her daughter is broken into shreds, emotionally. She became the closest to her in the years of her raising.

Reekoh is gone where she is supposed to, and I am happy that she thrived through her fourteen years; quite laudable for a dog. But, I am also sad as I don’t know how not to miss her physical presence and chatty times (she communicated with us in her own ways).

In 2010 when Reekoh was just a puppy, I thought about ‘day-in her life,” felt guilty of bringing a life home and not paying enough attention to it.

Back then, I’d dedicated this piece to my Reekoh, not knowing that I will share it with you after 11 years, dedicating it to now-Tina’s-Reekoh! 

“Take a breather, lay back, relax, sip tea and play with me,

 Never are you tired, bored of this drudgery?

You walk in, you rush out, I wait for you and then you scowl

What’s on mum? I wish I could speak!

Only if I could express more, I’d tell you what I really need!”

If Reekoh had the faculty of speaking, she’d spill these words out to me!

I was not surprised at her emotional intelligence and attention-seeking spirit as a mother that nurtures a being, feels it. Although I was just a pseudo-mom to her; the real mother was Tina.

Tina had dedicated her life to Reekoh for as long as Reekoh was alive! 

I had named her Chloe based on a perfume I really liked back in those days in Chicago. However, it took no time for her human-lovers to distort it to Callo, Cholle, Chaloo, and what not! Those were funny moments. Plus she was supremely naughty, and based on a Spanish naughty boy named Reekoh (as the protagonist) in the serial Hanna Montana, I thought ‘Reekoh’ is just the apt name for my dynamite puppy.

Tiny little paws, pointed matte black nails, tinge of tan in a smooth black coat, long droopy ears as if they are two ponytails, soft pink skin as that of a baby, round black expressive eyes, and perennially icy nose to die for—this is how Reekoh looked. You would wonder if she was some walking sausage wrapped into flesh that swept the floor as she moved her body in a forward motion.

With all those physical characteristics, her alertness and playful temperament screamed for attention too.

Reekoh would grab any object in her reach between her teeth and glare at me to gesture for a challenging play. Taking her ground position as that of an opponent, tail high up in the air wagging lightly side-to-side, head stooping like a black bull, eyes glinting with the anticipated joy of playing, mouth slightly parted, she used to prep herself up for a high speed ‘chase-me’ game.

To my wonder she had already twigged her hideouts and way-outs, you-lose-i-win signals, i-need-water you-need-stamina mom, and chuckling and hooting gesticulations too.

I would take her to bed to put her to sleep, fake my eyes shut, try to control my giggle, and then wink open one eye (to see if she had slept). And then would come the best moment a mother would like to see—a profound triumph on her baby-face; of a master stroke., jumping and wagging her tail with a woof-woof, she would convey, “Mom, you can’t cheat me, I am Reekooooh, smart and clever!”

It was painful to see her yelp for Tina when she’d run errands or not be around for Reekoh, momentarily. Tina called her Ganesh as she used to position herself outside the bathroom to keep Tina in her vicinity. Only a hearty hug with volley of kisses on her nose could quell her emotional storm and soothe her little heart until Tina would be back with Reekoh.

We normally are, as it goes, on the treadmill of life; too busy to ever cast a considerate glance at less significant matters, deeper emotional needs of pets/stray animals, at most times. This is sure with an exception of the animal lovers who put consequential amount of time, energy and sentiments as essential investments in their pets and stray animals, reach out to them, and bring forth their unique-human traits to serve them.

It delighted me to see the response and reactions of Reekoh and other stray animals to my smile. Do they understand a smile? Yes, they do. It infuses life in them. You could see them stand upright with shimmer in their eyes and a ‘thank you’ moan.

For me, Reekoh was my equilibrium as she transmitted tranquillity, deeper sense of  selfless love, and meaning of being in a human form.

Frail and sick, Reekoh never lost her will power and communication with Tina; commanding her to sit beside her, all the time.

Even as she was semi-conscious, she wagged her tail and opened her eyes to see me one final time. 

After a day of slumber, she slept forever. Tina still tries to look for her. Although we know, she is in the lap of divine, happy!

I miss you Reekoh- my dynamite! 

Image: Reekoh and Tina