I have loved animals since I was a child. I tried to adopt many puppies and the odd squirrel. However, I was not allowed to keep them in the household. As soon as I got a job and rented my first house, I adopted a pup. We called him Doggie. Doggie was a mutt but he was our first dog and we loved him. We had no idea how to train the dog or what to feed him. However, we quickly learned. In the hot humid climate of India, ticks are a big problem.
In my Memory, it was a big ritual getting Doggie to have his medicated bath to kill those ticks. This was a monthly ritual. It would begin with me dragging him into the bathroom and he would struggle while I washed him. As soon as I opened the bathroom door, he would dash out and run all over the place and splash water everywhere. We soon leaned that we should keep the main door open. He would then run out and dart around for the next ten minutes in the yard. Doggie was two and had grown quite big when we lost him. To this day, we remember Doggie and how hard it was for us to say good bye.
We then went abroad and lived in different countries but never got a pet due to our fear of the pain of saying good bye. Dogs have a maximum life span of close to 16 years on average. Besides, dogs are a big responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. I often hear friends tell me that their kids want a pet and my advice is that a pet is not a play thing, it is a sentient being with feelings and needs love, affection and care similar to rest of the family members. Children may have a passing fancy for the pet, but the parents have to take the responsibility for taking the dogs for a walk daily, feeding them and treating illnesses from time to time.
Anyway, four years ago in early June, we decided to get a pet. This time we did our research and decided that Maltese breed would be best suited for us. When we went to the breeder’s place we saw two snow white puppies playing with each other. We decided to take both of them. However, we had bought money only for one. So we took the female and put a hold on the male and promised to return in 30 minutes to buy him. On our
way home, the Corrs were playing on the radio so we decided to call our pet Corrie. Corrie was very scared in the car and also afraid of being alone in a strange environment and probably thought she would never see her buddy again.
We rushed to the ATM and withdrew cash and went back to the breeder. We collected Ruffy and the four of us drove back home. The pups were so tiny and delicate as they were only 10 weeks old. Both were from different litters. Both were very playful. Corrie grew to be an escape artist and would escape from our backyard. I had to quickly put chicken mesh fence around the hedge to prevent her from escaping into the road or the neighbours property. Corrie is fearless and adventurous. Ruffy is very gentle, careful and obedient. Between the two of them, they provide the entire spectrum of doggie behaviours, pleasure and exasperation.
Pam and Kris are our best friends and they had a cat called Ruffian. Kris named our pup Ruffian and it stuck. Ruffy is bigger of the two and was usually at a disadvantage in the early days until we discovered that Corrie was responsible for all the mischief. They have now grown to be almost 4 years old and still as frisky as they were when we got them. They have a ritual. Meals in the morning and then off to the backyard to chase squirrels and bark at invisible enemies. Come back home and play fight with each other for the next few minutes and then go to sleep.
When we go out, they like to sit on a bench next to the bay window and watch out for us to return. We get a hero’s welcome when we reach home. They are all over us and then the launch into playing with each other by running around the house at high speed.
Corrie is most communicative and reminds us when it is time to go to bed. These days she has started climbing half way upstairs to the bedroom and then barking from there asking us to come to bed. In the last four years they have become an integral part of the family. We are fortunate to have found Doris (who really loves dogs) to take care of them when we travel on holidays. Doris is always happy to see Ruffy and Corrie and they settle down quickly at her place.
We now have quite a few dogs in the extended family in India. There is Joy, a Black Lab and Axi a Golden lab.
Last month we learned of a new addition; Astro, a Golden retriever pup was adopted by a relative in India. I will publish some more images and antics of my pets as time goes by.