I never did a study on pet parenting, nor ever take wisdom from other pet owners. It is because I never planned to take a pet. Though I come from a family of animal lovers, having a pet at home was out of question. Because apart from being an animal lover, I also have a mom who is very strict and disciplined about cleanliness.
Our house, at all times, is spic and span. And a pet could never fit in. Because a pet is a lot of work, and they do tend to mess around. So after the initial childish tantrums of demanding a pet, I finally gave up the idea of having a pet at home. I satisfied my urge to play with animals and pet them by feeding the strays around my building. But little did I know, that this was how I would meet my best friend for life.
Among the little party of dogs I fed was a little puppy, all of just a few months, but with no one to call his own. His brothers and sisters had all died or wandered off and he lost his mother to an accident. Little pup with big brown, sad eyes – now who wouldn’t go ‘awww’ on him! And this is exactly the reason I have to my mom, when one day finally I could stand it no longer and got that pup home.
After some pestering, pleading and promises to take up the entire responsibility of the dog myself, he was relented to enter the threshold. What followed was a full blown cleaning and grooming session. A hot water bath, cleaning up nails and wiping up the inside of the ears…and tad da! I had a pet I would keep at home. Next came the naming ceremony, which wasn’t actually a ceremony. My sister came up with the bright idea of naming him Hazel. After being informed that Hazel is a girl name, we settled on calling him Hazy. We could not get enough of him, and all day long the house reverberated with the noise of us going, “Hazy boy…come here.” Hazy surveyed the whole house and decided that the spot near the window AC was to be his…and it is so even after four years!
Yes, four years. That’s how long we have had hazy with us. He has graduated form being a cuddly lil pup to a full grown adult dog…but we still go ‘awww’ when he gives us a wink, or raises his paw to shake ‘hands’. Mommy’s attitude towards Hazy had softened within days when he went about showering his attention and wagging his tail. To this day, he demands that his dinner has to be served by mom. And he makes it an elaborate programme with mummy having to pat him and ask him to lick his bowl clean. Hazy truly is the baby of the house, and badly pampered one at that!
Many people have asked me why I did not get a pedigreed dog rather than adopting a stray one. To this I always answer that a dog is a dog. The love you receive is pure and unconditional…and this does not differ from breed to breed.